In this week’s issue… Erie’s legendary oldies morning man is gone – iHeart shakes up Rochester FM talker – New FM in Montreal? – New “Freedom” in Philadelphia – Who’s WHOM’s new morning host?
By SCOTT FYBUSH
*When you think of oldies radio in Erie, PENNSYLVANIA, one name comes to mind ahead of any other. “Captain Dan” Geary was a fixture on Erie’s airwaves for half a century, right up until his death Thursday at 72 at his Fairview Township home, apparently from a heart attack.
An Erie native, Captain Dan spent his entire career in his hometown, starting fresh out of high school at what was then WWGO (now WRTS, “Star 104”). His nickname came with his first big morning gig at WXKC, “Classy 100,” one of several long stops that also included a lengthy run in the 1990s and 2000s at WFGO (“Froggy 94.7,” now WXBB).
As the oldies became less commercial, Geary kept the music alive, working with Mercyhurst University to turn WYNE (1530) in North East into an oldies station. The oldies format eventually migrated to Mercyhurst’s FM station, WMCE (88.5), where Geary served as morning man, PD and station manager, a role he retained after the station was sold to its present owner, LECOM. With LECOM’s extension of its radio network to Florida, Geary picked up an audience on its Sarasota-market stations, including WSRQ (1220/106.9).
In an industry full of people who are passionate about radio and music, Captain Dan stood out. Any visit to his station always ended up in a long conversation about the industry. He mentored so many radio professionals and students in Erie along the way, and his passing leaves a big void in the radio scene there.
Calling hours for Geary will be held Monday and Tuesday before a funeral Mass in Erie.
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