The Year in Obituaries

It’s time once again for our Year in Review, the 27th time we’ve gathered up our headlines from the previous 12 months and tried to sum it all up for you.

Earlier this week, we brought you The Year in Station Sales (here) and The Year in People and Formats (here and here), followed by the “Top Ten Stories of the Year” yesterday(here).

We’ll resume our regular NorthEast Radio Watch report with an update on Monday, January 4. In the meantime, our own Twitter and Facebook feeds and RadioInsight will be here with any breaking news!

As we do every year, we close out this final installment of our Year in Review with a look at the broadcasters and media people our region lost in the last twelve months.

This year’s roster included some of the biggest names in early top-40 radio – New York’s “Morning Mayor,” Harry Harrison, and Boston’s “Woo Woo,” Arnie Ginsburg. We lost some big-name broadcast owners – Viacom’s Sumner Redstone, Cleveland’s Norman Wain and Canada’s Bill Evanov. We lost some of the last living links to local TV’s earliest days, such as Mike Csop, who put WICU in Erie on the air back in 1949. And we lost too many good broadcasters, many of them too young, to the scourge of COVID-19.

We remember all of them, and all of the contributions they made to our business.


JUNE BACON-BERCEY, 90, WGR-TV meteorologist (July 3, 2019)
JACK WHEELER, 93, Pittsburgh radio host (January 6)
ELISA CAFFESE LEE (Elisa Chase), 38, WABT morning co-host (January 7)
JERRY STEVENS, 85, WMMR program director (January 10)
JOEL CHASEMAN, 93, Group W and Post-Newsweek general manager (January 11)
RALPH LOCKWOOD, 80, Pennsylvania and Montreal broadcaster (January 12)


HARRY HARRISON, 89, NYC morning institution (January 28)
DAN KELLEHER, 69, Worcester engineer (January 29)
BILL BRITTEN, 87, NYC children’s TV host (February 4)
TIM HALLORAN, 56, WWDB Philadelphia operations manager (February 10)
CHRISTIE BLATCHFORD, 68, Canadian reporter and columnist (February 12)
ROGER CONKLIN, 84, Binghamton general manager (February 13)


BILL EVANOV, 77, Canadian radio owner (February 28)
ED INGLES, 87, voice of New York Jets (March 6)
MIKEY MARTEL, 67, WOKQ DJ, “Joke Du Jour” creator (March 27)
STEPHEN CHATMAN, 55, WYEP Pittsburgh “Soul Show” founder (March 30)
TONY ADAMS, 95, WCAX sports director (March 31)
JOHN PERRONE, “DJ Midnight Johnny” (April 5)
BRAD HARRIS, 85, WADS host, sports commentator (April 9)
GIL BAILEY, 84, Caribbean music programmer (April 13)
GARY DRAPCHO, 63, WSEE/WICU sports director (April 15)
ERIC MELENBACKER, 73, WROC-TV Rochester engineer (April 16)
GENE SHAY, 85, Pennsylvania folk music host (April 17)
BRIAN LANGSTON, 63, CIHR Woodstock DJ (April 17)
CYRUS ALLEN, 60, WDKX “Quiet Storm” host (April 22)
JERRY BISHOP, 84, WDRC jock, LA radio talent, announcer (April 21)


RICHARD HAKE, 51, WNYC Morning Edition host (April 24)
DANIEL BLUME, 89, Connecticut talk host (April 30)
TONY RUSSELL, 72, Binghamton DJ, talk host (May 5)
BARRY FARBER, 90, longtime talk radio host (May 6)
NEVIN GRANT, 80, CKOC program director (May 6)
BILL PEARCE, 95, WXXI Rochester president (May 11)
REG LAITE, 89, NBC news director (May 12)
BILL RAYMOND, 76, Connecticut station manager (May 13)
NANCY ANN FROELICH (“KANDY KLUTCH”), Hartford, Philadelphia DJ (May 15)
CAPTAIN JENN CASEY/JENNIFER HOWELL, news anchor and producer (May 17)


DONNA MORRISSEY, 51, Boston assignment editor, PR exec (May 22)
SCOTT “BUMPER MORGAN” BEELS, 59, production and voice work (May 24)
JEAN “GENTLEMAN GENE” DeGRAIDE, 97, Providence DJ, TV host (May 25)
MARK GRAHAM, 64, WMMM owner (May 26)
BOB “CAPTAIN BOB” HARVEY, 75, news and traffic reporter (May 27)
GEORGE HAMBERGER, 74, veteran Buffalo, Toronto jock (May 29)
EUGENE LOTHERY, 78, WCAU-TV, WEEI, WCBS general manager (May 31)
MIKE EBERSOLE, 53, WLBR Lebanon sports anchor (June 4)
CURTIS KAY, afternoon DJ WDHA (June 8)
JAMES SAMPRAKOS (“THE FAMOUS JIM SANDS”), 86, NYC, Boston oldies jock (June 19)
FRED KING, 74, WWLP Springfield sports director (June 25)


ARNIE “WOO WOO” GINSBURG, 93, Boston radio legend (June 26)
RON RAETZ, 68, WLVL Lockport “Ask The Pro” host (June 29)
DAVE “DAVE MACK” MACAULAY, 68, New England oldies jock (June 29)
DICK GOSSELIN, 72, Maine TV journalist (July 1)
DEAN ROGERS, 73, Portland Sea Dogs announcer (July 5)
ALLAN LOUDELL, 64, Delaware newsman, program manager (July 6)
MIKE CALHOUN, 68, Vermont radio personality (July 7)
JAY SEVERIN, 69, veteran talk show host (July 7)


AMY MCGOVERN, 46, Vermont DJ, NASCAR reporter (July 15)
ART BERLUTI, 63, WADK news director (July 15)
BILL MCKIBBEN, 90, WBEN manager (July 20)
JOE KNOX, 72, WJRZ-FM founder (July 21)
ED ANSIN, 84, Sunbeam TV (WHDH/WLVI) owner (July 26)
REGIS PHILBIN, 88, national TV host (July 24)
DJ DAVE “BIG DADDY” BECK, 63, WBEE, WLGZ Rochester DJ (July 28)


HOBBES, 13, Vermont morning canine co-host (July 28)
SUMNER REDSTONE, 97, head of Viacom (August 11)
BRUCE RIDER, 71, Erie jock as “Bruce O’Brien,” “Bruce Kelly” (August 12)
KEVIN CONNORS, 67, NYC sports broadcaster (August 14)
JEFF LEVINE, 58, WBAB/WLIR program director (August 17)
SONNY FOX, 73, CHUM’s “Johnny Mitchell,” Philly’s “Fox And Leonard” co-host (August 21)
GARY BLAU, NYC, South Florida broadcast engineer (August 30)
JIM RAIMO, 51, WMAS/WHLL Springfield brand manager (September 17)
ROB JEANTET (ROB JONTAY), 67, WGSM station manager (September 24)
NORMAN WAIN, 91, WFAS, Metroplex Communications station owner (October 10)
RAY ZINCK, 72, CJLS Yarmouth NS president (October 14)
ED HUNT, 94, Philadelphia TV host (October 30)
ROY TAYLOR, 72, Syracuse broadcast engineer (November 4)
ALEX TREBEK, 80, Jeopardy! Host (November 8)
ELEANOR SCHANO, 88, first female TV solo anchor in Pittsburgh (November 9)
AL BONAPART, 97, WUFM Utica co-founder (November 13)
ROGER LALIBERTE, 85, WNRI “L’echo Musical” host (November 19)
PAUL “TANK” SFERRUZZA, 67, WBCN “Big Mattress” sidekick (November 25)


JACK HOROHOE, 77, Buffalo radio host (November 27)
PAUL DISAVINO, 105, former owner of WZMX (November 27)
MIKE “THE CHIEF” CSOP, 94, WICU Erie founding engineer (December 3)
JACK ELLERY, 86, WCTC talk radio host (December 8)
JIM JEFFERSON, 68, WJPA news director (December 11)


RITA HOUSTON, 59, WFUV program director (December 15)
KEVIN CONRAD, 65, WQED video editor (December 16)
CHRIS TOBIN, NYC engineer (December 18)



We’re one third into the year, so it’s time to put the Tower Site Calendar on sale.

Though the months are over the pictures remain, and they remain beautiful. Especially at half price.

This is the 20th year we have been publishing our calendar. In addition to the cover shot of WEJL, we have photos from New Jersey, Nebraska, Texas, and much more!

You can get the regular calendar, or you can order a storage bag for it if you keep them, or you can get it signed by Scott (and get a complimentary bag).

And when you’re purchasing your calendar, don’t forget to take a look at the other great products in our store.