Weekend DJ, Paul Cavanaugh
died of a heart attack in the shower after installing
a new hot water heater.
Jim Gray was the second
of two newsguys to have used the phrase, 'MacNamara
It is unknown when he
Masano passed away sometime in the '90's.
Jack died of a heart attack in the mid '90's at
his home in North Carolina.
Hetrick was the station's Chief
Engineer in the late '60s. He
left WPGC in 1971 and went to work for NPR, retiring
around 1994. Wayne passed away in 2007 at age 79 from
a heart attack and is survived by his son, Lee.
Marv Brooks, newsman,
Production Director, Good Guy DJ and later the voice
of the Capital Centre at Washington Capitals & Washington
Bullets games passed away 02/23/98 of a massive heart
Holmes was a Hillbilly music performing artist who
hosted his own show on WPGC in the Fall of 1954. He
passed away on 02/27/99. Read more at hillbilly-music.com
Guy DJ Dean Griffith
(Dean Anthony) died on 10/23/03 of cancer on Long Island.
Casey died of cancer at age 60 on 02/23/04. Read
more details below.
time WPGC Bookkeeping Supervisor, Chris
Fisher passed away 10/15/04 of lung cancer.
time DC area airborne traffic reporter, Walt
his battle with colon cancer on 01/04/05. Read
more details below.
more on Walt's days at WPGC from 1984 here.
Lee R. Johnson was an AM transmitter engineer in
the early '70's. He then became a transmitter engineer
at WUSA - TV 9. Lee passed away on 02/07/05.
the DJ', Jack Alix
came from WEAM
to WPGC in 1966 and did nights until 1968. He passed
away of complications from pneumonia on 11/15/06.
more details below.
Grant passed away of cancer at his home in Fort
Lauderdale, Florida on 04/28/07 at age 83. His teen
dance show on Channel 5 from 1956-61 was the highest
rated show on local DC television at the time. He
later originated a syndicated radio show at WPGC.
Read more below.
Big Ron O'Brien
was hired by Program
Collins (for whom this site is dedicated) to do
nights at WPGC in 1976 and continued through the Great
Strike That Struck Out in May, 1977. He later
joined Jim at 66
WNBC / New York. His final on air position was
in afternoons at CBS' WOGL
passed away of complications from pneumonia on 04/27/08
at age 56, ironically the exact frequency of one of
the stations he had once worked at, WFIL
/ Philadelphia. Read more below.
founding father, Harry Hayman passed away on
03/17/08 at age 91. He had been an electronics
engineer that worked at the FCC and was granted a
Construction Permit on November 12th, 1953 to build
and operate a new Morningside, Maryland AM broadcasting
station at 1580 kHz. He sold WPGC-AM to Max
Richmond for $10,000 on November 10th, 1954.
WPGC, Harry's illustrious career included a stint
working at NASA on the Apollo project as well as positions
with the Navy and Census Bureau.
Jim' Madison #4 - Dave Moore
Moore (no relation to Harv
Moore) was the fourth 'Good Guy' to use
the 'Gentleman Jim' Madison name, working part
time in 1969 at WPGC while in the Air Force at Andrews
AFB. He passed away on 09/15/09.
Austin held the distinction of being WPGC’s
longest employee ever, a remarkable 38 year run from
07/08/73 until her passing after a long illness on
began her career at the station as a Sales assistant,
continually working her way up the ranks to ultimately
become the station’s Business Manager, a position
she held for many years.
Cavaleri was the long-time General Sales Manager
of WPGC under
Giddens during the late '70s & early '80's.
left the station in 1983 to pursue station ownership
with Steve Kingston.
Sadly, Don passed away of esophageal
October 16, 2011.
did nights with the 'Late Date Show' on WPGC in 1961.
Later that year he succeeded Pat
McCoy in mornings, a role he continued in until
leaving the station for KYW in Cleveland in 1963.
1964 and 1965 he toured with the Beatles
as a roving reporter for NBC & Group W stations
to cover their concerts coast to coast.
Jerry passed away at 77 on September 15, 2013.
Major came to WPGC in 1958 from isster station,
in Las Vegas as PD
and did mornings. He left for WCBM in Baltimore in 1960.
He passed away on 09/25/2015 at age 80.
Walker in 1954
Walker was one of the first Air
Personalities on WPGC just six weeks after it
signed on the air from a farm on the edge of Morningside
near District Heights, working at the station for
exactly two years from June 4, 1954 to June 4, 1956.
His illustrious career included stops at many notable
Washington area stations including WOL, WWDC and WMAL,
but he is most fondly remembered for his work with
Willard Scott as 'The
Joy Boys' at WRC.
broadcast aired on 10/25/15. Three hours later, he
passed on to that great transmitter in the sky. He
was a true friend of this site, providing much information
about the earliest days of the station. Without his
help, the WPGC sudios and offices location in Hyattsville
from 1954-1956 might never have been found.
first arrived at WPGC during the Great
Strike That Struck Out in May, 1977 and covered
various airshifts for the duration of the strike.
He then returned to WPGC's sister station, KYAK
in Provo where he was PD and did mornings.
previously worked in Dallas at KNUS and in LA at KIQQ,
he wanted to get back to the major markets and returned
to DC to work at Q107
in 1979, staying for about a year before he jumped
ship and returned to (wait for it...) WPGC again!
Still under contract to ABC who got an injunction
preventing him from continuing at WPGC, he left for
Bonneville's Soft AC in Chicago.
would later return to Southern California working
on and off the air at the Unistar / Westwood One /
Dial-Global Radio Networks on a variety of satellite
formats heard coast to coast.
Sadly, Don passed away on September 10, 2017. Shortly
before D-G shut down the LA facility, he sat down
for an interview for this site and spoke of several
of his colleagues he worked with back in the day as
well as gives his impressions of a number of his own
WPGC airchecks, found on his
You can also read elsewhere his obituary,
and read tributes
from his many colleagues in the industry over the
'Radio & Records':
Broker Charles Giddens Dies
Giddens, who co-founded and was Managing Director of Media
Venture Partners, died yesterday morning in a Naples, FL hospital
after suffering a brain hemorrhage on Monday. He was 57. Giddens,
who lived in Naples, spent more than 30 years in broadcasting.
He was a station owner and Group VP of Marriott’s First Media
in Greenbelt, MD before Media Venture Partners was formed
in Washington, D.C. in 1987. In lieu of flowers, Charles'
widow, Joanne, and their daughters Cassandra & Kelly have
requested that donations be sent to the Garden of Hope and
Courage at Naples Community Hospital, P.O. Box 234, Naples,
Giddens Scholarship Fund
fund was created in memory of the Media Venture Partners co-founder,
who died last week at age 57 of a brain aneurysm. Contributions
can be made payable to the University of Georgia Foundation,
with "Charles Giddens Scholarship Fund" in the memo line of
your check, and mailed to the foundation (attn.: Bill Herringdine)
at 824 S. Milledge Ave., Athens, GA 30602. The fund will be
directed to the Grady College of Telecommunications and Journalism,
where it will provide a yearly scholarship to a student attending
the Univ. of GA & Grady College.
to the family and many friends of Barnstable Adult Standards
WHLI / Long Island PD and host Dean Anthony who has died of
cancer. He was a longtime fixture in the New York and Nassau-Suffolk
markets and was one of the "Good Guys" at legendary
Top 40 WMCA.
the New York Daily
Guy Anthony Dies
October 25th, 2003:
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Anthony, a 1960s WMCA
Good Guy who spent his last two decades piloting Long Island's
WHLI to great success as
a popular standards station, died yesterday of cancer. He
reputation as a radio Good Guy went well beyond his famous
years at WMCA.
"I don't know anyone who didn't like him," said
Frank Brinka, WHLI news
was the midday host and program director at WHLI,
which he called his most satisfying achievement in radio.
he also looked fondly on his days as a WMCA
Good Guy and was a regular participant in WCBS-FM's
"Radio Greats Reunion" weekends.
started in radio in Virginia and came to WMCA
in 1964. He was best-known for a game he called Actors and
Actresses - "No prizes, just for fun" - that he
played on the overnight shift.
said a picture on the wall at WHLI
showed Anthony talking with John Lennon and Paul McCartney
at a WMCA
used to listen to him when I was growing up," Brinka
said. "I considered it an honor that he would hire me
in 1970 and spent a year at WWDJ before moving to beautiful-music
WTJM. He came to WHLI in
York Daily News:
a Good Guy
& a Great Programmer
October 30, 2003:
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
the many things Dean Anthony did at WHLI,
where he was Program Director and host for 22 years, Jane
Bartsch says her favorite is the bumblebee speech to the sales
is a modestly powered AM station that only broadcasts in the
daytime. Its format is pop standards. By today's thinking,
that's about the least promising combination you can imagine.
to Dean Anthony.
get up in front of the room," says Bartsch, who was then
vice president. "And remember, he was Italian, so he
had all the hand gestures. He'd say, 'The bumblebee isn't
supposed to fly, because its body is longer than its wingspan.
But it flies. And WHLI isn't
supposed to have the ratings it does. But we do.' It fired
everyone up. It was a perfect speech."
some people, of course, Dean Anthony might be better remembered
from WTFM, WHN or, most likely, his years in the '60s as one
of the famed WMCA
he died last week of cancer at the age of 68, fellow Good
Guys, Dan Daniel, Gary Stevens and Ed Baer went to the wake.
Joe O'Brien and Harry Harrison sent their condolences.
don't know of anyone who didn't like Dean," says Daniel.
"I don't ever remember an unkind word said about him."
was one of the most generous men in the business," says
Baer. If a veteran were working part-time but not getting
enough airshifts to keep up his medical benefits, for instance,
Anthony would offer him the shifts he needed to qualify.
was the host jock for the Beatles'
first U.S. concert when he was working at WPGC in Washington,
and he was part of the whole frenzied top-40 radio world of
the '60s at WMCA.
stood out in that world as one of the last men with a '50s-style
crew cut. But Daniel says he used it to his advantage.
Good Guys shows at the Paramount were five shows a day for
10 days," Daniel recalls. "And we all had to be
on and off stage all the time in different Good Guy sweatshirts.
So after a while we all had zippers put in so we didn't mess
up our hair when we pulled them off. With Dean, it didn't
was particularly good, Daniel recalls, at working the crowd:
"The fans could stay all day, so by the late show there'd
always be some guy yelling, 'You told that joke this morning.'
Dean always had a great retort. He was so quick."
cracked up his fellow jocks, too.
music meetings to listen to new releases were every Tuesday,"
says Daniel. "Many days the whole meeting turned into
falling-down laughter, and a lot of the funniest lines came
from Dean. We'd have listened to all the records, and we'd
be having too much fun to leave."
the air, Anthony sounded relaxed, and Baer says he was that
way in person, too: "very easy going, always under control."
was as if he had this quiet in the midst of this tremendous
passion," says Daniel. "Like the 'Actors and Actresses'
game - 'No prizes, let's just play.' He made it fun just being
who was his boss for nine years before she moved to WHUD,
says the bumblebee speech was classic Anthony - intense, focused
was a curmudgeon in the very, very best sense of the word,"
she says. "He made WHLI
a great place to work, but when it came to the programming,
he was dead serious. It had to be the best."
was, too. His improbable station has stayed at or near the
top of Long Island ratings for years.
was a brilliant programmer," says Bartsch. "And
he'd take a chance. He was one of the first to play the 'Macarena.'
loved the Good Guy days, but he said WHLI
was his proudest achievement," says WHLI
news director Frank Brinka. "He made it a great place
to work. It was an honor to work for him."
didn't always see each other in later years," says Daniel.
"But we were always friends. Whenever anything happened
in my career, Dean would get in touch to say something kind."
is survived by his wife, Connie, and his daughter, Louise.
He was buried in a Mets cap.
are very sorry to report the passing of veteran programmer,
Al Casey on Monday, February
23, 2004 at age 60 of cancer. Al's long list of programming
success stories included WMYQ / Miami, WDRQ / Detroit, KSLQ
/ St. Louis, 99X / New York, and WHB / Kansas City.
was hired by General
Manager, Jeanne Oates
to replace the departing Jerry
Steele as Program
in 1983 and attempted to reposition the station closer to
its former hipper, heritage position
as 'The New 95' but was pre-empted by station ownership
more intent on stealing WASH-FM's
then recently relinquished adult contemporary crown.
his accomplishments, he will be remembered for first teaming
Jeff Baker & David
Burd for mornings to try and offset the station's declining
ratings, but it was too little, too late.
is survived by his wife, Janie.
You can write to Janie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
want to thank everyone who has called asking about Walter,
as well as the hundreds of letters and emails from well wishers
concerned about Walter," says Sharon, his wife. "As
you can imagine, all of the calls have been overwhelming and
I have not been able to speak with everyone. I've been concentrating
on Walters care."
adds: "We received the news from doctors two weeks ago
that Walter would begin hospice care. Walter wanted to be
at home with his family and friends and not in a hospital.
Walter has fought the good fight and unfortunately for us
all he has lost his fight with this dreadful disease".
Alix (aka, 'JA the DJ')
With great sadness we report the untimely passing of WPGC
Good Guy, Jack Alix. JA
the DJ was hired by WPGC Program
Warren Duffy from WEAM
for nights in 1966. His command of the teen audience at WPGC
was all the more remarkable in that the AM signed off at sunset
yet willingly followed him over to the FM after dark in an
era when FM receivers were not widespread. His years in Washington
radio included stops at other stations including WEEL,
and notably, mornings at WXTR.
After leaving WPGC in 1968, Jack hosted a teen oriented dance
party show Monday through Fridays on Channel 20, Wing
Ding (later renamed, 'The Jack Alix Show')
from 5/13/68 - 4/20/69. During the 70s he hosted
a nationally syndicated radio show, Rock N
Roll Roots, heard at one time on 143 stations (hear
a demo of the show at ReelRadio.com
subscription required). He later moved into management
in Richmond and recently received the Lifetime Achievement
Award from the Richmond Association of Broadcasters.
Jack was a true friend of the WPGC Tribute Site over the years,
often providing background information about the station during
his days there. Read his personal recollections as well as
hear vintage WPGC airchecks of him at his
page. A defining personality of the era, his was a larger
than life persona. He was in fact much more than just a Good
Guy; he was a GREAT Guy.
is with great sadness we report the passing of one of Washington's
broadcast pioneers, Milt
Grant who died of cancer on Saturday, April 28th,
2007 at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was 83.
Milt will forever be remembered for his teen dance show on
Channel 5, which ran every night from 1956 - 1961 and was
produced live in front of a studio audience in the Raleigh
Hotel at 12th and Pennsylvania Ave, NW. He also co-authored
the song, 'Rumble' with Link Wray who fronted the house
band on the show. See a short clip of LaVern Baker performing,
'Jim Dandy Got Married' on 'Milt
Grant's Record Hop' on WTTG-TV from Monday, May 27th,
1957. Also see a sales
pitch he did for the show to sponsors that same day.
his TV show came to an end, he organized the first 'network'
of stations in the DC area for a syndicated
radio program that ran Saturday & Sundays from 1-4PM
on WPGC, WINX,
He had previously been heard in 1959 on WWDC.
His ventures into TV ownership covered a period of over 30
years, beginning with Channel 20 in Washington in 1966 coinciding
with the advent of UHF television frequencies. During the
'80's the Grant Broadcasting System operated television stations
throughout the country, including Dallas, Houston, Chicago,
Philadelphia, Miami and a host of smaller markets. (Read the
release of his passing from his station in Huntsville).
lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made
to American Cancer Society.
More information on the life and times of Milt can be found
at the following sources:
(Washington) Evening Star (06/01/58), 'Milt Grant Plugs
A Hit - His Own'
Washington Post, (05/02/07) 'Curtain Drops on The Milt
Washington Post, (05/02/07) 'Before Dick Clark, Washington
Had Boogied on Milt Grant's Show'
Washington Post, (05/03/07) 'Milt Grant; Dance Host,
TV Station Entrepreneur'
Fox 54 / Huntsville
Disc Jockey Big Ron OBrien Dies
"Big Ron" O'Brien, afternoon disc jockey on WOGL
(98.1) and a former WFIL
"Boss Jock," died this morning of complications
O'Brien, believed to be 56, had been ill for nearly two months
and was hospitalized at Paoli Memorial Hospital before being
transferred to a rehabilitation center in West Chester. He
seemed to be improving about a week ago, Jim Loftus, the station
O'Brien had been at WOGL,
a classic hits station specializing in music from the 1960s
and 1970s, since October 8, 2001. Loftus described
Mr. O'Brien as a musicologist who not only knew his play list
but was well-versed in contemporary music.
never knew a guy who loved being on the air as much as he
did," said Anne Gress, WOGL's
Program Director. "There was such joy in his voice. He
was put on this earth nothing other than to be on the air."
O'Brien's first stint in Philadelphia was at the top-40 WFIL,
a home of rapid-fire disk jockeys, from 1977 to 1979.
Midwesterner, he started his career in 1969 at KUDL in Kansas
City, according to a biography from the Broadcast Pioneers
of Philadelphia. A year later, he went to KTLK
in Denver. In the next six years, his radio station stops
included WQXI in Atlanta, WCFL
in Chicago, WPGC in Washington, D.C., 99X
in New York and WOKY in Milwaukee. He landed in Philadelphia
toward the end of its "Famous 56" halcyon days then
1979, he moved to Los Angeles, where he worked first at KFI
and then at 66
WNBC / New York before returing to LA at KIIS-FM then
moving to KWK
in St. Louis in 1985. He stayed for nine years, until his
return to Denver at KZDG.
returned to Philadelphia in 1996, when he joined WYXR (Star
104.5). On October 8, 2001 he joined CBS' WOGL,
where he hosted the 3-7PM weekday shift. He won several Achievement
in Radio awards in Philadelphia.
lot of guys like me looked to guys like him to inspire their
careers," said Loftus. "We are incredibly saddened.
He was one of the greats."
is survived by his mother.