Industry Mourns The Untimely Passing Of Nick 'Bazoo' Ferrara
January 12, 2015 at 10:07 AM (PT)
ALL ACCESS is deeply saddened to report the death of one of radio's legendary and most well-respected programmers, NICK FERRARA, better know as NICK BAZOO, following a two-car crash on I-10 near Highway 49 in GULFPORT, MS, this past FRIDAY (1/10) just after 6p.
According to police, NICK a resident of GULFPORT, MS, rear-ended another vehicle in the westbound lane, and passed away from the blunt force trauma of the accident, as he was apparently not wearing a seatbelt. The other driver was taken to the hospital.
During NICK's long and successful career he programmed WEZB/NEW ORLEANS, WBZZ/PITTSBURGH, KMEL/SAN FRANCISCO. NICK, a NEW ORLEANS native, had recently retired and moved to GULFPORT.
ALL ACCESS is awaiting details of services for NICK.
ALL ACCESS President & Publisher JOEL DENVER said, "I can't believe that NICK's really gone. Sadly we hear about our peers passing away all the time, but NICK was one of those folks you always felt would be around. He'd gone through some health issues in the past, but always rebounded better than ever. So to lose him in an auto accident was truly shock for me, and for many his friends. You will always be thought of and will always be missed, NICK."
Many of NICK's friends have commented on his passing on his FACEBOOK, page.
And, some have reached out here to ALL ACCESS to share their thoughts:
DAN VALLIE Founder & CEO of VALLIE, RICHARDS, DONOVAN CONSULTING, and currently Pres. of NATIONAL RADIO TALENT SYSTEM recalled to ALL ACCESS about how he met NICK: "I was programing 92Q in NASHVILLE and heard NICK on the air in PADUCAH, KY. I moved from NASHVILLE to NEW ORLEANS and we put B97 on the air on NEW YEARS EVE at HYATT REGENCY where the studios were at and we went on the air at 12:01a JANUARY 1st, 1980 and NICK, who I wanted to be part of the original staff, joined me two years later. Always himself, and one of a kind. NICK loved radio and people, and people loved him, too."
iHEART RADIO SVP/Programming Research & Strategy GUY ZAPOLEON, told ALL ACCESS, "I got to know NICK when I was at EZ COMMUNICATIONS programming for DAN VALLIE in the '80s at WBZZ (B94)/PITTSBURGH and he was at EZ's WEZB (B97)/NEW ORLEANS. Through the years as a consultant he reached out to me to help a young programmer he'd mentored, as so many people owe their success in this business to NICK. So while NICK put on a lot of successful radio stations, that accolade was exceeded by his big, big heart. We'll all miss this really wonderful human being."
RCA SVP/A&R KEITH NAFTALY reached out to ALL ACCESS about his time with NICK, "SUMMER of '84 I was tipped off that KMEL would be flipping to Top 40 from AOR and that NICK BAZOO from B97/NEW ORLEANS would be the new PD. I wrote him a letter asking him if would meet with me next time he was in SF cuz I thought he might benefit from a passionate music kid who grew up in the city.
"He called me right away, we met up and he hired me as Music Coordinator! It was the SUMMER of PRINCE's "Purple Rain" and MADONNA's breakthrough, so the music was awesome. NICK was a big-hearted enthusiastic programmer with a southern gentleman vibe. Funny too. He taught me how to cart-up music, ha ha. I will always be indebted to him for hooking me up at KMEL and I am just so sorry to hear about his passing."
TOM KENT RADIO NETWORK SVP/Programming and longtime radio consultant BOB HAMILTON told ALL ACCESS, "I am shocked to hear of the passing of my friend NICK FERRARA. Don't know the details but the good Lord has one hell of a great guy. I met NICK in the '70s and followed him thru the years. There is no one with a bigger heart and superb sense of humor. NICKY loved your Christmas card and will say a special prayer for you. Love you NICKY! We will miss you. GOD speed!"
JACK SILVER, currently PD of NBC SPORTS RADIO, was the outgoing PD when KMEL flipped from Rock on AUGUST 25th, 1986, and he recalled to ALL ACCESS, "It was NICK, me and KEITH NAFTALY. NICK architected the change over and was kind enough to keep me on as APD -- but KEITH was the musical driver there. I can remember carting up all the music and he was such a perfectionist. He'd brought LONDON & ENGLEMAN in for mornings, HOWARD HOFFMAN was doing afternoon, and MARVELOUS MARK McKAY was aboard, too. Such a great staff. NICK was not only a great guy, but a tireless worker and put in many long hours to make the station what it was. You will be missed."
And, a good friend from NICK's current market, ALPHA Adult Hits WQBB/GULFPORT-BILOXI, MS PD WAYNE WATKINS added, "NICK was not only a great friend, but a programming genius that launched great radio stations and touched the lives of so many in the business. We go back to the WNOE days in the '70s, and I am so happy to have been able to spend time with him in his final days after retiring here on the MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST."
Also, on the tribute site KMELFOREVER.COM, you can check out audio and video of NICK's launch of KMEL.
You may also leave your thoughts about NICK, below.