WOGL's 'Big Ron' Loses Battle With Pneumonia
April 28, 2008 at 1:47 PM (PT)
Shocker! ALL ACCESS brought you the sad news YESTERDAY (4/27) that according to PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER reporter MICHAEL KLEIN, radio has lost another legendary personality with the sudden death of CBS Oldies WOGL/PHILADELPHIA afternoon personality 'BIG RON' O'BRIEN (4/28), due to complications of pneumonia. This comes just a month after the passing of JACK ARMSTRONG (NET NEWS 3/24).
O'BRIEN, who had been sidelined for the last two months, was recovering and was set to be transferred to a rehabilitation center to complete his recovery, according to KLEIN's report.
Ron was a 'Radio Guy's Radio Guy'. A really gifted Boss Jock who evolved his on-air sound into one with the texture of true Personality Radio, yet updated and fresher sounding than ever for today's contemporary radio presentation.
This was RON's latest of several stints in PHILLY, the first at then-Top 40 giant WFIL-A from 1976-79. He also worked at WYXR (STAR 104.5) in 1996 and joined WOGL in 2001. Other stops in his career included KUDL-A/KANSAS CITY, KTLK-A/DENVER, WQXI-A/ATLANTA, WCFL-A/CHICAGO, WXLO (99X)/NEW YORK, WNBC-A/NEW YORK, WPGC/WASHINGTON, D.C., WOKY-A/MILWAUKEE, KWK/ST. LOUIS KFI-A, KIIS-FM, and KKBT/LOS ANGELES.
A WPGC tribute webpage can be found here.
Friends And Colleagues Remember Ron
ALL ACCESS Publisher JOEL DENVER noted, "This is truly a great loss for many of his close friends and the radio industry as well. People with as big a heart and passion for what they do, like BIG RON, don't come along every day. He will truly be missed by me and thousands of others."
CBS RADIO President & CEO DAN MASON noted, "BIG RON was an inspiration to disc jockeys all over the country. We all listened to the energy and excitement that he was able to bring to the radio. He will be missed by many fans. An air personality like RON can't be replaced. It is a loss not to be able to hear him on the radio any longer."
Added CBS RADIO/PHILADELPHIA VP JIM LOFTUS, " Everyone at 98.1 WOGL, CBS RADIO and the many, many listeners who have enjoyed the unique perspective of BIG RON O'BRIEN mourn his untimely passing. RON was a 'Radio Guy's Radio Guy.' A really gifted Boss Jock who evolved his on-air sound into one with the texture of true Personality Radio, yet updated and fresher sounding than ever for today's contemporary radio presentation. RON had a special way of introducing a song that he may have played a thousand times with a crisp new twist on it, an unknown tidbit on the artist or pop culture insight from music history that we either forgot or never heard before. His show was 'bright, tight and outtasight' day in and day out. RON's passing is a great loss for broadcasting, and he will truly be missed."
WOGL morning man and ROSS BRITTAIN REPORT Editor ROSS BRITTAIN said, "People toss around the word 'legendary' in radio as easily as sneezing. But in RON's case, it really did apply. Anybody who listened to him envied his ability, and in many ways he was the quintessential music radio DJ. I think anyone who gets into the radio business can only ask for one thing -- that the people you talk to are touched by what you say and who you are --and RON excelled in that. RON was without exception a great guy to everyone on the staff from the lowliest intern on up. He was a friend and I, like everyone else at the station, am much poorer for his loss."
WCBS-FM/NEW YORK OM/PD BRIAN THOMAS told ALL ACCESS, "We were lucky enough to have RON host two shows on CBS-FM "NEW YORK RADIO GREATS." Hear his last show at CBS-FM here.
Services are being planned and look to be set for FRIDAY.