WKOK has lost a member of our radio family
MILTON – WKOK is saddened at the news of the death of Jack Richards. He was a very popular radio personality here who was on the air for decades. His given name was Richard Chabala, but he was best known as Jack Richards, he died last night.
He was a morning personality on WMLP radio for several years, before a long stretch at WKOK as both an on-air personality and operations manager. His ‘Jack Show Radio Richards’ was a popular program on WKOK AM and FM.
Mike Powers was a co-worker with him at WKOK and said he was truly a unique talent. Powers said, “He was a pioneer of radio, when personality radio was so keen and he truly had the personality. Doing an air shift with Jack over the years, we had a great time with sports, and of course news, and the actual on-air announcing. He always brought along a smile and always brought along his personality. Everybody was saying, this is the Mike Powers Show. Well Jack used to say, this is Jack Show Radio Richards.”
Roger Haddon Jr. , president and CEO of Sunbury Broadcasting Corporation, grew up listening to Jack Richards while he worked at WKOK as a teenager. Haddon explained, “I was just a kid alphabetizing records and filing stuff away and it was really listening to Jack Richards day in and day out that made me say I want to stay in this business for a long time, not just because it’s the family business. To me, he was kind of a throw-back. They don’t make them like Jack anymore. There aren’t a lot of radio programs on. When I think through my lifetime of radio listening, I can’t think of anybody I enjoyed listening to more than Jack Richards.”
Haddon said AM radio has changed dramatically since Jack’s time on the air. He said, “Jack was a great AM disc jockey in the heyday of AM radio back in the 60’s and 70’s. WMLP, which we own now, and now is a talk station, used to be a great music station and MLP actually stood for Music Loving People. Jack was one of the most popular personalities. If there was a local Hall of Fame for radio personalities, Jack Richards would be in it.”
Richard Chabala died last night and is survived by his wife June. He also had children, Chad Chabala, Mark, Matt, Michael, Melody and Melinda Oliveri. (Ali Stevens)