John Gorman, the Brains Behind 70s/80s WMMS, Talks About Broadcasting Then & Today

Tue 4/4 @ 7:30PM

Few people in northeast Ohio have as many great stories to tell and a knack for telling them in an engaging manner as John Gorman.

Gorman arrived in Cleveland from Boston in the summer of 1973, dragged west by his former Boston colleague Denny Sanders to try to revive a moribund rock & roll station called WMMS-FM. Not many people had much hope for the project. Gorman and Sanders and the team they assembled surprised everyone, creating a monster that ruled Cleveland radio until the late 80s and became a nation force, breaking artists such as Rush, Pat Benatar, Southside Johnny and of course, the Michael Stanley Band. While on-air personalities got much of the attention, it was Gorman behind the scenes who provided much of the direction.

Gorman has told many of the stories in his entertaining insider book The Buzzard: Inside the Glory Days of WMMS and Cleveland Rock Radio, which you should grab a copy of if you can. He puts you in the center of it all in a book you’ll likely devour in one sitting.

But he’s not done yet. He created the digital radio station oWow, which focused on adult-oriented music and local artists. Unfortunately, it was a victim of the pandemic, but he’s hard at work looking to revive it in a different form. And he’s a veritable encyclopedia of radio and media in general.

He’ll be talking about all of that at the Mentor Public Library (8215 Mentor Avenue) on Tuesday April 4, telling WMMS stories, exploring the state of media today and giving some hints about his new broadcast project. It’s free and open to all.

Mentor Library

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