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Lite 98.7′s Mark Richards Celebrates Over 30 Years as a Radio Personality [AUDIO]

WESH Staff in 1980
Mark Richards TSM

My goodness things have changed in the radio business since I was a DJ on our high school radio station.  Take a stroll down memory lane with me as I look back at some of my career high lights.

Above you see some of my high school radio brethren; Marty, Dan, Kevin, Heidi, Rick and myself. Over the schools internal PA system, we would recite the pledge to the flag, read morning and afternoon announcements and we’d play music to a cafeteria audience during lunch periods. I fell in love with radio at a very young age.

Marty & Mark on WESH
Marty & Mark on WESH

One day while doing my afternoon show from the station at West Seneca East Senior High School, two local radio personalities, Larry Norton and the Bearman from 97 Rock walked in and invited me to do one of their stations weekend shifts, ‘The 97 Rock Amateur Hour’. If I wasn’t already hooked on this business, I surely was after doing that show.

WESH Logo
Mark Richards TSM

After high school I attended Buffalo State College and did shows on WBNY 91.3 FM, also know as “new music radio”. I was playing Sting, Prince and The Culture Club long before mainstream radio even knew who they were.

WBNY
Mark Richards TSM

Then, I went on to host a night show on Buffalo’s Kiss 98.5. Still the Top 40 leader in Western NY.

Kiss 98.5 staff
Mark Richards TSM

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After a 9 year run, I went to nearby Erie Pennsylvania to help launch Star 104.

Shari & The Shark
Photo by Jon Reily

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I also spent a few years doing a morning show in State College, PA.

Penn State
Mario Tama/Getty Images

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And now I’ve enjoyed over 11 years with Lite 98.7 here in Utica New York.

Lite 98.7
Mark Richards TSM

I’ve seen radio broadcasting evolve from reel to reel tape, carts, vinyl records with huge broadcast transmitters and towers to the digital and internet streaming broadcasting tools we use today, and what a change for the better. What used to take hours now is done in minutes. On the down side, the consolidations, syndication and voice tracking has decreased the job opportunities that were abundant in the 70s and 80s. Guess I got in at a good time.

Mark Richards
Mark Richards TSM

Well, God willing, I hope to enjoy another 30 years in my radio broadcasting career, or at least 20…then I’ll retire.

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