Friday, March 04, 2016

RIP John Rook

Former WLS program director John Rook has passed away. From today's RAMP Newsletter...

We've lost another legend -- longtime programmer, consultant and station owner John Rook, best known for his successful stints at KQV/Pittsburgh, WLS and WCFL/Chicago and KFI and KABC/Los Angeles, died on Tuesday, March 1. Rook, who was 78, had been living in Coeur d'Alene, ID with his sister Dot and his adopted son Jason. Veteran programmer Dennis Constantine was a close friend of Rook, who hired him at Y100/Miami in 1973 and brought him out to do nights at KTLK/Denver six months later. Constantine told RAMP he and Rook had spoken on the phone almost every day over the past few years. "John was most proud of his years at ABC, first at KQV/Pittsburgh, then at WLS/Chicago," he said. "Years later, he competed against WLS when he went to WCFL. He has programmed and consulted many amazing radio stations with a very simple philosophy -- play the hits! He had a great ear for picking hits and he was a great coach for air staff. He was the first who taught me about 'one thought per break.'"

When I interviewed Clark Weber for Chicago Radio Spotlight a few years ago, he mentioned that Rook was the man who replaced him as PD at WLS in 1966...50 years ago.

"I learned I wasn’t prepared to be the program director. I was just lucky that everyone there got along well. It wasn’t really until Lujack arrived that I started to run into problems. That’s when they brought John Rook in to be the PD, and I was the happiest guy in the building."