The New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters (NHAB) is saddened to learn of the passing of Gary Alan Howard at the age of 86.
Gary had the distinction of being named the very first New Hampshire Broadcaster of the Year in 1977, but his involvement with NHAB didn’t end there. During more than 20 years on the Board of Directors he represented five different stations. He served as president of NHAB twice – first in 1976 and again in 1992-93.
Gary’s long New Hampshire radio career began at WKNE in Keene in the the summer of 1958, where he was an announcer and salesman. In early 1962 he briefly crossed the border, working in a similar capacity at WTWN in St. Johnsbury, VT, before returning to WKNE in 1964. By November 1971 he was the general manager of WEMJ in Laconia, a position he held for 15 years. He spent part of the early 1980s in sales at WZID FM in Manchester. He left that position for WHOM FM Portland/Mt. Washington in early 1987. In October 1988 Gary and Bill Forbes formed Latchkey Broadcasting Inc., and applied for a construction permit for a new FM station on 101.5 in Meredith. That station became WWHQ, and later WMRQ (today WWLK). In 1994 Gary was named sales manager at WOTW (WMVU) in Nashua. Less than a year later he joined NH Public Radio (WEVO FM) as director of corporate relations. In 1996 Gary was named general sales manager of the new WOXF FM in Bedford (today WMLL). His last broadcast employment in New Hampshire was a return engagement at NH Public Radio in the late 1990s.
Gary died in the St. Petersburg, FL area where he spent many happy years in retirement.
Dirk NadonFebruary 12, 2023 at 8:31 pm
While Gary Howard was GM at WEMJ he gave me my first job in radio while I was in high-school in 1980. Later, Gary and my Step-Dad (Bill Forbes) started 101.5 WMRQ in Meredith, a station I’m now proud to own and operate. Gary was a Gentleman and Pro. Many people loved the guy, and so did I. God speed Gary.
Alan MacRaeFebruary 13, 2023 at 9:51 am
Beyond his amazing radio talents, Gary was a genuinely good human being. I worked for him when I was a teen, I actually rode my bicycle to the station (WEMJ) at O’Shea Industrial Park because I was wasn’t 16 yet. He was a mentor, and always gave positive, constructive criticism (yes, I got a couple of ’stern’ corrections along the way, too). I was lucky enough to do Laconia HS football broadcasts with him a few times, back when the ‘press box’ was a three story construction scaffold secured to a utility pole behind the main bleachers. It always was heart pounding to schlep the gear up to the 2nd story but, it was fun. I recall one rainy Friday night, you weren’t any drier than your raincoat made you. Water ran down through the cracks between the planks that made up the ‘floor’ above. Keeping the gear dry was a struggle. We had one of those mechanic’s lights, the kind with the metal cage and hook and, as Gary was doing the recap at the end of the game, a drop of water leaked from above and hit the hot bulb, which literally exploded like a gunshot. I don’t think Gary even flinched, and said something like “Well, I guess that wraps it up…”, handing it back off to the studio. Later in life, Gary and I continued to be great friends and, if memory serves me, we were in the Kiwanis club together for a good many years. I’m sure we all have memories like this so, I’ll stop rambling. Gary was a great man and I’m fortunate and grateful that our paths crossed so many years ago. He will be missed.
Keith MurrayFebruary 13, 2023 at 10:28 am
Gary was a Mentor, Teacher and friend during my early radio career. I first recall hearing his voice on radio commercials as a kid in the 70’s. His delivery always perfect and friendly. I remember thinking if ever I was on the radio I wanted to sound like that! Our paths first crossed at WWSS, Sunny 101.5. Bill Forbes hired me to be the program director and morning show host. Gary was my GM. We worked closely together and he taught me so much about operations, sales, billing…etc… Everything a disk jockey took for granted and knew little about. He was patient, guiding and just a wonderful man. I enjoyed working for him… although he always made it seem like we were working together. Later, he brought me back to NH to put on WOXF in Bedford/Manchester. What a ride that was! from build it out in the old cigar factory building, to putting a brand new station on the air to all the live events and fun we had in just 2 years. I loved every minute of it. I heard from him on and off over the years after retirement. He was always complimentary of my work in business and my ventures back on the air. He always said, “it’s an addiction, Keith. Broadcasting is in your blood and it will always bring you back.” He was so right. He was always supportive and instructive until he passed. I will miss him and so will our entire broadcasting family in NH. I only wished the younger generation of broadcasters could have known him as I did. Rest easy Gary. God speed.