J.R. Passes On

UPDATE: Visitation will be at 11 AM Saturday, and services 2 PM Saturday, at the Crosser Funeral Home in Oak Harbor, OH.

Details, and the obituary, are on the funeral home’s website

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Word is quickly spreading through the Cleveland radio community about the death of J.R. Nelson, who was battling cancer, but reportedly died of a heart attack Tuesday.

Former WMMS/100.7 programmer and current broadcast consultant (WNWV/107.3) John Gorman tells OMW:

(J.R.) worked at WHK, WMMS in the Malrite days, and I hired him as production director at WMJI under Omni America. He also did many of the parody songs for the Buzzard Morning Zoo on WMMS in ’85, ’86. I believe his last station – and the one he retired from was CBS Radio’s WYCD/Detroit.

Other OMW readers remind us that J.R. was also known for his on-air work at the old WGAR/1220, including in his stint as WGAR’s overnight air personality. The 50,000 watt signal of 1220 carried J.R.’s booming voice on the nighttime airwaves as far afield from Cleveland as North Carolina.

But nationally in the business, J.R. Nelson is known as an original member of one of radio’s most iconic gatherings…the “Z100 Morning Zoo” at top 40 powerhouse WHTZ/100.3 in New York City. At the time of Z100’s launch, it was a Malrite sister station to WHK/WMMS…

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