Wednesday June 19, 2013

Former WRVO General Manager John Krauss Dies

Veteran GM built local public radio station from ground up

    Former WRVO general manager and on-air host John Krauss died Monday in Oswego.

    Krauss was one of the longest-serving station administrators in public broadcasting having held various managerial titles for more than 40 years, 14 as general manager.

    He retired in 2010. Krauss was 64.

    Krauss started at the then 10-watt WRVO on Jan. 6, 1969, the day the station signed on the air at SUNY Oswego.

    WRVO’s primary transmitter at Oswego now broadcasts at 50,000 watts.

    “It would be impossible to overstate John’s contribution to the growth of WRVO over the years,” said WRVO General Manager Michael Ameigh. “When he took over as general manager, WRVO had five full-time staff members. At the time of his retirement, the staff numbered 17.”

    “He was first and foremost an engineer whose understanding of signal propagation and other technical aspects of broadcasting resulted in expansion to a network of 10 transmitters serving at least 20 counties of upstate New York,” Ameigh added.
    According to Ameigh, that expansion will continue thanks to Krauss’ expansionary vision.

    “John’s foresight in applying a decade ago for additional repeaters to fill voids in WRVO’s signal coverage, particularly in the Mohawk Valley and southern Finger Lakes, will result in additional coverage,” he noted.

    To many WRVO listeners, Krauss may have been best known as the long-time host of “The WRVO Playhouse,” a nightly rebroadcast of national network radio programs from the 1930s-1950s.

    WRVO Senior Producer Mark Lavonier, an expert in his own right on the history of old-time radio, has continued that legacy as host of “Tuned to Yesterday,” a spin-off of the Playhouse format heard daily from 10 p.m. to midnight on WRVO. The station’s archive of Golden Age radio programs is one of the most extensive and complete in the world.

    WRVO Public Media is a nonprofit public radio service licensed to SUNY and based at SUNY Oswego. Its multi-station network serves more than 15 counties of central and northern New York from transmitters in Clayton, Oswego, Syracuse, Utica, and Watertown. Low-power translators serve Geneva, Hamilton, Ithaca, Norwich, and North Watertown.