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WDRC FM's Keith Dakin

July 7, 2014 - March 15, 2019


A graduate of Syracuse University's renowned Newhouse School of Communications, Keith Dakin picked up his diploma in 1998 and headed straight to a morning job at a southern New Hampshire radio station. He moved to Cox Media Group's Richmond station for two years, then it was seven years on the air in Boston, including responsibilities as program director. In July 2010 he rejoined Cox as Operations Manager for its Stamford/Norwalk cluster. In August 2012 Cox named Keith as its Operations Manager and Director of Digital Strategy for all of its Connecticut stations. In February 2013 Cox was purchased by Connoisseur Media, resulting in a 36-station chain. Connoisseur bought out Buckley Broadcasting in July 2014 which is how Keith began his affiliation with WDRC. In May 2016 Radio Ink Magazine named Keith as one of America's 50 Best Program Directors. Keith took over afternoon drive when Michael Picozzi switched to mornings in January 2017

PRIOR: WHOB FM Nashua, NH; WDYL Richmond, VA; WFNX Boston, MA; WSTC Stamford, CT; WNLK Norwalk, CT; WFOX FM; WCTZ FM

TODAY: March 15, 2019 was Keith's last day at 1029 The Whale.He returned to Connoisseur Media, LLC (WPLR, Star 99.9 & 95.9 The Fox (3-30-19).

audio:  September 14, 1973
WDRC's Ted Dalaku

July 23, 1973 - September, 1975


Ted joined Big D as a swing man, filling in on several shifts. He settled in on FM for a time before moving to the AM/FM morning show. He was the anchor for the short-lived WDRC Morning News, a half-hour program which aired from January 13, 1975 until June when cross-town competitor, WPOP, dropped music for an all-news format. His partners on the program were Walt Dibble and Bill Hennessey. His last air shift in the Hartford area was at WZMX, which he left in August, 1994.

PRIOR: WSPD Toledo, OH; WCWA Toledo, OH

AFTER: KSD St. Louis, MO; WTIC Hartford, CT; WWYZ Waterbury, CT; WZMX Hartford, CT

TODAY: Ted pursues a freelance voice career from his home in Florida (8-14-11)(e-mail).

audio:  September 14, 1973
WDRC's Russ Dana

early 1977 - March 1980


A Providence native, this Roger Williams College theater major was a staple during WDRC FM's album rock days (when the DJ's started each backsell with "FM--WDRC FM." Mainly he hosted the midday shift, 10AM-3PM, though Russ began hosting afternoon drive toward the end of his tenure. Russ was very interested in jazz and later did a Sunday brunch show which was very popular in Boston.

PRIOR: WAAF Worcester, MA

AFTER: WEEI FM Boston; WMJX Boston, MA; WSSH Lowell, MA; LITE FM Providence, RI

TODAY: Russ passed away August 25, 1991.

audio:   May 25, 1979
Dave Michaels (aka Charlie Daniels) at WRKO

May 21, 1979 - March, 1980


Charlie started at WDRC AM as the 7PM-midnight man using the name he had used in Boston, Dave Michaels. In January, 1980 he moved to the same slot on FM and changed his name to "Chuck."

PRIOR: WGNG Pawtucket, RI; WRKO Boston, MA; WACQ Boston, MA

AFTER: WIZD Ft. Pierce, FL; WSHE Ft. Lauderdale, FL; WRC Washington, DC; WDRQ Detroit, MI; KSLQ St. Louis, MO; WFAA & KRLD Dallas, TX

TODAY: After radio he had a lengthy career in electrical engineering, design and inspection. He is semi-retired and living in Los Angeles where he does voiceover work. (e-mail) (3-7-15)

audio:  May 25, 1979
WDRC's Brad Davis

April 11, 1977 - present


Brad holds the distinction of working at WDRC longer than any other announcer in the station's history. During the entire time he has hosted morning drive on WDRC AM (and sometimes FM, depending on the simulcast schedule). Born in Stafford Springs, and raised in Enfield, Davis is a U.S. Marine veteran. At WTIC TV he hosted a weekly show --a local version of American Bandstand--for 11 years starting in 1958. His background at WTIC included a heavy dose of journalism and it was easy for Brad to segue through various formats during his tenure at WDRC including playing Top 40, oldies, standards and talk. He has long maintained "I am NOT a disc jockey," but rather, a personality. At the end of 2009 he cut back his daily show by an hour and began hosting only every other Saturday morning. Brad celebrateed his 35th anniversary at WDRC in 2012.

PRIOR: WACE Chicopee, MA; WTIC AM/FM/TV Hartford, CT; WFSB TV Hartford, CT (e-mail).

TODAY: On October 20, 2015, Brad will be inducted into the Connecticut Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.

audio:  April 9, 1977

prior to April 17, 1987 - 1988


Jeff was another one of the satellite-provided voices during WDRC AM's affiliation with "The Oldies Channel."

PRIOR: KPRI San Diego, CA; KBZT FM San Diego, CA



audio:  April 17, 1987

WDRC's Bob DeCarlo

click for another
photo of Bob

January 12, 1970 - March 6, 1971


A New York native, Bob was raised in Scranton, PA. He graduated from the Pennsylvania State University and began his radio career at the college station. While Bob was WDRC's AM/FM morning man, most people forget he spent his first week on WDRC filling in for the vacationing Ken Griffin, 8PM-1AM. During his stay at Big D, Bob co-hosted a three hour "Battle of the Bands" special on Channel 30 (August 11, 1970). Charlie Parker once said he had tried several times to hire Bob who didn't want to leave his longtime program director's position in Providence. He later made up for it, working in several major markets around the country. For several years Bob was partnered at WUSA Tampa with another WDRC alumni, Judd Otis.

PRIOR: WDFM Penn State University; WICE Providence, RI

AFTER: KQV Pittsburgh, PA; WGST Atlanta, GA; KOGO San Diego, CA; WIOD Miami, FL; WUSA Tampa, FL; KLUV Dallas, TX; WVVE Panama City, FL; WPCB FM Panama City, FL

TODAY: After a stint in Houston, in February 2003 Bob and his wife bought the first of three McDonalds restaurants on Panama City Beach, FL; see his note (8-7-02). He retired from radio on September 30, 2006 (e-mail) (1-25-09).

audio:  August, 1970

November 2005 - 2006


Chris DeChellis joined DRC FM as a utility personality, filling in various shifts.



WDRC's Gary DeGraide

May 4, 1971 - April 6, 1973


Son of a Providence legend, Gene DeGraide, radio must run in his blood. Gary's time at WDRC included several shifts, including the utility shift dreamed up by program director Charlie Parker. On Sunday, he simulcast from 9AM-noon; Monday and Tuesday he was off; Wednesday morning from midnight to 6 he filled Rod Allen's AM/FM shift and came back at 7PM to do Joe Hager's 7PM-midnight on AM; Thursday he did 6PM-midnight for Pete Ross on FM; Friday he did his own FM show from 3-6PM; Saturday he did his own show from 10AM-3PM on AM. For the Christmas season of 1972, Gary and his wife, Susan, (a professional singer) recorded a series of customized jingles to complement the usual "Friends" package produced by TM. When Gary left for WRKO, he did all-night as "Gary Matthews."

PRIOR: WARV Warwick, RI; WICE Providence

AFTER: WRKO and WMEX, both Boston, MA; WPRO Providence, RI; WPJB FM which became WWLI Providence, RI

TODAY: Gary's 22-year run doing wakeup duty at WWLI ended on December 23, 2005; see his note (1-13-00). In 2008 Gary joined a Christian station, WSTL, in Providence to host Sunday mornings. Also see his voiceover website.

audio:  January 27, 1973
WDRC's  Walt Dibble

May 19, 1968 - April, 1977


A Greenwich native, he attended high school in Stamford and the New England School of Radio, in Bridgeport, in 1948. When Walt replaced Joe Barbarette as news director at WDRC, it marked the beginning of a long stay in Hartford. After Big D he spent another 20 years in a similar post at WTIC, working with the legendary Bob Steele, and later Ray Dunaway. When his newscasts included Cincinnati Reds scores, Walt had more than the usual interest--his son, Rob, was a pitching star for the club.

PRIOR: WSTC Stamford, CT; WICC Bridgeport, CT; WAVZ New Haven, CT

AFTER: WTIC Hartford, CT

TODAY: Walt passed away on July 21, 1997 at the age of 67.

audio:  May 23, 1969
Chip Donavon at WSRS

July, 1980 - September, 1981


Chip graduated from Curry College in Milton, MA with a major in communications and a minor in secondary education. During his stay in Hartford, he hosted Solid Gold Saturday Night on WDRC AM. He also hosted the afternoon slot, 2-7PM before replacing Bill Pearson on the 7PM-midnight shift. A man of many names, he was known as Charlie Donavon in Springfield..

PRIOR: WJBQ Portland, ME

AFTER: WHYN Springfield, MA; WSRS Worcester, MA

TODAY: Chip concluded a nine year run at WSRS in March, 2003; his current whereabouts are unknown. Listen for him using his real name, Ned Smith (10-10-04).

audio:  April 18, 1981
Dave Donavon/Joe Cipriano

May, 1974 - July, 1975


A child prodigy, he started his radio career while still in high school in Waterbury. At WDRC he was used on several shifts. Today, he is the promo voice of the FOX and CBS Television Networks. Visit his web site for all the details.

PRIOR: WWCO Waterbury, CT

AFTER: WRC/WKYS Washington, DC; WRQX Washington, DC; KHTZ, KKHR, KIIS, FOX Television, all Los Angeles, CA

TODAY: Today, using his real name, Joe Cipriano, he is one of the leading voice talents in the broadcast industry, based in Los Angeles. See his note (1-13-00). (e-mail).

Dennis Donavon at WWYZ

prior to August 18, 1985 - after July 7, 1989


PRIOR: WNVR Naugatuck, CT; WKCI New Haven, CT

AFTER: WJBX Bridgeport, CT; WDAQ Danbury, CT; WWCO Waterbury, CT

TODAY: WWYZ Waterbury, CT (1-24-00).

audio:  September 21, 1985

August-September, 1970


Timothy "Chip" Hobart's resume reads like a Rand McNally atlas. He has worked at many stations, usually not staying too long. Charlie Parker used him briefly as an FM fill-in, but since he had just come from WPOP, Chip used the name "Tim Donavon." Thus, he becomes part of the trivia question: what last name has most been used at WDRC (there have been 4 Donavons and 4 Roberts)? His radio sojourns have taken him acorss the country and back again to his native New England.

PRIOR: WDOT Burlington, VT; WDEV Waterbury, VT; WJOY & WVMT Burlington, VT; WKBR Manchester, NH; WKOX FM Framingham, MA; WAAB Worcester, MA; WTRY Troy, NY; WTOR Torrington, CT; WTBY Waterbury, CT; WPOP Hartford

AFTER: WNHC New Haven, CT; CKLW Windsor, ONT; WRKO Boston, MA; WOKY Milwaukee, WI; WIXY Cleveland, OH; WKRQ Cincinnati, OH; WEZE Boston, MA; WYSP Philadelphia, PA; KROY Sacramento, CA; KSFM ?; WVBF Framingham, MA; WDAI FM Chicago, IL; WJEZ Chicago, IL; KDWB FM Minneapolis, MN; WAPP New York, NY; WHTT Boston, MA; WQFM Milwaukee, WI; WVMX Stowe, VT

TODAY: WCLX Burlington, VT/Westport, NY (1-25-09) (e-mail)

audio:  August, 1970
Brian Dow at WHCT TV

April, 1977 - 1979


Born November 1, 1935 in Waltham, MA, Brian C. Dow served with the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. A journeyman reporter, he worked in the WDRC news department and was an instructor at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting.

PRIOR: WEXT West Hartford, CT; WBIS Bristol, CT; WINF Manchester, CT; WHNB TV Hartford, CT; WRCH Farmington, CT; WHCT TV Hartford

AFTER: WTIC Hartford, CT

TODAY: Brian died October 14, 2002, in Bristol, at the age of 66.

audio:  April 10, 1977
WDRC's Bill Drake

November 14, 1969 - December 28, 1969


True radio aficionados will see this name and do a double take. To be sure, this was NOT the man who developed the "more music" Drake format. Bill worked at WCCC before his obligation to Uncle Sam. After getting out of the Army, he did six weeks of weekend shifts at WDRC to prepare for the launching of the station's first permanent all-night show--and his new air name. (Also see DIK HADDAD). Trivia...Bill's Big D debut was from 11PM-1AM on a Friday night, doing the last two hours of the Ken Griffin show.

PRIOR: WINF Manchester, CT; WCCC Hartford, CT

AFTER: Executive VP & Creative Director of Mintz & Hoke Advertising, Avon, CT.

TODAY: Bill/Dik is a freelance writer and producer in West Hartford; see his note (1-10-12) (e-mail).

audio:  December 14, 1969
WDRC's Jill Dunay

prior to December 21, 2001 - late 2005


A native of Groton, Jill has been dancing since the age of three. She is a graduate of the Greater Hartford Academy of the Performing Arts and was a Fine Arts/Theater major at Eastern Connecticut State College where she was active in a theater group called Circles '96 that performed off-Broadway in New York. She also attended the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. Jill delivered traffic updates afternoons on the Doug Taylor show.



TODAY: In February 2006 Jill was married; she and her husband moved to Hawaii (1-25-09).

audio:  October 15, 2002
Steve Dunn @2000

prior to March 16, 1974 - May, 1974


In early 1974, Charlie Parker reshuffled the deck and released Pete Sullivan from morning drive. His replacement was Steve Dunn, but the magic lasted only a few weeks.

PRIOR: WSTC Stamford, CT; WRYM New Britain, CT; WCCC Hartford, CT; WELI New Haven, CT; WGSM Long Island, NY

AFTER: WTIC Hartford, CT; WWEL Medford, MA; WCRB Waltham, MA; WBUR Boston, MA

TODAY: Steve is a successful freelance voice talent in Boston, MA (781-344-7811) (4-13-00) (e-mail).

WDRC's Bob Ellsworth

February 2, 1971 - June 21, 1971


Robert J. Ellsworth was a child protege who gave a piano recital in Carnegie Chamber Hall at the age of 14. The New Yorker was a graduate of Colgate University and joined the U.S. Army in 1943, serving in the South Pacific. He was wounded by shrapnel - leaving him with a lifelong scar on his throat. Bob received a Purple Heart and bronze Star with a V for Valor. He later served 23 years with the Army Reserve and the Connecticut National Guard. During the fifties and sixties WTIC listeners recognized Bob's unmistakable booming baritone. He was also the first 11:00 p.m. news anchor on Channel 3 starting in 1957. When the WDRC news department had an opening, he was hired by Walt Dibble to do afternoon drive news. Later in his career, Bob was reunited with WTIC colleague Dick Bertel at the Voice of America.

PRIOR: WTIC AM/FM/TV Hartford, CT; WRYM New Britain, CT

AFTER: WKSS Hartford, CT; Voice of America, Washington, DC; WJMJ Prospect, CT

TODAY: Bob passed away on October 9, 2009, at the age of 84.

audio:  February 1, 1971
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