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WLS-AM Host Jake Hartford Dead At 63


The WLS website posted a statement from Hartford's family, "We're currently mourning the loss of Jake Hartford, a husband, father, and friend. This is devastating news for everyone in our family, and we greatly appreciate all of the kind words that have been offered to us during our struggle. It's truly incredible how many people he has affected positively through pursuing the work that he loved so dearly. Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts as we do our best to 'spring forward'." Hartford died of a massive heart attack. Read more about Hartford at the Chicagoland Media website

WLS Operations Manager Drew Hayes told Radio Ink last night, "Hartford worked at WLS beginning right when we became a talk station, hosting weekends while working as a news producer at Channel 2. He filled in on every shift, and held down his Saturday morning show ‘Awake with Jake’ (except for a brief, forgettable period when he was down the dial), and recently teamed with John Kass to host the excellent 9a-11a show. He will be missed by his wife Marsha and sons Jameson and Graham, by all of us, by his industry colleagues, and by his legion of fans. His wit, his always thought-provoking opinions,and his passion for the listeners are irreplaceable. Condolences and remembrances can be sent to his family at this address:"

Salem Radio V.P./News & Talk Programming Tom Tradup tells Radio Ink, "I hired Jake in 1989 just as we were ramping-up the format change at WLS from rock music to talk. He worked for us part-time, and his 'day job' was as researcher and editorial writer at WBBM-TV Channel 2 in Chicago. Jake was a unique melding of hard-news expertise and entertainment talent, and he was unequaled anywhere on Chicago radio."

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