Harry Shriver helped build WNST

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I found out via a text at 9:44 a.m. yesterday, but I couldn’t find anyone who could confirm the news that Harry Shriver died on Saturday.

This morning, more media outlets are reporting of his passing at the age of 74.

There is no person in this market who is MORE responsible for the existence of WNST.net and AM 1570 than Harry Shriver.

Harry was the guru of "Oriole Magic," a sweet-yet-crusty old bird himself, who married radio, sports, marketing, a baseball team and a song into a civic Renaissance that made Baltimore a baseball town in the late 1970’s.

You’ll be able to read plenty over the next day or two about what he did profesionally at WFBR — he hired Jon Miller, as an example, and he also threw Charlie Eckman off the air one night for being drunk on the air. (I have the tape…it might be one of the funniest 15 minutes in the history of Baltimore radio!)

What you might not know is how much of an impact Harry had on me in the mid-1990’s, when I was finding my way as a Dundalk guy doing sports radio on the AM band. This was when the Ravens were NOT AN OPTION — there was NEVER going to be NFL football in Baltimore again after we lost the 1993 expansion derby to Jacksonville and Charlotte.

Harry always gave me advice and did his best to "corral the Dundalk kid and make him a pro." I owe Harry Shriver a special debt of gratitude. Without him, WNST would not exist. That’s just a fact.

He paved the way for local sports talk radio and free speech. He believed in comedy and community and the power of radio. He also loved to send the occasional memo. Here is a classic that I found yesterday morning and one I will always treasure (mainly BECAUSE HE WAS RIGHT…AGAIN!)

He was never "my boss." He was just one of those "consultants" who always offered his time, his advice, his Eckman tapes and stories to help me build this place better for you. He always believed in me and encouraged me. I loved Harry and always enjoyed his company.

You’ll be reading plenty about him.

The old stories still stand the test of time. The only problem: Harry won’t be around to tell them anymore. And NO ONE told a story better than Harry!

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