Former WVUD Engineer Dead at 62
Former WVUD(FM)/WXDR(FM) engineer Richard McGuire, of Newark, Del., died unexpectedly on June 19 at age 62.
Born Aug. 10, 1949 in Upper Darby, Pa., he was a man who will be remembered by colleagues and friends as “complex,” full of humor and “big-hearted” — a guy who headed south to help after Hurricane Andrew devastated the Florida coast, his vehicle loaded down with supplies from the Red Cross.
Possessed with a voice made for radio, he worked at myriad stations in Wilmington, Del. and Newark, Del. from the mid–60s until 1995. Passionate about radio from an early age, he started a pirate radio station, WTFC, at the age of 15 and continued to broadcast on the air at least once a year for 40 years.
As detailed in an email to Radio World by former co-worker Chuck Tarver, the way that McGuire landed his gig at WVUD/WXDR reads almost like a page out of an instruction manual for how to get hired.
As Tarver recalls, the station had just ended its frustrating search for a chief engineer, resigning themselves to just not filling the position.
Then, in walked McGuire, as a fill-in at first. “McGuire put the station back on the air and then just hung out,” Tarver wrote. “During that time he corrected some of the minor problems in the studio and charmed the students and community members. The next day he brought his résumé … This unique character fit the unique character of the station.”
An active member of the station’s team, he would often host the station’s annual summer picnic at his house. He was also a key player in moving the station into the digital era, Tarver said.
Steve Kramarck remembers his friend Rich’s Winnebago, from which they would do a live Marti broadcast with music while driving around.
“You had to turn the Winnebago antenna adjuster to keep the Marti antenna aimed at the tower as you made turns,” Kramarck wrote. “Rich was a very interesting man, and was one of those people that had an immensely intriguing story for almost any topic or situation. He will be missed.”
McGuire was also quite the joker — programming a Gentner transmitter to say “provocative things,” Tarver added. “Despite its limited vocabulary.”
Tarver finished his email with a sentiment echoed by many others about the loss of McGuire: “I’m saddened by his death.”
McGuire is survived by his mother, three sisters and many friends and colleagues.
A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. June 25 at All Saints Cemetery in Wilmington, Del. For more information, visit www.rtfoard.com.