Howie Chizek

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Howie Chizek
Howie Chizek.png
Birth name Howard Alan Chizek
Born (1947-06-09)June 9, 1947
University Heights, Ohio
Died June 16, 2012(2012-06-16) (aged 65)
Orlando, Florida
Show The Howie Chizek Show
Station(s) WNIR 100.1 FM
Time slot Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Style Talk/Call-in
Country United States
Website http://www.wnir.com/

Howard Alan "Howie" Chizek (June 9, 1947 – June 16, 2012) was an American radio personality, former public address announcer and philanthropist.[1]

Career[edit]

Radio[edit]

Chizek got his start in radio at Youngstown State University in 1964.[2] Then, after a five-year stint at Youngstown's WBBW, Howie Chizek started hosting a talk radio show in the Akron, Ohio, market on WNIR FM-100.1. He began broadcasting with WNIR, then WKNT, on June 3, 1974, and remained there until his death in 2012. Chizek had the longest-running, no-guest talk radio show in America.[3] Throughout that time, the show had included a listenership of over 300,000.[4] It ran six days a week, from Monday through Saturday. His talk show aired 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturday.[1] Chizek's success is credited with allowing WNIR to be the first FM station in America to go all-talk in 1979. Listeners heard The Howie Chizek Show for 38 years on-the-air from Cleveland to Canton and, in more recent years, around the world via online streaming.[2]

Cleveland Cavaliers[edit]

Chizek was a former public address announcer for the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association at the Richfield Coliseum where he served throughout much of the 1980s and 1990s. According to the official NBA website, Chizek was given credit as having provided memorable NBA quotes including: "Larry Bird just throws the ball in the air and God moves the basket underneath it.” "Mark Price for tha-ree.” and "Craig Ehlo for threeeeeeeeeee."[5]

Cleveland Force[edit]

Chizek was also the former public address announcer for the Cleveland Force (Cleveland Crunch) of the Major Indoor Soccer League where he served throughout much of the 1980s.[6]

Other announcing work[edit]

Throughout the 1970s, Chizek served as the public address announcer for two pro-hockey clubs, the Cleveland Barons and Cleveland Crusaders, and for the Cleveland Nets of World TeamTennis. He served as the announcer for Benedictine High School home football games at Cleveland Heights High School throughout the 1980s, as well.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Early life[edit]

Chizek was born in University Heights, Ohio, on June 9, 1947, to Joseph and Sylvia Chizek. He had one brother, Lawrence Chizek.[7] In his younger days, Chizek was a child actor, performing at venues such as Cain Park in Cleveland Heights and the Cleveland Play House.[4]

In 1964, Chizek started a band called The Runaways for which he sang lead and played the guitar. They played the Cleveland and Northeast Ohio area and, in 1965, they recorded a single "I'm a Runaway"/"It Can't Be Long." Chizek wrote both numbers, and "I'm a Runaway" became a hit in Northeast Ohio. The band broke up when Chizek went to college.[8]

In high school, Chizek's powerful voice contributed to the Heights High Choir.[5] After graduation from Cleveland Heights High School in 1965, Chizek received a bachelor's degree in communications from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.[6] Chizek was later inducted into the Cleveland Heights High School Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame.[7]

Later life[edit]

Chizek lived in Twinsburg, Ohio, at the time of his death.[9] He previously resided in the Cleveland suburbs of University Heights, Solon and Bedford Heights.[8]

Philanthropy[edit]

Chizek founded several charities, including the Helping Hand program to feed people in Akron and New Adventures youth program.[10] For 21 years, he was a volunteer assistant head football and baseball coach at St. Ann's School, later renamed Communion of Saints School, in Cleveland Heights. He was also an umpire in South Euclid baseball leagues for many years.[9]

Death[edit]

On June 16, 2012, Chizek suffered a heart attack in Orlando International Airport. He was found unresponsive on a terminal bench. After being transported to Florida Hospital East, he died at 7:40 p.m. from atherosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease, according to the local Medical Examiner's Office.[11] He was en route to the Walt Disney World Resort, taking ten children from the Cleveland Heights area on a summer trip as part of his annual New Adventures charity.[12]

WNIR talk shows were flooded with phone calls in the days following Chizek's death.[13] Although Chizek's burial at Crown Hill Cemetery in Twinsburg was private,[14] his funeral service was broadcast on WNIR.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pollack, James (16 June 2012). "Legendary Akron radio host Howie Chizek dies of heart attack". Cleveland Plain Dealer. 
  2. ^ Sever, Mike (16 February 2012). "WNIR celebrating 50 years on the air". Record Courier. 
  3. ^ Wittenberg, Ed (20 June 2012). "Updated: Radio talk show host Howie Chizek, Cleveland Heights High School graduate, dies at 65". Cleveland Plain Dealer. 
  4. ^ "NEWS … AROUND … THE … LEAGUE". The Optimist. NBA Media Ventures, LLC. 22 June 2012. 
  5. ^ Levine, Les (18 June 2012). "WNIR's Chizek one of a kind behind any microphone". Cleveland Jewish News. 
  6. ^ Feran, Tom (17 June 2012). "Howie Chizek, Akron radio host and former Cavs announcer, is dead at 65". Cleveland Plain Dealer. 
  7. ^ "HOWARD "Howie" CHIZEK". Cleveland Plain Dealer. 20 June 2012. Retrieved 21 June 2012. 
  8. ^ Lehman, Doc (19 June 2012). "The Radio King Was a Rocker". WordPress.com. 
  9. ^ Cooper, Mitch (18 June 2012). "Twinsburg's Howie Chizek, WNIR Radio Host Dead at 65". Twinsburg Patch. 
  10. ^ Powell, Cheryl (16 June 2012). "Akron radio host Howie Chizek dies at 65". Akron Beacon Journal. 
  11. ^ Pavuk, Amy (18 June 2012). "Ohio broadcaster, former Cavaliers announcer dies in Orlando". Orlando Sentinel. 
  12. ^ Staff and Wire Reports (18 June 2012). "Longtime WNIR host Howie Chizek was traveling for charity work". Record Courier. 
  13. ^ Osborne, Pamela (June 19, 2012). "Akron: Remembering WNIR's Howie Chizek". WKYC.com. Retrieved June 25, 2012. 
  14. ^ Kaufmann, Tina (19 June 2012). "Memorial service set for longtime WNIR radio personality". NewsNet5.com. 
  15. ^ Wittenberg, Ed (June 20, 2012). "Radio talk show host Howie Chizek, Cleveland Heights High School graduate, dies at 65". Sun News. Retrieved June 25, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Paul Porter
Cleveland Cavaliers Public Address Announcer
1984—1995
Succeeded by
Jeff Shreve