Jim Harrington

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Jim Harrington

James Kane Harrington (born April 20, 1948 in Fall River, Massachusetts) is an American radio personality of the 1960s through the present and also a published author. He is a graduate of Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, Rhode Island and Thomas Edison State College of New Jersey, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication. He is the recipient of Thomas Edison College's Arnold Fletcher Award for Exceptional Achievement.

Highlights[edit]

Jim Harrington has worked on some of the biggest and most successful radio stations in the United States including, WCBS-FM in New York, WBZ and WMEX in Boston Massachusetts, WDRC AM & FM and WRCQ in Hartford Connecticut, KDKA, WWSW-FM and WTAE in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, WPTR and WGFM in Albany New York, WWVA in Wheeling West Virginia, WHBC in Canton Ohio, WICE in Providence Rhode Island and several other stations. He also did some uncredited on-camera work in the 1975 Universal Pictures film JAWS. For nine years, beginning in 1988, Harrington wrote, produced and directed radio and television commercials in the greater Pittsburgh area. He's the recipient of six Telly awards, an ADDY and a Pennsylvania Broadcasters Association Award. He is a published author. Jim's works include "Squeeze Play - A Jack Kane Mystery" and its sequel "Strike at the Giant - A Jack Kane Mystery". Harrington has also penned a screenplay version of "Strike at the Giant". Additionally, "Strike at the Giant" was a top 25 finalist in the 2007 Court TV (now TruTV) Crime Writing Competition. In 1995, Jim wrote, produced and directed a sitcom pilot entitled "All The Good Sports" which featured NFL Hall of Famer Rod Woodson, formerly of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Career[edit]

Jim started his career, in 1964, at age sixteen, in Fall River, Massachusetts, on radio station WALE, co-hosting a weekly radio program called "Youth Keeps In Touch" In the summer of 1967 he landed his first paying radio job on WCOD-FM in Hyannis Massachusetts consisting, mainly, of running tapes and doing short newscasts. In 1968 Jim did his first disc jockey show on WKFD, a 500 watt daytime radio station, in Wickford Rhode Island. Later that year he was hired to do afternoons on WSAR, a 5000 watt suburban Providence radio station. In 1969, Harrington was hired to do weekends and fill-in programs on WICE in Providence and in 1970, legendary radio programmer Charlie Parker, hired Jim to work full-time on WDRC AM & FM[1] in Hartford Connecticut. In late Spring of 1973, he moved on, temporarily, to WMEX in Boston.[2] He stayed with that station for just that summer. The daily commute to Boston from Hartford proved to be too much and he returned to WDRC in early Fall. He moved crosstown to WRCQ in late 1974 and did mornings for a year. While at WRCQ, he was hired to do fill-in and weekends on one of the largest radio stations in the country, WBZ in Boston.[3] He worked both stations until he was hired in 1976 to work on New York City's Oldies giant, WCBS-FM, where he did the 6pm to 10pm Monday through Friday program.[4]

Jim left WCBS-FM in 1979 to build and launch, what the State of Connecticut referred to as the country's first independently owned commercial cable television station CCTV Channel 1. The venture, though applauded for its efforts, was ahead of technology and unable to expand as predicted. It closed after a year and a half of operation.

In late 1980, Harrington returned to radio as program director and morning show host on WPTR in Albany New York. He was there for only a short time before being hired as program director of KDKA in Pittsburgh PA. After moving to Pittsburgh, Harrington was informed that the departing program director would not be leaving after all and he was given the position of Assistant Program Manager and swing announcer. In late 1983 he worked for a short time doing mornings on WPXY in Rochester New York. Unresolved contractual issues forced Jim to return to Pittsburgh after only a few months of working in upstate New York. In 1984 he was hired by the Hearst Broadcasting station in Pittsburgh, WTAE, to do mid-days. He left that station when it changed its format in 1988.

Shortly thereafter, he partnered with Pittsburgh radio personality Jay Mitchell, to form Harrington and Mitchell Advertising, Inc.. Jim was the President/General Manager and Creative Director of the firm, which ran successfully for nearly a decade, before ceasing operations, voluntarily, in 1997. In 1998, Jim was hired to do mornings on WHBC in Canton Ohio. His family was firmly committed to the Greater Pittsburgh area, so he leased a condominium in Canton and commuted home to Pittsburgh on weekends. After two years of commuting Jim was hired by Clear Channel Radio's Pittsburgh station, 3WS. In 2002, that company transferred Jim to their 50,000 watt AM powerhouse, in Wheeling West Virginia, WWVA, to program that facility and to do the morning show. Two years later, WWVA dropped all of its local programming, in favor of syndicated product and summarily dismissed all of its local talent and programming staff. In 2005, Jim hosted a nationally syndicated morning program, "Your Morning with Jim Harrington", on the Talkstar Radio network. In 2008, he was hired to host a syndicated morning program on The Oasis Radio Network, a new venture owned by Green Bay Wisconsin's Sovereign City Communications. Sovereign City appeared to be a well funded and fully capitalized company, but to the industry's surprise, it declared bankruptcy and abruptly closed after less than a year of operation.[5] Since 2009, Jim has concentrated on his writing and freelance voice work, which he records in his Pittsburgh-based studio. He continues to look for the next interesting radio opportunity.

Jim's been married for forty years to his wife Jean. They have two daughters and two grandchildren.

Jaws[edit]

Jim Harrington Working in Jaws

In early June 1974, the Boston local of AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) sent a message, to all its local members, informing them that Universal Pictures was filming the motion picture Jaws, on Martha's Vineyard and they were looking for extras. Harrington packed his car and headed for the island. A day into his 'extra' work, First Assistant Director Tom Joyner asked Jim to do some minor stunt work. The previous day, they had filmed a scene where two fishermen tried to catch the shark by attaching a chunk of meat to a hook and chain and then tying it to the end of a pier. The script called for the shark to snatch the bait and then, with hook in mouth, rip the dock in half, and take one of the two men on a 'Nantucket sleigh ride'. After being pulled by the shark for some distance, the fisherman was to roll back into the water, swim for the safety and scramble up the other half of the pier. As he's doing this, the shark pulls a U-turn and heads in his direction. The original actor had left Martha's Vineyard and Director Steven Spielberg needed to shoot some additional footage. Harrington was enlisted and spent most of the next day in front of the camera, performing parts of that scene.[6]

Jim Harrington on the set of Jaws

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