John H. Garabedian is an American radio personality and disc jockey born on December 20, 1941 (age 75). He is best known as the creator and former long-time host of Open House Party. He has been involved in Massachusetts radio and television stations for over fifty years. Garabedian currently owns three homes, all in New England: one in Southborough, Massachusetts, another on Cape Cod, and a cabin-like home in Cabot, Vermont.
Early life and work
At the age of 17, Garabedian joined Worcester station WORC as a disc jockey. Several years after joining, he became a co-host of the original Open House Party radio program, which was a weekday show at that time. By 1971, Garabedian was a program director at WMEX/1510, and worked with well-known Boston-area disc jockey Arnie "Woo-Woo" Ginsburg.
In 1969, Garabedian and partners founded WGTR/1060 (now WQOM) as a top-40 station serving MetroWest from Natick. About a decade later, he and his partners added a second station, broadcasting from Nantucket, WGTF-FM (which eventually became the current WEII).
Later years (1980s–present)
Four years after MTV's 1981 debut, Garabedian and his aforementioned fellow WMEX alumnus Arnie Ginsburg started a Boston-area 24-hour music video station, WVJV-TV (now WUTF-TV). Their station, known by its nickname, "V66", mirrored MTV's early all-video format and lasted until 1986, when WVJV phased out videos and was sold to the HSN. "Life On The V: The Story Of V66" is a documentary released in 2014, about the channel.
Following the end of his first television venture, Garabedian returned to radio. In 1987, Garabedian restarted the Open House Party show as a Saturday and Sunday evening, all-request program on Boston station WXKS-FM. Over the next twenty years, the program grew into a nationally syndicated show, broadcast on over 150 stations in the United States.
Garabedian was also the founder of SupeRadio Networks and RadioCraft. In 2001, Garabedian sold SupeRadio to Access One Communications, and re-emerged with his own distribution company, RadioCraft. Garabedian not only was the creator of the syndicated Open House Party, but he also created the weeknight syndicated radio show All Nite Café in the 1990s. In 2005, it evolved into Romeo's Playhouse; today it is known as the Party Playhouse with Jackson Blue. In 2009, Garabedian and current WBQT afternoon DJ Jackson Blue launched a four-hour weekly program titled Celebrity Top 10 Countdown. Garabedian owned all three programs through RadioCraft, but they were distributed through Superadio and Westwood One after Garabedian sold Superadio in 2001. In 2008, current WXKS-FM (Kiss 108) afternoon DJ Romeo stepped down as the host of Romeo's Playhouse, Jackson Blue took over as the host, and the name was changed to the current Party Playhouse. After launching and selling SupeRadio Networks, and creating RadioCraft to self-distribute his three shows, Garabedian sold Open House Party, Party Playhouse and Celebrity Top 10 Countdown to United Stations Radio Networks, in 2012. Garabedian's production company, known as RadioCraft, was phased out altogether. SupeRadio Networks is still running, but is a division of Access One Communications. All assets of his shows are under ownership of USRN.
In 2003, 18 years after the start of V66, Garabedian founded his second music and youth-oriented television station, XY.tv. The channel found distributors, but ceased operations in 2006.
On April 16, 2016, Garabedian announced live on his radio show, Open House Party, that he would have a memoir of his life coming out. The book is titled "The Harmony of Parts" and was written with Ian Aldrich; it came out on October 3, 2016. The book details his life from his earliest years, including many of his early friends, along with his family members. It covers his life from the day he went on the air with a friend after producing a satiric record for Arnie Ginsburg to play on his show, to being hired and fired from WORC five times, and his travels from one station to another in search of a career that fit to his style of radio; launching his own radio station and then his own TV station; reviving the old "Open House Party" name and concept on Kiss 108, and then putting it on nationally via Superadio Networks, a network he built himself which featured a large array of mix shows and 24-hour formats, then having to sell Superadio, along with many of its assets. John adjusted to national radio and some of its unfair rules such as the "cram down" and "Premium Choice" that forced many of Garabedian's shows off the large-market stations; then, officially selling all of his remaining national assets to United Stations in 2012 and returning to local radio by purchasing four new stations on Cape Cod. Garabedian was inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2014, and continues to manage his radio stations, while also switching from one of his modest homes to the other. Coming to terms with his sexuality, being raised on the American dream, forming close relationships, conquering one's goals and creating one's own path for success rather than following a path that others set, are dominant themes in Garabedian's memoir.
A movie about Garabedian, but mainly his radio show, is in production and is expected to be released in the Fall of 2017. The film's director, Darren Rockwell, used to work for Garabedian as a phone screener at OHP and has had a long time bond to the show. The film is called "Super Radio FM: The Open House Party Story" and will feature one-on-one interviews with many of the show's past and present employees, along with many fan-submitted videos and audio clips.
Departure from OHP
On October 25, 2016, a press release stated that John Garabedian would not return as the host of Open House Party in 2017. Having hosted the original show since 1987, Garabedian sold the show to United Stations in 2012, which required him to sign a four-year contract expiring at the end of 2016. Garabedian said in the press release, "When I sold 'Open House Party' to United Stations four years ago, they required me to host for four more years. That expires at midnight this New Year's Eve. Though they were surprised I declined to renew, I explained that I had one major life achievement I had yet to accomplish and needed space to do it." On December 17, 2016, Garabedian announced at the end of his show, that United Stations had not found anyone to replace him yet and had asked him to stay on OHP until the end of January 2017, which Garabedian agreed to do. His final show aired on January 28, 2017.
It was announced in a press release and on the Open House Party Instagram page on January 5, 2017, that Sunday night host, Mike "Kannon" Hershberger would take over the hosting duties of Saturday night as well. Kannon is responsible for Saturday and Sunday nights, although Saturday night is most likely temporary until they can find someone else to host it long term.
Other projects and careers
Garabedian is the President of the Cape Area Pilots Association (CAPA). The Cape Area Pilots Association was formed in 1995 to further the interests of Cape Cod area aviation, promote flying safety, establish strong support for local aviation interests, and provide annual scholarships for local aviation students.
||This biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. (July 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1974 (PDF). 1974. p. B-100. Retrieved January 17, 2010.
- "The Boston Radio Dial: WBIX(AM)". The Archives @ BostonRadio.org. August 16, 2009. Retrieved January 17, 2010.
- Hilliard, John (June 12, 2008). "The short, eventful life of a local music video station". The Framingham Tab. Community Newspaper Company. Retrieved June 28, 2009.
- Codcomm, Inc. BOA-20151030AFZ (FCC Form 323 Ownership Report for Commercial Broadcast Stations), filed October 30, 2015
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