It is with great sadness that Nick Verbitsky, Chairman/CEO and the entire staff at the United Stations Radio Networks, Inc., (USRN) acknowledge the passing of DICK CLARK. Dick was a co-founder and shareholder in the company, our Chairman Emeritus, an on-air personality at United Stations and one of the guiding forces in our industry, and his presence will be sorely missed.
Dick Clark began his broadcast career in radio in upstate New York, and by the early 1950’s he had a radio show known as the Caravan of Music at WFIL in Philadelphia. The station’s TV affiliate had a teen-oriented show called “Bandstand” that Clark took over in 1956 and that Clark launched into national distribution the following year on ABC Television. Dick Clark’s unusual ability to be a successful on-air personality, music lover, businessman and host drove American Bandstand to unprecedented popularity. The show’s appeal to a young audience led to the affectionate nickname for Clark as “America’s oldest teenager,” although the show celebrated its 40th anniversary on the air in 1996. Numerous luminaries in music including Buddy Holly and James Brown made their national debuts on American Bandstand, and because Bandstand provided so many artists with the opportunity to reach a national audience for the first time, Dick Clark remains one of the most significant figures in re-shaping music and entertainment in America.
Dick Clark began hosting national radio shows in 1979 and introduced the weekly 4-hour Rock, Roll and Remember program to national audiences on Valentine’s Day, 1982, and that program has been broadcast continually ever since. He also served as the long-time host of Dick Clark’s US Music Survey, an Adult Contemporary countdown show. Also on the air currently are the daily short-form feature, Dick Clark’s Music Calendar, as well as Dick Clark Presents Rewind with Gary Bryan, a weekly 4-hour Classic Hits program flag-shipped at KRTH-FM, Los Angeles. Dick Clark was contributing weekly segments to that show
Nick Verbitsky, who has been partners with Clark since 1981 through two different incarnations of United Stations commented, “Dick was an icon to many, but a true friend, partner and mentor to those of us who worked closely with him. His impact on broadcasting is immeasurable, and his entrepreneurial spirit will be a part of our world at United Stations forever.”