Gary Fries, 76.

One of the saddest things I’ve ever had to report is the passing of a good friend and a radio great. Gary was a radio person’s radio person, getting an early good start working for Dick Chapin in Nebraska. After managing several successful radio stations, he became the head of a pioneering satellite radio company, and then shepherded the RAB through some of its—and the industry’s—most active, if sometimes controversial, years. Current RAB chief Erica Farber pointed out that “under his direction, the RAB increased its membership and introduced and advanced numerous sales training programs.” Erica also pointed out that Gary was responsible for the first in-depth ongoing research project on how and why radio works; he was also a prime mover in getting radio to embrace electronic invoicing. Aside from all that, Gary was a good friend and a constant supporter of this newsletter and its publisher. Until recently, Gary would still occasionally send me emails of appreciation and encouragement. The industry, and I personally, have suffered a tremendous loss.