Born: November 27, 1925, Youngstown, Ohio
Jones' fascination with radio began as a child when he repaired
household radios. When he was 16, he earned his amateur radio license.
He went on to become a broadcast owner, operator, and entrepreneur known
for his technical expertise. Childhood friends Bill Fleckenstein and
Bob Sauber, also young radio operators, were his early broadcasting
Jones began his broadcasting career in 1943 as an
engineer with radio station WERC in Erie. From there he went to WFMJ in
Youngstown, where he established himself with the special creative
touches he used to produce live local programming which often included
live orchestras and other special effects.
In October 1951,
he and Fleckenstein started daytime station WJET in Erie. With very
little financial backing, he developed the station into a full-time
facility. Jones and Fleckenstein then built another daytime station,
WHOT, in Youngstown. At WHOT, he developed dual sites with six daytime
site towers and five nighttime site towers to move WHOT to a full-time
facility. With this achievement, one of the first such achievements in
the nation, Jones established himself as an engineering expert in the
In 1959, Jones bought WEEP in Pittsburgh.
He quickly engineered a way to improve the facility (a 1kw AM station)
to become Pittsburgh's second 50kw AM station. Along with his AM
projects, he built FM stations to accompany WEEP in Pittsburgh and WHOT
in Youngstown. In 1987, when AM radio was losing its signature as a
band for music formats, Jones masterminded the conversion of WJET-AM
In 1966, Jones turned his attention to
television, as he built Erie's first color television station, WJET-TV.
WJET became the first television station in Erie to use videotape in
gathering news, another example of Jones' innovation and leadership. In
addition to his engineering achievements, Jones won industry
recognition for his programming expertise and community service. Each of
his stations achieved top ranking in its market.
named 1990 Radio Broadcaster of the Year by the Pennsylvania Association
of Broadcasters. In 1997 he and his partner, John Kanzius, received the
Distinguished Pennsylvanian Award from Gannon University in Erie.