Ron Chase of Radio Online celebrates 50 years on radio
Ron Chase of Radio Online celebrates 50 years on radio
This month, RADIO ONLINE Co-Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Ron Chase marks a milestone as he celebrates 50 years on radio. We took a look back at his remarkable journey and spoke to some of the people who know him best.
In June 1970, 16-year-old Ron Chase began his radio career taking the microphone for the first time at KPUR-AM in Amarillo, Texas. In 1976, FM radio finally moved away from the AOR stereotype and Ron launched crosstown KQIZ-FM as “Z93”, the market’s first Top 40 music medium on the FM band.
His wife, Lisa Chase, recalls: “Ron featured Amarillo on Top 40 FM radio by putting Z-93 on the air with intense promotion, including offering FM converters for your car, playing the best music in the world. Texas Panhandle and releasing Z-93 weekly was new, fun, and the most exciting thing to happen to Amarillo from the railroads.
By 1978 Ron had become editor-in-chief of FRED magazine, a popular trade publication of the day, published by Bob Hamilton and Buzz Bennett. He also published his own commercial sheet “The Cue Sheet”. In the early 1980s he found himself working with the legendary Mitch Craig at the William B. Tanner Company in Memphis, before returning to radio programming which included a second stint on Z93.
In 1984 Ron and Lisa started Supertraxx Production-Services, best known for its syndicated IDs and “Digitizers” package – voiced by John Young, then later by Charlie Van Dyke. It was the late Michigan programmer and voiceover Jay J. McCrae (aka Jay Glass) who first suggested acquiring a modem for the company’s computer system – a life-changing decision and ultimately lead to the creation of RADIO ONLINE.
Now, immersed in the high-tech world of dial-up computer telephone modems, Ron and Lisa quickly became interested in bulletin board systems – a precursor to the Internet. A mentor under Samuel H. Smith, Ron wrote his own BBS software and hand built the computer servers that came with it. Using these servers and software, the Chases launched the RADIO ONLINE brand in 1989 – an industry first at the time. Ron has never used a web page editor and is now fluent in five programming languages.
While radio underwent radical changes in the decades that followed, RADIO ONLINE continued to grow and remains a major player in the industry today.
“Some days I feel like I have a 24/7 job,” Ron said, “but I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.” When he finds free time, he enjoys relaxing with Lisa and their two cats, Gracie and Raphael. His beloved Dallas Cowboys, vegetarian Tex-Mex, and Christian faith are also dear to him.
“It’s hard to imagine how quickly 50 years go by,” Ron said. “I guess that’s what happens when you have fun. I will be forever humbled and grateful to our subscribers, supporters, advertisers, clients and our wonderful staff. This has been a tough year on radio but we are determined to do everything in our power to help the industry get back on its feet and remain a vital part of the American media landscape. ”
- “Ron Chase is an accomplished professional whose focus and commitment to creating quality content are unparalleled. Happy 50th anniversary in the business, Ron.”
– Mike McVay, President McVay Media
- “The dictionary should have a picture of Ron under the definition of tenacity. I was his wife for forty years and lived with his focus and determination. Before meeting us he was the talent of the air that possessed 7 at midnight. He devastated a young teenager who called to ask for Donny Osmond’s “Puppy Love” by literally breaking the on-air record. I married him anyway, even though we had to pick a day off. marriage that does not interfere with ratings. ”
– Lisa Chase, co-founder of RADIO ONLINE
- “First of all, I consider Ron a good friend and have always considered him one of the brightest minds in radio that I have known in my career. Programming, production and, needless to say say, the success of Radio Online. Hope it is a contributor for many years!
– Mitch Craig, President Mitch Craig Productions
- “Ron Chase is one of radio’s premier journalists who has chronicled the industry and the evolution of our media in a truly incomparable way. I have had the great honor and pleasure of working with Ron since 1996 – nearly half of his incredible 50 years serving the radio industry. His immense professionalism, integrity, humor and gift for telling Radio stories every day through Radio Online have distinguished Ron and Radio Online among the best in Radio. It truly is in a league of its own. Thank you, Ron, for your commitment to the industry and the media we love, and for 50 golden years of sharing your talents, stories and your life with us. Here are the next 50! ”
– Lisa Dollinger, CEO Dollinger Strategic Communication
- “Ron is the only guy I have known for a hundred years and have never met face to face. Instead, I just call him about a computer problem. He tells me how to fix it – all of this to me. sounds Greek – but then my problem is solved! Happy 50th Ron! Let’s meet soon for a coffee – yeah, that’s it! Ha!
– Don Anthony, President Talentmasters & MSBC
- “Because Ron was good enough to be promoted to ‘the night guy,’ my radio dreams took flight during the night shift. Because Ron had the vision and the confidence to approach the property which held a CP for a 100,000 watt FM signal in our hometown, and convince them that as a PD he could put together a team that could do magic, my radio dreams went up the stairs to the Morning Show and he took the station to number 1 with a bullet. Because Ron pursued his passion for radio and I took a stand in the publishing world, my radio dreams of being a PD came true and I didn’t had no idea the fill-in shoes were so big. Ron was, is, and will continue to be a dream maker to me and countless others who reach for the stars. ”
– Joe Geoffrey, voice actor and KRBG-FM station manager
- “I’ve been friends with Ron Chase for 48 years and he’s one of the smartest and most knowledgeable radios I’ve ever known. I’ve worked with him and competed with him. I have to tell you. that it’s a lot better to work with him because he was a tough competitor. ”
– Danny Alexander, retired from Radio Maverick
- “Thank you Ron, for hiring me (although I bribed his girlfriend at the time to make her listen to my aircheck), for my name, for being a great roommate and for being everything Radio was supposed to be. Ron Chase is a cool cat. A wizard, a real star. Kudos to my brother and friend. Let’s go do it again. Oh, and that was a brilliant PD. ”
–Kidd Manning, Afternoon, Boss Country Radio
- Whoa Ron … 50 years old! When I first arrived in Amarillo to take over the PD presidency at Z-93, Ron was one of the first to greet me in town. His invaluable market knowledge and skills with Supertraxx Production Services gave me the boost I needed to take this radio station to the next level. I would give him a concept and a vocal track, and he would make something spectacular with it. Together we have made a great radio and this is one of the main reasons why I will always consider my days in Amarillo as the best of my career. Over the years many radio publications have come and gone, but Radio Online continues to thrive, thanks to Ron’s knowledge, passion, tenacity and desire to stay ahead of the curve. Congratulations my friend!
–Peter Stewart, Stewart Media Solutions
- “Ron and I first logged in when my morning show was part of his prep bulletin board for the show that he became the monster he is today. He kept this incredibly useful tool for you. sportspeople around the world, even in tough times. Ron has done a lot for the industry and has given me the platform I need to write slightly funny jokes. I am very proud to be a part from the ROL team! ”
– Tim Hunter, RADIO ONLINE Show Prep / Comedy Writer
- “Ron is such an industry leader. During my morning shows, RADIO ONLINE was an invaluable part of my show preparation and radio career. I joined the editorial staff. almost 20 years ago and it has been a joy every step of the way. never met in person. Someday we’ll sort this out – when I’m sure he doesn’t have coronavirus and is ready to do it take me to a real Texas steakhouse. ”
– Sander Walker, RADIO ONLINE News and Program Editor
Congratulate Ron via E-mail.