John Ramsey photo by John Babina
Radio World caught up this week with John Ramsey, a veteran radio engineer honored as one of the charter members of the Connecticut Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame. The 2015 class also includes TV engineer Joe Dimaggio.
Radio World: How does it feel to be a member of the charter class of the Connecticut Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame?
Ramsey: I was initially very surprised. I am honored and humbled. It’s also really nice to see that the association saw fit to bestow such an honor on not just one but two Connecticut engineers. The association has always been very supportive of the local SBE chapter and engineers in general.
RW: Your career straddles both engineering and management. How did that come to pass?
Ramsey: I started in broadcast engineering as a volunteer at WWUH(FM) at the University of Hartford, and eventually became CE there while pursuing a career in recording and sound reinforcement field. I switched to broadcast engineering in the late ’70s. In 1985 had an opportunity to get into management as GM of WWUH, a position I still hold. During that time I remained a contract engineer and broadcast engineering consultant.
RW: In your almost four decades as an engineer, what’s your proudest accomplishment?
Ramsey: Helping to make WWUH the excellent station it is today. Helping numerous LPFM and community stations get off the ground. Being chair of SBE Chapter 14 for three years. And being inducted to the Hall of Fame.
RW: What’s your favorite radio/audio product of all time?
Ramsey: Dialup- and later IP-accessible remote controls made my life as a contract engineer much easier.
RW: How would you describe the culture of radio engineering in Connecticut and in Hartford?
Ramsey: The broadcast engineers in Connecticut have always been a close-knit group. It’s a small state so just about everyone knows everybody. Almost everyone is willing to help in an emergency.
RW: You are active in local SBE. How can local chapters remain engaging and attract more membership?
Ramsey: SBE Chapter 14 is very active and hosts many meetings including a summer picnic and holiday party. Lots of presentations and some great tours including a local wind farm, a Cold War-era former underground AT&T facility, a coaxial cable manufacturing facility and the like.
RW: Anything else Radio World readers should know about your career or the award?
Ramsey: I am president of the Torrington Community Radio Foundation, the licensee of WAPJ(FM), webmaster of hartfordradiohistory.com and coldwar-ct.com, and author of “Hartford Radio” from Arcadia Press.
Watch a CBA video below about John Ramsey’s career:
And here’s a video profile of TV engineer Joe Dimaggio, who began his engineering career at WVIT in 1968: