Utica radio engineer Gary Morgan dies

May 14, 2024 by

UTICA-ROME -- One colleague described him as a local "broadcasting pioneer." Longtime local radio engineer Gary Morgan died on Monday at the age of 80, after a long career that included stops at RCA in New York City before returning to the Mohawk Valley to work for stations including WUFM, WRUN and WADR.

Born in Oneida, Morgan studied electrical engineering at Mohawk Valley Community College, then went on to the RCA Institute in New York City. Although he worked with TV equipment there, he returned to his native Mohawk Valley in 1968 to become one of the first announcers on WUFM, the area's first FM radio station. reader Jerry Reed wrote in:

Few people know that when WUFM went on the air, no one was making a stereo control board. Gary took a mono Gates Yard Console and converted it to stereo for use on the air, as WUFM was one of the very early FM stations broadcasting in Multiplex stereo. The abandoned tower is still on top of the Hotel Utica. WRUN previously experimented broadcasting stereo, but it was one channel on WRUN AM and the other channel on WRUN FM. So you had to have two radios to receive it. Morgan is the man that taught me how to take transmitter meter readings and helped me learn enough electronics to pass the exam for my Third Class Ratio Telephone Operators Permit, which was needed to operate a radio station. Gary Morgan was the chief engineer for WUFM in Utica at the time (1963-64) and later created WADR from the remains of the defunct WREM radio station in Remsen. RIP Gary Morgan.

According to Morgan's obituary, he eventually became Vice President of Gaffney Communications, and eventually retired from Ronco Communications in 2016. He was a member of the Rotary Club and "heavily involved" with the Mount Markham school board.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, along with two children, three grandchildren, three brothers, and several nieces, nephews and cousins. Per his request, there will be no public visitation.

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