One-time WJR-AM (Detroit) General Sales Manager Dick Rakovan has passed away. For 20 years, Rakovan, known to many as “Rackets,” served 20 years with the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) where he was Senior VP of Membership.
Rakovan began his broadcast career at the former WKBW-AM (Buffalo, NY) working as a salesman. His first role in radio management was at Capitol Cities’ WPAT-AM/FM (New York) as National Sales Manager, where he eventually rose to GSM. He then moved to the company’s WJR-AM and then later to Providence for his first GM role at WPRO-AM/FM, where he spent 20 years.
He was also President of Outlet Broadcasting and GM of WWRC/WGAY (Washington, DC) before moving to Chicago for his final radio job as GM of WFYR-FM.
He joined the RAB in 1995.
“For over 20 years he tirelessly served broadcasters and advertisers,” George Hyde said in a video piece honoring Rakovan when he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Illinois Broadcasters Association in 2016. “His trademark good cheer, kindness and enthusiasm are legendary.”
At the ceremony, former Entercom COO Weezie Kramer called Rakovan “a great friend, a mentor, and most importantly a connector of so many people. You’ve made a huge difference to broadcasting and we love you for it.”
Veteran broadcast executive John Gehron, who now serves as Chairman of AccuRadio, said Rakovan was “a great broadcaster” and “a wonderful person that we could call on whenever we needed help… I think you found more jobs for people in the business than anyone else I know.”