Voice Of Roy Leonard Stilled, WGN Host And Famed Interviewer Dies At 83


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There is a sadness in the radio family today as news spread very early this morning that former WGN announcer and highly respected and well-known interviewer Roy Leonard had died late Thursday night.  Listen to some of his interviews here.

I recall Leonard for his smooth voice and absolutely perfect-pitched conversational style that simply was a delight.  For many years when I visited the folks on Sunday he was the voice that traveled with me in the car those mornings.  His insight into the arts was informative.  He opened up for me shows that I wanted to know more about, and allowed performers and stars to be multi-dimensional because of his interviews.  There was no doubt he had a knack for making people comfortable behind a microphone.

That was due to the fact he was so comfortable himself in the radio studio.

Leonard joined WGN in 1967 after his 10 years on a Boston station and would call AM-720 home until he chose to sign off in 1998.   There was simply no one else like him for pacing a conversation or reading his commercial copy.   I swear that he could be half-way into a commercial before you knew it was an ad.  He was truly that good.

I have so much respect for the type of classy broadcaster that he always was in his professional life.  That means a great deal–and it always has–to the radio audience of WGN.

That is why there is a deep sadness in the WGN family today with Leonard’s death.   While radio at times has become rougher and louder there should always be a place for the men and women like Leonard who make listeners want to invite them into their home or car.

Godspeed and peace to Roy Leonard.  And thanks for the many hours we traveled together.

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