More 1979 interviews – Walt Tiburski, Tom O’Brien and Heart on the cover of RMR Magazine

Here are more vintage interviews with WMMS staffers from Radio Music Report.

This issue included an interview with Walt Tiburski, who had risen in the Buzzard ranks from Sales Manager to National Sales Manager to Vice President/General Manager of WMMS between the early seventies and mid-eighties.   In late 1984, with the Buzzard’s blessing, Walt and his partners launched WIN Communications and purchased WQAL/Cleveland and a number of other stations in the U.S., which were later sold to M-L Media. At the time of this interview Walt had been GM of WMMS for nine months.


When Jeff Kinzbach took over hosting the WMMS Morning Show, with Ed “Flash” Ferenc, which later evolved into the Buzzard Morning Zoo, his successor as production director had to be found.   It was a challenging position to fill.  Jeff’s unique, creative production provided WMMS its inimitable sound – as well as some of its most memorable radio commercials and promotional announcements.   After listening to hundreds of demo tapes, we found Tom O’Brien, from WNBC/New York. He joined WMMS in June ’78 – during our year-long 10th Anniversary celebration.  From that time on, Tom provided the unduplicated aural backdrop of WMMS’s sound.

WALT RBR 79_0001WALT TOB 79 2

When we began playing Heart’s first album, Dreamboat Annie in 1975, they were unheard of outside of their native Seattle and Vancouver region.  Promoter Bruce Bird delivered a copy of the album, then a Canadian import on a small independent label, Mushroom Records, which we added immediately.  Within days “Crazy on You” and “Magic Man” became two of our most-requested tracks.  Until the album was officially released in the U.S., the Canadian Mushroom label shipped thousands of copies of Dreamboat Annie to Progress Distributors in Cleveland to stock area stores.   It immediately became a top five selling album. One of Heart’s first dates outside of the Seattle-Vancouver axis was a WMMS sponsored show in Cleveland.

Click pages multiple times to enlarge to readable size

One Response to “More 1979 interviews – Walt Tiburski, Tom O’Brien and Heart on the cover of RMR Magazine”

  1. […] few weeks prior, our production director Tom O’Brien got his “wish list” harmonizer. It was a new production “toy,” which allowed us to modify […]

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