About John Gorman

Joh GormanJohn Gorman began his broadcasting career in Boston and in 1973 moved to Cleveland to join WMMS, a small, free-form FM station then under new ownership. Over the next thirteen years he would help turn WMMS into one of the most popular and influential rock stations in the country. He served as music director and program director, and eventually became operations manager of WMMS and WHK.

In 1986 Gorman and twelve other staff members left WMMS to start 98.5 WNCX in Cleveland. He also founded a radio consulting firm, Gorman Media, and has worked with stations in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Cleveland, and other markets.

Gorman won the Radio Consultant of the Year award at the 1985 annual Pop Music Convention and was awarded Operations Director of the Year in 1995 by Billboard magazine. He was inducted into the Ohio Radio-TV Hall of Fame in 2000 and received a Cleveland Icon Perseverance award from the Cleveland Entertainment Coalition in 2006.

Gorman was inducted into the Cleveland Association of Broadcaster’s Hall of Fame in April, 2008.

He is celebrating his 42nd year in the media and communications business. 

He lives in Bay Village, Ohio.

15 Responses to “About John Gorman”

  1. You are a Cleveland Icon! Thank you for changing the face of Cleveland radio forever and putting WMMS on the map!

    Bonnie Diczhazy

  2. To John: Thank you so much for writing the Buzzard book. I enjoyed it very much. my wife gave it to me for Christmas and my son had you sign it at Bodrers Books in Medina. I was very pleasntly surprised.The book brought back fond memories of a very fun time of my life.I turned on WMMS when I first got up in the morning,listened to it at work ,and always listened to it in my car.When I was at a party or at someone else’s house,if we weren’t listening to an album of current artistor the Stones,or Bruce, then MMS would be on in the background.You felt like you knew the DJ’s as friends.Once again I must say thank you and rock on!

  3. […] years, I got a kick out of Leo’s hilarious MC-ing of what must have been a hell of a concert, G-Man himself in a rare on-air appearance as a cop (pure type casting) and Matt the Cat as Mayor Perk […]

  4. I am in 5th grade and doing a report and presentation on 1970s rock. I live in Bay Village too. Can I ask you some questions? Why do you think the 1970s was an important time for rock? In ypur opinion what bands were the biggest influences in rock and roll at that time? My mom told me that she used to go to the laserium here when she was a kid– did you ever go? It sounds awesome! Thanks, Martin

  5. Hi John
    I´ve got some old stuff from magazines for.
    Drop me a mail and I´ll send it to you

    Best wishes from Peter

  6. Peter Napoliello Says:

    John, during my 25+ year career in the Music Industry nothing comes close to the days of WMMS music and lifestyle when you were at the helm. From the afternoon concerts at The Agora seeing the likes of Pat Benatar, Huey Lewis & The News, The Boss (Bruce) as well as countless others really galvanized Cleveland as a Rock N Roll Mecca. Your business savy as well as your understanding of Music kept us Promotion people always on our toes and inspired us to do good work in representing our music. Thanks to YOU the WMMS days of great music, great on air talent and all around fun times will forever live in my mind, heart and spirit. Last but not least we can’t forget Swingos!
    Peter Napoliello

  7. Hi John,
    We are doing the official, authorized movie on the band Rush. Could you please email me a phone number? I need to ask you a few things… thanks!

  8. Mighty Jeff Says:

    I’m reading your book right now and enjoying it very much. I’ve been in radio for about 10 years, and you’re book is making me wish I had been in it 30 years ago.

  9. John Vacek Says:

    Converstion with Sound Exchange as recalled (recording of phone conversation was requested but permission not granted by Sound Exchange). I have an excellent and accurate memory, and do not forget things.

    The conversation was very close to the following:

    JV – I understand that Sound Exchange is mandating a payment schedule for internet radio broadcasters.

    SE – That’s right.

    JV – I will be programming and streaming a station that will carry music that is composed and performed by myself. Will I be subject to royalty payments.

    SE – You should be.

    JV – Then, lets say that I make the mandated payment to you. When will I expect a full refund or payment back from Sound Exchange?

    SE – There would be probably be no payment due to you.

    JV – Why not?

    SE – Since you’re a small station and have limited listeners, you probably wouldn’t qualify.

    JV – So, I would pay you for the privilige of letting people listen to my own music. Why should I bother?

    SE – By registering and paying, you exhibit your support for the music royalty system.

    JV – That brings me to my second question. I also want to have a talk only station. You don’t have any regulations for that, do you?

    SE – Listen, you can use every trick you can think of; but if you even hum a bit of music, you’re liable for all payments, and you will be shut down.

    JV – Then it’s the “music police” who will be listening, right.

    SE – That’s not funny. You people think you can get away with anything. We will use all methods available to enforce our regulations.

    JV – Can I have a list of all the people involved in Sound Exchange.

    SE – It’s on the website. (hang up)

    Mr. Gorman,
    This is for your information only. I do plan to have streaming stations that will do what is talked about in the above conversation, and would prefer that I pay any performers, or artists directly. I’m appalled that the attitude of the ‘attorney’ who talked with me assumed that everyone was trying to scam the world; and I’m also appalled that they are attempting to force artists to pay them when they guarantee that the money will never be coming back to them.


    John Vacek

  10. Born and raised in Cleveland. WMMS was such a major part of my life in my late teen years, and my fondest memories are cruising with my first car and listening to the Home Of The Buzzard. Left the city for the last time in 1980. Still get homesick. I’ve got a few of the requisite mementos… but the pride of my stash are the two 10.5″ reels of quarter inch tape, recorded on New Years day 1980, the WMMS Best of the 70s decade special. Hours upon hours of vintage WMMS. The old days come back to life, once a year here.

    It’s cool to see you’re still around sir. Wish I could say the same of our Buzzard.

  11. Just watched you on the Les Levine show. I tried to explain to my 16 yr. old son just what you and your “team” meant to me. You helped make me proud to be a Clevelander! Thanks.

    ps…if we could only get the Rock Hall induction ceremony permanently in Cleveland…!

  12. […] station really shaped me early on in terms of my musical tastes and my musical knowledge. I read John Gorman’s book [The Buzzard] several years ago and I really enjoyed it. It brought back good memories. I […]

  13. […] we’re like the old WMMS radio station in Cleveland, by doing things differently, while breaking down some barriers and a […]

  14. I feel very blessed to still be here at age 60. I grew up with an older sister born in 57 and myself in 1961. By age 9 , I was loving all the cool stuff, Stephen wolf, Tommy James, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Dick Clark’s American Bsndstand, just loving so much music. AM Wixy 1260 with the Banana Man was very in and FM was not! It was WDOK and all that slow music our parents listened to. Then came ABC with the Jsckson Five and my sister turned our parents onto AM. Our teenage years were the best when FM took over with WMMS! Thanks to John and crew, you made our teenage years the best! I can’t possibly tell you how much joy you and your crew brought to us! Thank you from the heart and soul! Sue Bewley Mazzone

  15. My darn autocorrect misspelled Stephen wolf! I was not able to correct in last comment, but anyone cool would know who I meant!

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