WHAV Play-by-Play Announcer John Katsaros Joins Reunion

WHAV listeners heard John Katsaros’ play-by-play announcing of Haverhill Hillies football games for 27 years.

Click to Buy Tickets.

Click to Buy Tickets.

One of WHAV’s earliest voices, Haverhill Hillies football play-by-play announcer John Katsaros, is coming to WHAV’s public “Reunion of the Radio Stars,” next Wednesday night.

Katsaros, author of “Code Burgundy: The Long Escape,” began working during the late 1940s under the legendary Ken Ash. Katsaros went on to be the on-air voice of Haverhill Hillies’ football for 27 years. He is a member of the Haverhill High School class of 1942. Entering World War II, he served as a waist gunner and survived a B-17 bailout in 1944 over France. Katsaros was captured by the Gestapo, rescued by the French underground and began a perilous quest for freedom through France and Spain. He retired from the U.S. Army Air Force as a staff sergeant.

“I originally began with Joe Azzarito, who was a spotter. I went on to do everything from play-by-play, spotting to color,” Katsaros recalls. During those days of early local radio, he says, pioneering WHAV staff had to create their own technology. “Ash built a creative light system that allowed us to keep track of players on the field.”

Every Decade of WHAV Since the 1940s Represented at Reunion

WCVB Anchor and WHAV Alumnus Bob Clinkscale in a 1979 advertisement.

WCVB Anchor and WHAV Alumnus Bob Clinkscale in a 1979 advertisement.

Katsaros joins a list of renowned broadcasters who spent a portion of their careers at Haverhill’s hometown radio station. Others include, alphabetically, Paul Bellefeuille, Michael Burns, Joe Clementi, Bob Clinkscale, Joanne Doody, Patricia Johnson, Gary LaPierre, Marc Lemay, Dave “Mack” Macaulay, Bill “Maxwell” Macek, Eddie McGee, Eric Scott and Mark Watson. Every decade of WHAV’s on-air existence is now represented at the reunion, which takes place, Wednesday June 8, 6 p.m., at Maria’s Galleria Banquet Room, 85 Essex St.

Last week, Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Famer and award-winning WBZ news anchor LaPierre also confirmed his attendance. He began his broadcasting career at WHAV in 1961. He moved to WBZ in 1964, where he remained 42 years, retiring in 2006. In 2007, he was reunited with former WBZ personality and another WHAV alumnus Tom Bergeron for WHAV’s 60th anniversary. LaPierre joins other legendary Boston news persons, including pioneer WCVB channel 5 news anchor Clinkscale and WHDH’s Clementi, at the reunion.

Gary LaPierre began working at WHAV in 1961.

Gary LaPierre began working at WHAV in 1961.

The public is invited to enjoy the reunion, featuring wine and food pairing. Tickets are $45 each or $425 for a table of 10 and may be purchased online at https://whav.net/reunion-of-the-radio-stars/

Bellefeuille was WHAV’s morning show host from 1981 to 1984 and has also worked for WLYT, WKBR, WZID, WFEA, WQLL/WMLL and WUMB. He is currently an actor, voice over artist and writer and was recently the principle actor in “Hypnagogic,” an independent film.

Since leaving WHAV, Burns has worked for Greater Media since 1988. He is heard overnights on Magic106.7 WMJX and Sunday Mornings on Country Oldies on Country 102.5 (WKLB). He is also the owner of Michael B. Productions.

Clementi began at WHAV in 1959, and later was also promoted to program director. He left in 1963 to join WORL. He went on to become a long-time news reporter for WHDH radio.

Doody began her career at WHAV during the early 1980s and went om to WFNX, WXRV, WHOB and WBOS. She now works for Seahorse Bioscience, a part of Agilent Technologies.

Johnson, then known under her maiden last name of Sprague, went to work in WHAV’s traffic department in 1952. She and her future husband, Edwin V. Johnson, hosted the “Friday Night Shoppers” program. The broadcasting pair went on to marry April 23, 1954, and the wedding played over on the air in installments. After the wedding, they co-hosted “The Newlyweds” on WHAV. She left WHAV for WCCM in 1961.

Lemay entered radio as a 13-year-old intern at WALE AM 1400, Fall River. When the station was sold in 1989, he was there to sign off WALE one night and sign on again as WHTB the next morning. In 1990, Lemay moved to WHAV as news director. After three years at WHAV, Lemay went to work in other areas of communications including Yellow Pages, newspaper publishing, graphic design, public access television and Internet. In 2004, Lemay returned to radio when he joined WCCM, where he served as afternoon drive host, production director, IT manager, morning show news anchor/co-host and finally morning show host. He is now communications manager for Greater Lawrence Family Health Center.

Macaulay worked at WHAV/WLYT from 1988 to 1990. He has been heard on a wide range of stations including WVBF, WMEX-1150, WNTN, WESX, WNSH, WORC and WSPR. He is currently heard on WNBP.

Macek started at WNBP and moved on to WLLH-WSSH, WFEA, WHAV, WHOB and WLYT. He has variously been known on air as “Bill Maxwell” and “Rick Adams.” He most recently owned WEIM/WPKZ and previously owned WINQ (Q-FM) and WMOO.

McGee worked under WHAV Program Director Michael Burns around 1983. He also served as morning show at WNBP, Newburyport, during the 1970s and 1980s; WLLH/WSSH, Lowell; WVNH, Salem, N.H., where he also worked as program director; and WFEA, Manchester, N.H.

Scott began at WHAV in 1983, returning in 1992, and also worked WUNR/WBOS. He is currently production director and afternoon drive host at Mix 94.1 FM in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region. Scott is also the owner of Shelcom Media, providing voice work and tracking, and consulting.

Watson worked for WHAV between 1984 and 1987 and later was employed by WCAP. He is currently employed at Enterprise Bank, Lowell, Mass.

WHAV, owned by non-profit Public Media of New England Inc., was previously granted a construction permit from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

The WHAV call letters have been associated with local broadcasting since 1947. WHAV is today operated by Public Media of New England Inc., a not-for-profit corporation. Since 2004, the call has served the Merrimack Valley’s pioneer Internet radio station at WHAV.net and a number of public access cable television stations in Andover, Haverhill and Methuen, Mass., and Plaistow and Sandown, N.H.