I'm saddened to write here about former Citadel/Lansing Operations Manager Ray Marshall. Ray passed away this morning at his home in nearby Holt.
Ray served 16 years at the Lansing cluster of stations - starting at AC WFMK in 1990 and helped build the cluster with WFMK’s perennial #1 performance.
He also converted WJIM-FM to oldies and double-digit numbers - and re-launched classic rock WMMQ on a full-market signal (and #1 in its first book!).
Ray had an incredible run that continued with the growth of news/talk WJIM-AM, sports WVFN-AM as well as his involvement with country WITL.
For a time at Citadel, Ray served as "Oldies Format General" - consulting like-formatted stations for the company nationwide. Prior to Lansing, Ray worked radio in Cleveland and several other Ohio markets.
Ray Marshall was the consummate radio pro with skills on-air, in programming, engineering, IT and legal. He was the "go to" guy in the Lansing Citadel cluster for virtually the entire staff. If anyone knew the answer, how to find it or how to fix it -
The radio stations were under Ray's watch 24/7. The exception: an annual camping trip when he took the opportunity to turn the cell phone off. A well-deserved break.
Following budget cuts - Ray (along with yours truly) left Citadel in February of this year. Since then we've done a few projects together - and exchanged email frequently, if nothing more than to share a joke.
We had coffee together just this past Friday - the first time I'd seen him in nearly two months. Actually I had the coffee. Ray had a craving for hot chocolate. At Starbucks in Okemos. A very fortunate moment.
There's so many who knew Ray Marshall far longer and much better than me. But it was my pleasure - and my honor to have called Ray Marshall a friend.
Added: WQMX/Akron PD Sue Wilson remembers her friend Ray here.
Added: Lansing State Journal story on Ray Marshall here.