Born in 1923 in the borough of Barnesboro (Southwest Central Pennsylvania) to Eastern European Immigrants, Mike Grant was the youngest of 6 children. Although English was rarely spoken at home, it was soon to become his first language. One big extravagance was reading the funny pages of the newspaper anytime the opportunity arose. His father was a coal miner while his mother worked the farm. Hard work was not lost on Mike. Even though he was raised during the Depression, he knew if he worked hard enough he could do anything he set his mind to. One big extravagance was reading the funny pages of the newspaper anytime the opportunity rose.
He studied Communications at Syracuse University, which led him to his first job at a small radio station in Altoona, Pa., WVAM. His job was to build the program and hire the "On Air" talent and to conduct them with hopes of building a large enough audience so that they could sell commercial time. This position eventually led to Mike accepting a position at WJAC in Johnstown, Pa AND to meeting his future wife, Dolores (Dee) Morgret. It was 1952 when Mike made 2 life-changing events: He married Dee and they moved to Philadelphia and to WCAU.
He started as staff announcer before becoming Program Director at WCAU in early 1960. It was here that he worked alongside the likes of John Facenda, Herb Clarke, Tom Brookshier, Ed Harvey, Doug Arthur and Andy Musser. He played a vital part in the building of "talk radio" at WCAU as well as increasing ratings for the station. Although he eventually moved from radio to consulting in early 1968, his communications background as well as his love of storytelling was always with him. Everything he created was always filled with an air of mystery and flair down to the last detail.
In 1966, a magazine article stated that since switching to talk radio on WCAU Radio, the station had moved from sixth place to third. Grant was quoted in the article as saying that once the audience gets hooked on talk radio, it’s “harder to steal than any other kind of audience.”
After leaving WCAU Radio, he founded Systems Consulting Group in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Mike and his wife, Dolores Morgret Grant had 6 children and 13 grandchildren. Mike passed away on April 3, 2017.
From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
Photos and bio originally donated by the Mike Grant family
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