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Former WRVO News Director Dies

GRANBY — Our sympathies go out to the family, friends and colleagues of Chris Ulanowski.  The former news director for the WRVO Stations has died at 51.  

According to an obituary published Sunday night, there will be no calling hours.  Graveside services and burial are scheduled for Wednesday morning at Fairdale Cemetery in Hannibal.

Ulanowski worked for WRVO for more than 25 years, winning many awards along the way, including the Syracuse Press Club’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. He exited the NPR affiliate in 2009.

In 2001, Ulanowski won a national award from Public Radio News Directors Incorporated for a call-in program he hosted, focusing on issues surrounding the installation of bricks with religious comments in a sidewalk at Mexico Academy and Central School.

4 Comments to Former WRVO News Director Dies

  1. Chris was one of a kind in the news business. He loved WRVO so much, and loved the flexibility of long-form news that public radio permitted. With that said, in the late 1990’s, I remember him always turning on WSYR and WHEN on the old radio we had on a window sill in the Oswego studios so we always were aware of what our “competitors” were doing. (We had to keep it on the window sill to pick up the weaker AM signals at night) So, make no mistake, he loved to have the story first, and would sometimes laugh when the “commercial” guys missed an “Oswego” station had broken in Syracuse.
    He was the first news director I worked for in this business, and I last saw him just over a year and a half ago in Oswego, and it seems like it was 1991 all over again.

    A resturant named the “Press Box” was a hang-out for many of us, and in 1991, a group of us grabbed a table for the Superbowl. Half Bills fans on one side, Giants fan on the other, I looked over at my boss, a constant and loyal Bills fan, and while his Bills lost, that night was one of the best times we ever had…this in the midst of just starting to cover a Gulf War–we needed the break and the fun.

    To Chris’ family and family–I am so sorry and my thoughts and prayers are with you. Chris touched thousands of lives on the radio each day through WRVO, he helped mold dozens of reporters and broadcasters into the talent they are today, but most of all–he was a friendly, outgoing, personable man who always had a smile when you needed it most.

    Thanks Chris–now the Bills have an angel watching over them.

    –Dave

  2. Chris helped to launch the radio careers of countless people during his time at WRVO, including mine. He was a very smart man who bent over backwards to helped those he taught the business to. Whether it was with a reference, or just genera…l career advice I turned to him many times over the years.

    While he has been out of radio for a while now, we still kept touch on Facebook (mostly teasing about the Bills and Steelers). In fact, I had thought of him the other day and wondered how he was doing.

    I will never forget the lessons I learned from him when it comes to news, and as my first ever boss in the biz, he will always hold a special place in my heart. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, and the WRVO family during this time.

  3. Chris got me an internship when I was 14 years old at WRVO. I took transmitter readings and helped archive reels. I remember thinking it was the coolest internship ever at the time and a year later he talked with the staff at WNYO and got me my own part time shift while I was still attending High School. He was the first person to really help me get into this business and I’ve never forgot that!

    I can proudly say I’m still in the business and now a Programmer and I credit a lot of my success to Chris. He took me under his wing and taught me anything he could and I’ll never forgot that!

    See ya again soon Chris! RIP.

    Jamie Vivlemore (JJ Ryan)

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