(Webster in the WTAM newsroom in 2002)
(CLEVELAND) - Hall of Fame broadcaster and Cleveland radio legend John Webster has died. For decades, Webster’s distinctive deep voice was part of Cleveland radio news. He began his broadcasting career in his hometown of Pekin, Ill. After stints in Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit and New York, Webster came to Cleveland to develop an all-news format for WERE radio and later joined WMJI as News Director.
His longtime on-air partner at 'Majic' 105.7, John Lanigan, said their partnership was almost happenstance. "He was in Chicago for quite a while, and when he was in Chicago he was really very successful, he was really well known and had a great news voice. Then he came to Cleveland and he was working with another team before I came in, but they moved them out and kept John. So I said to John 'let's make it Lanigan and Webster,' so we made it Lanigan and Webster."
In 1998 he became the co-host of the “Wills, Webster and Coleman” morning show on WTAM 1100, which featured a well-remembered commentary segment called “Webster’s World.” Webster was known as a consummate journalist who always tried to present a fair story that incorporated background with breaking developments.
Unfortunately, it was one of the most prevalent news stories in America that contributed to his death; the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Webster's step-son, Jason Fox told WTAM that Webster had just had surgery after breaking his hip and was resting at his home in central Florida when the hurricane hit. Without power for over a week, Webster's health deteriorated. "I think, just like all these people they were finding in these nursing homes without electricity and without air conditioning, it really puts a strain on the elderly," Fox said. "I think that was the final straw for John."
Webster will be remembered at 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 8th, at St Patrick's Church in Ohio City on Bridge Road.
John Webster was 74 years old.