Jay Cook
Outside of the WFIL "Round" Building
circa 1968

John R. Cook, called Jay by everyone, pioneered the "Boss Jock" format here in Philadelphia starting in September of 1966. Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, he was working at that town's Top 40 station, WHBQ (owned by RKO General) after serving in the United States Army.

He came to WFIL at a Boss Jock, Famous 56 Radio in Philadelphia when the station flipped formats. Jay did "housewife" or what we today call mid-day, 10 am to 2 pm. Later, he was loved to afternoon-drive, 2 pm to 6 pm. Four years after coming to WFIL, in 1970, Jay Cook was named the station's Program Director, the rocker's third PD.

During 1980, Jay was to San Diego and assumed the title of Vice-President for Programming for Gannett radio nationally. Five years later, in 1985, he was elevated to that company's Presidency. He retired in 1994.

Broadcast Pioneers member Kal Rudman said:

He was really the warmest of people. He was thought very highly of, all over the city. The guy was really loved. A true Southern Gentleman.

Jay Cook was married to the former Carolyn Edmondson. The couple had two children; son John Jr., and a daughter, Susan. He passed away from cancer at the age of 61 in Florida on April 2, 1999.

On Friday, November 20, 2009, Jay Cook was inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia's "Hall of Fame."

From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
Photo originally donated by Broadcast Pioneers member Roger Hendler
Written by Broadcast Pioneers historian Gerry Wilkinson
Special thanks to Ron Turner of the Famous 56.com
© 2009, Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
All Rights Reserved

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