Tom McLaren, pioneer Erie public broadcaster, passes
Friends and fans are remembering Tom McLaren, a voice that defined public radio in Erie, who died on Monday at the age of 82.
Quite the Renaissance man, Tom was a ordained Presbyterian minister, English professor, classical and jazz music aficionado, and extensive traveler. Viewers of WQLN’s 54.3 channel will often hear Tom’s voice on many of the documentaries the station produced in the 1980′s and 90′s, which are currently played in rotation.
WQLN’s Tom New shares a few highlights of the mark Tom McLaren left on the station:
Tom began working at WQLN on February 7, 1974 host of Sunrise Classics.
He was promoted to station manager of WQLN Radio in 1983. He held that job until his retirement on July 27, 2001.
For the past 11 years Tom has been WQLN’s chief archivist of our station history project, organizing video, audio and print images.
When Tom began working at WQLN Radio we were playing multiple formats from four remote studios. Our main studio in Summit Township featured mostly classical music; we played soul music from our studio in the Erie Opportunities Industrialization Center, jazz from Mercyhurst College, and a mixed bag from Edinboro State College. Tom pulled all of the remote locations back to our main studio and corralled all of our formats into News, Classics, and Jazz.
Tom was most known for his voice. It was perfect. His pronunciation, tone and diction were for markets much larger than Erie.
Viewing is at Burton’s, 26th & Powell on Friday with the funeral Saturday at Wayside Presbyterian Church. Our condolences to the McLaren family and the entire WQLN community.