Broadcast Icon Signs Off
WILLIAMSPORT — A familiar voice in Lycoming County hung up his microphone Friday. Ken Sawyer, a popular radio personality in Williamsport for more than 40 years, retired from WRAK.
Sawyer talked to listeners on his radio program in Williamsport like he does every day. But this time was different.
“You and I have been together just about every day in our homes and our cars sharing each other’s lives.”
After 43 years as a radio personality in Williamsport, Ken Sawyer is retiring. He plans to spend more time with his wife, children, and grandchildren.
“We’ve written a lot of chapters in our life, but this next chapter is blank. It’s our opportunity to write it and to do things that we’ve never done before,” Sawyer said.
Over the years, Sawyer worked at several radio stations in Billtown, most recently WRAK. He also did play by play for sports events for various teams in and around Williamsport.
Even though Sawyer is hanging up his microphone, he is still not completely finished with radio. He will continue to broadcast games at the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, which is something he has done for more than 40 years.
“He’s like a radio superhero! I mean, the guy does everything and he can do about ten things at once,” said WRAK Operations Manager Eric White.
Sawyer’s colleagues refer to him as one of the voices of Williamsport.
Gary Chrisman worked with Sawyer for 40 years.
“Ken probably taught me more that summer than anybody. He has meant more to me than anybody in all these years in radio,” Chrisman said.
Sawyer says he will not miss waking up at 4 a.m. but he will miss the listeners.
“It almost becomes like a few neighbors sitting on the back porch having a cup of coffee first thing in the morning and sharing each other’s cheers and jeers.”
And he says his listeners will always be an extended part of his family.