Dean Tyler, a Broadcast Pioneers member, has been in Philadelphia broadcasting for many decades. In reality, he’s Dudley Tyler Finch.
Ty Finch began his broadcasting career on the air at WAMS, Wilmington, while attending the University of Delaware where he majored in Biology (Pre-Veterinary Medicine). He went into broadcasting full-time working at radio and television stations in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
After being drafted into the military, Dean served two years with the Armed Forces Radio Service at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio while working nights in commercial radio and TV.
In 1960, he made his Philadelphia debut at WIBG (Radio 99) and became “Dean Tyler.” These were some of the glory days at “WIBBAGE” working side by side with some of the most dynamic personalities in Philadelphia radio history.
Dean’s career then led him to such radio stations as WHN (New York), WJBK (Detroit) and then back to WIBG. In 1969, Dean settled in at Metromedia’s WIP Radio here in Philadelphia for the next eight years.
Again, Tyler had the privilege of working with more outstanding radio talent at one of the successful stations of its time. Then Dean transferred to the historic sister station WNEW in the Big Apple where he programmed for over the next two years.
Next he became a consultant and program director at the legendary KLIF in Dallas, Texas. Dean returned to Philly in 1980 as WFIL Radio’s Program Director. Again, he was working with some of the area’s best radio personalities.
In 1983, Dean Tyler joined WPEN Radio and took it to the number one radio station in format in the entire country. There, he put together another radio “dream team” of on-air talent. Dean took on additional duties as manager of MOR programming for parent company, Greater Media in 1985.
In 1987, he was named Operations Manager of WPEN and sister station WMGK, and then became Vice-President and General Manager of both stations in 1989. During the latter years at WPEN, Dean returned to his roots and co-hosted the morning show with Elaine Soncini while still managing the station, until his retirement in December 2000.
Broadcast Pioneers member Dean Tyler
Through the years, Dean earned countless awards for his work with the National Leukemia Society, March of Dimes, Variety Club, American Heart Association Fox Chase Center and others.
He served as President of the Southeastern Chapter of the Leukemia Society and Chairman of the Philadelphia Music Alliance. Dean received awards from Billboard, The Gavin Report, Kal Rudman’s Friday Morning Quarterback, and twice received the prestigious NAB Marconi Award for WPEN.
Under Dean’s direction, WPEN was also awarded a silver medal, second only to England’s BBC, as the “Best in-format” at the International Radio Festival of 1989. Dean was awarded “The Ken Garland Lifetime Achievement Award” by the March of Dimes for his work with the birth defects foundation. He was inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia’s “Hall of Fame” in 2002. He was honored as our "Person of the Year" on Friday evening, November 16, 2012.
Dean has two children, Dean and Tracy and four grandchildren. He resides in Brigantine, New Jersey with his wife, Mary Lou, also a radio sales and programming veteran. He enjoys retirement close to Atlantic City where Mary Lou has been a Casino host at the very successful Borgata since its opening in 2003.
From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
Top photo donated by Broadcast Pioneers member Jerry Klein
Bottom photo donated by Broadcast Pioneers member Dean Tyler
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