Born on Saturday, December 11, 1926, Broadcast Pioneers member Dick Covington grew up in Columbia, Tennessee. Dick came to Philadelphia in the spring of 1960 from Baltimore where he worked at WCAO (600 AM) and WITH (1230 AM). He came to Philly to work at WCAU Radio in middle management (Program Director) and filled in as a disc jockey. In 1964, he moved over to WRCV, which was owned by NBC at that time. In June of 1965, the FCC required NBC and Westinghouse to switch stations (NBC forced Westinghouse into switching stations in January of 1956) with NBC going back to Cleveland and Westinghouse coming back to Philadelphia. Dick stayed with Westinghouse.
Dick Covington has been the voice of the KYW Newsradio’s Station Identification since the inception of the news format on September 21, 1965. Dick was a member of the first team of rotating anchors on the all news outlet. He retired in 1986. A year later, Dick returned to KYW on a part-time basis and stayed until 1997. At that time, he moved to the warmer climate of North Carolina where the season for golf was much longer and Dick loved the game. Even though in the South, KYW still had Covington record their IDs and mail them back to the City of Brotherly Love. In November of 2001, Dick Covington moved back to Philadelphia to be close to family.
Covington's first job was as a staff announcer at KWEM (West Memphis, Arkansas) in 1948. Two years later in 1950, Dick went to WHBQ in Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis is about 400 miles from Dick's home town and across the river from West Memphis, Arkansas.
At WHBQ, he served as Program Director and hosted an afternoon talk program called, "Covington's Corner.” Dick Covington held a Bachelor's Degree from Memphis State College (now Memphis State University).
After six years in Memphis, Dick Covington went to WCAO and in four months brought the station from fifth to first place in the market. According to an old KYW Newsradio bio, His exemplary program direction won him national acclaim, and his "river of honey in an underground cavern" voice, numerous fans. He also worked at WEEI in Boston and WCBM in Baltimore.
During his tenure at KYW Newsradio, Dick Covington concentrated his efforts on financial reporting in addition to his anchoring duties. His stock and business reports started airing on KYW in 1974.
Dick had three daughters. Following in her dad’s footsteps, his middle child, Cindy, is now Senior Producer for Nancy Glass’ program.
Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia Board Member Herb Clarke (Herb does the garden reports on KYW Newsradio) said: Hard to imagine KYW without him; I hope they will continue to use that wonderful voice for many years.
In 1980, in a publicity piece, KYW Newsradio quoted Dick as saying: It’s not surprising we’re the number one rated station in Philadelphia. 24 hours a day, KYW gives listeners more information about the multiplicity of things that affect them.
Dick was married twice and divorced twice. His first wife was Esther. Before leaving WCAU, Dick married the boss' secretary, Mary Jane Gidley. Dick Covington had three daughters; Cindy Connors, Cathy Amsterdam and Beth Kerwood.
Dick Covington passed away at the age of 77 as a result of medical complications from a surgical procedure for a abdominal problem. He died at 8 pm on Wednesday, March 3, 2004 at the Paoli Memorial Hospital.
On Friday evening, November 18, 2011, Dick Covington was inducted posthumously into the Broadcast Pioneers' Hall of Fame.
From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
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