Ed Clery

Edward D. Clery was born in 1895. He was probably best known to the Philadelphia broadcast community as the General Manager of WIBG Radio from 1938 until 1956 when he retired. At that time, the Seaboard Radio Corporation owned the station. Under his command, WIBG was one of the pioneers of FM broadcasting in the Delaware Valley in the early forties. Previous to coming to WIBG, he was General Manager at New Jersey's WTNJ in Trenton.

He was a member of the Poor Richard Club, the Llanerch Country Club and the American Legion. He also served as the coach of the Mitchell Athletic Association which produced one of the first semi-pro football teams in the Philly area to play night games under the lights.

He was married to Emily and they had a son, Edward D. Clery, Jr. He passed away on Tuesday, February 11, 1958 at his home in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, a western suburb of Philadelphia.

Roy Neal, a long time NBC-TV News correspondent, worked at WIBG Radio in the forties. In 1947, he left the station to join the staff of WPTZ, Philco's upstart television station in Philadelphia. Roy e-mailed:

Ed was my boss during my early career at WIBG. He was tough but fair and I liked him very much. He and Doug Arthur and Rupe Werling all began together, over in Trenton. Paul Harron was station owner there and bought WIBG in Glenside, a thousand watter; Dawn till Dusk station. Under Ed's guidance the station flourished.

Jack Kelly (Grace's old man) bought in as co-owner with Harron and brought an infusion of cash sufficient to upgrade the license to 10 K, 24 hour operation. Under Clery's management they moved the studios into Philadelphia, bought coverage of the A's and Phillies baseball teams to publicize the station. I once did the color and commercials, with By Saam doing the play by play of those games, then Chuck Thompson took over that chore as I moved out into TV.

Funny thing; Ed Clery never liked or believed in television. When I left WIBG to go full time over to WPTZ, he and the Harrons insisted it was a move I would live to regret, which I didn't.

From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
Photo originally donated by Broadcast Pioneers member Gerry Wilkinson
Text compiled and researched by Broadcast Pioneers member Gerry Wilkinson
© 2001, All Rights Reserved

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