CLEVELAND — Lynn Tolliver Jr., a longtime Cleveland radio personality at WZAK, has died, 93.1FM WZAK announced Sunday.
It is with heavy hearts we share this news: A Cleveland legend has passed - Lynn Tolliver Jr. - a name that brought big time radio to WZAK in the 80’s. Our thoughts and prayers are with his close circle at this time. pic.twitter.com/Ne0zjNMm9k— 93.1 WZAK (@931wzak) February 14, 2022
Tolliver arrived at WZAK in the early 1980s after the station adopted a Black-oriented urban contemporary format. He came to Cleveland by way of MCA Records in Detroit, where he was Billboard Magazine’s urban contemporary program director.
"His influence on the radio industry is just, the way he did things was so different from everybody else in the country. I think he showed people the way to do radio to where it would bring everybody in," his nephew Dave Tolliver said.
With over 32 years of broadcasting experience, he was known for his large personality that attracted a loyal listener following.
“Known for outrageous stunts, Lynn didn’t disappoint. He had listeners come down to the station wearing underwear on their heads to win prizes and in another contest, he offered prizes for the biggest cockroach," said the Cleveland Association of Broadcasters.
In 2000, he received an award for “Excellence in Broadcasting” as the first African-American recipient.
WZAK wrote this in an article announcing his death.
“To the city of Cleveland and surrounding areas, Lynn Tolliver was our Tom Joyner, Rickey Smiley, Wendy Williams, Angie Martinez before we even heard of these names, Lynn Tolliver was our Breakfast Club, our Morning Hustle in a time before the internet and social media. Fans until the time of Lynn Tolliver’s passing regarded him nothing less then a Rock Star however Lynn Tolliver was all quick to say to those that reacted to him that way, ‘hey I’m just a regular guy."
Click here to listen to Tolliver on WZAK from over the years.
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