Olivia Chaney at WFUV (photo by Jeremy Rainer)
For John Platt, who in his radio career has been a disk jockey, program director, producer, and promotion director, his job at WFUV is ideal: It allows him to be involved in station management as the Director of Communications & Special Projects, and to be on the air as the host of the wide-ranging Sunday Breakfast.
A big fan of live theater, John posts his take on recent productions on the WFUV web site.
Since 1997, John has spent his weekdays managing station needs like corporate underwriting, publicity and marketing efforts. In the meantime, he devotes his evenings to preparing his Sunday morning program, which features theme sets, artist salutes and artist interviews. He's also highly visible hosting concerts throughout the metropolitan area, including several series he helps to curate: "On Your Radar," a monthly showcase for emerging artists, and the Fabulous Folk and Roots Rock series at the Landmark on Main Street in Port Washington.
John got into radio as progressive rock was gaining a foothold on FM radio in the late '60s. He was working as the program director of the Princeton University radio station when, thanks to being in the right place at the right time, he began his professional career at WMMR in Philadelphia. After graduation in 1970, Platt headed to Chicago, where as program director and air personality he helped launch the eclectic music format at nationally-renowned WXRT. He stayed in Chicago through the decade, a fertile time for folk music there, as the careers of Steve Goodman and John Prine took off.
At the close of the '70s, John moved to New York as the program director of another legendary station, WRVR. After the station changed ownership and format in 1980, John produced several national radio series and wrote for MTV until he hooked up with Pete Fornatale at WNEW-FM in 1985. He produced Pete's influential Mixed Bag program (later known as The Sunday Show on K-Rock) for 11 years, filling in when Pete was on vacation and interviewing artists such as Tom Waits, Randy Newman and Bonnie Raitt. All the while John was working full-time as the Promotion & Marketing Director at WNEW-AM and WYNY and later, having converted to public radio, as the Marketing & Communications Director at WNYC. It was his work with Pete Fornatale which prompted WFUV to contact Platt in April 1997.
The father of two grown daughters, he lives on Long Island with his wife, actress Sheila Sheffield. He is active in his church and serves on the board of the Huntington Arts Council.