Longtime “New Talk 760” WJR Detroit host Frank Beckmann will retire from a 48-year radio industry career this spring. Beckman has been hosting 9am-12pm on the Cumulus Media talk outlet for 18 years and will broadcast his final program on Friday, March 26.
Beckmann first signed on to WJR in 1972. In 1981, he succeeded Bob Ufer as the University of Michigan football play-by-play announcer, calling games for 33 seasons. He was honored as “Top Michigan Sportscaster” numerous times, and has been cited for his work as the only person to broadcast games for all four of Detroit’s major sports teams and the creation of “Sportswrap” in 1981, recognized as Detroit radio’s first sports talk show.
In 2014, Beckman received the Chris Schenkel Award from the National Football Foundation, making Beckmann a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 2008 and has also been inducted into the Michigan Associations of Broadcasters Hall of Fame and named “Best Midday Personality” by the group, and is a member of the VIP Mentoring Coaches Challenge Hall of Fame.
“Frank Beckmann is a radio legend who became a legend because he does everything ‘full throttle,’” VP/Market manager Steve Finateri said in a release. “As a play-by-play announcer, Frank electrified audiences with his memorable style of calling all the action. As a midday talk personality, he prides himself on having the ‘best informed audience’ and always delivers on that promise to them.”
Finateri also spoke of Beckmann’s work as a philanthropist whose “overwhelming generosity has fortified countless worthy causes.” Beckmann has helped raise tens of millions of dollars for Detroit area charities, including The Fallen and Wounded Soldiers Fund; Dutton Farm, which serves those with Down Syndrome; the Autism Alliance of Michigan. He is also a longtime major supporter of the March of Dimes, and has hosted an annual golf tournament fundraiser for the charity for 37 years.
“I will be forever grateful to WJR for helping all of my boyhood dreams to come true. As a youngster growing up on the east side of Detroit, I always imagined sitting behind a microphone, announcing Lions and Tigers games. It was surreal for me to actually have been able to do that, along with experiencing the other great opportunities this radio giant known as WJR provided me,” Beckmann said. “It’s been an amazing ride and while I look forward to all the upcoming additional golf time, I also know I will deeply miss the incredible, best in the business professionals I’ve worked for and with these past 48+ years. My co-workers and our clients are not only my friends; they are my family.”