ERIE, Pa. — Myron Jones, a pioneer in Erie’s radio and television broadcasting industry and a longtime friend and supporter of Penn State Behrend, died June 28 in Erie. He was 92.
Jones founded WJET Radio in the 1950s and established it as the No. 1 top 40 radio station in the Erie market. In 1966, he introduced Erie’s ABC affiliate with the launch of WJET-TV on what was then considered a remote piece of property on Peach Street in Summit Township. He was known and respected not only in the local broadcasting industry but also in national circles.
“With Myron’s passing, the broadcasting industry and the Erie community has lost a legend, and Penn State Behrend has lost a steadfast friend,” Chancellor Ralph Ford said. “He was an innovator, an advocate, and a mentor to so many in the radio and television media, and his vision and energy extended to the nurturing of new generations of communications talent.”
Jones helped Penn State Behrend secure the license for the college’s commercial radio station, WPSE, and in 2014, he and his wife, Marlene, created the Myron Jones Fund for Broadcasting to support the station in perpetuity. Now in its 29th year, WPSE AM 1450/FM 107.1 is Erie’s only business talk radio station, carrying top business and money-related syndicated programming, as well as local business interviews and profiles.
“Myron was a quiet, exceptionally kind man,” Joe Martin, general manager of WPSE, said, “and this from an individual who was always the smartest one in the room and, really, a towering figure in the field of broadcasting. He will be missed by many of us who had the privilege of working with him over the years.”
Through the years, in addition to their support of WPSE, Myron and Marlene Jones contributed to student scholarships and youth programs at Penn State Behrend. In 2011, Jones was honored by the college at the opening of Behrend’s expanded student radio, television and digital media facilities, an event that coincided with his 60th anniversary in the broadcasting industry. Since then, the Myron Jones Broadcasting Award has been given annually to a Behrend student involved in the broadcasting field who demonstrates leadership, volunteerism and entrepreneurship.
Myron is survived by his wife, Marlene, two stepdaughters, and two stepgrandchildren. Calling hours will be observed from 3-7 p.m. on Monday, July 2, at Brugger Funeral Homes and Crematory, located at 1595 W. 38th St. in Erie. Services will be held at the funeral home at 9:15 a.m. on Tuesday, July 3, with a funeral mass at 10 a.m. at St. Jude the Apostle Church, 2801 W. Sixth St., Erie, and burial in Gate of Heaven Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that gifts in Jones’ memory be made to the communications programs of the Erie area’s academic institutions, including Penn State Behrend.