KCOH 1430 owner Michael Petrizzo, 89, died yesterday in his home according to his obituary.
Petrizzo started out as an accountant with KCOH 1430, became general manager and eventually purchased the station with partners in 1976. Before his radio career, Petrizzo served as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force during World War II. He was originally from Brooklyn, New York.
According to its website, KCOH Radio is the oldest black radio station in Texas as well as the southern portion of the United States. The Houston station has been recognized as a forerunner in black radio stations for more than 50 years. It was the first in the field to include talk show programming, gospel and many other types of shows with their urban listeners in mind. The station is now located in Third Ward.
“Mike was that voice of reason, that bright idea in a dark room and a person who could get things done," Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee said in a statement. "KCOH was the same way – that voice of reason for many in the Houston area who called KCOH theirs. Mike made sure KCOH would be the community’s voice when others would not listen to them. I want to express my gratitude and thanks to Mike for maintaining a station that was part of the heart of our community. The mold was truly broken when Mike was born because he was truly one of a kind."
Petrizzo's obituary says his Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, January 13, 2012 at Earthman Bellaire Funeral Home, 6700 Ferris, Bellaire, TX 77401.
- Michael Petrizzo, A Pillar of the Community, Succumbs to a Long Illness