Jack Thayer

Jack Thayer on Vimeo

Here are Jack's survivors with his plaque - (l-r) Tracie Thayer Ireland, Timm Thayer and Donna Thayer Mann - taken at Donna's home in Harriman, Tennessee.

Special thanks to Jim and Patty Ramsburg who drove all the way up from Estero, Florida to accept Jack's plaque, then drove down to Harriman, Tennessee, and presented the plaque to Jack's family.

Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame

Jack Thayer

Inducted 2013

After training at Joe Beck’s School for Radio and a short stint at KOBH in Rapid City, South Dakota, Jack Thayer was hired by a Beck classmate at WLOL in Minneapolis where he reigned as "The King of Disc Jockeys" from 1942 to 1951.

In 1952 Thayer jumped to WTCN Radio and Television, working as a disc jockey, movie host, and even a weatherman.  Jack’s Corner Drug, a predecessor to American Bandstand, debuted just days after Channel 11 went on the air in 1953.  At the same time, he was doing The Jack Thayer Show on Saturday nights and a series of variety shows with his wife, Donna, prompting Minneapolis Tribune columnist Will Jones to dub him “the most visible TV personality in town.”

His success at WTCN prompted Todd Storz to lure him away in 1956 to WDGY, the Twin Cities’ first full-time Top 40 station.

By 1957 Thayer was Vice-President and General Manager of the station. In 1959 he left the market for new challenges, including pioneering Talk Radio, Underground Rock, and Oldies formats.  From 1974 to 1980 he was President of NBC Radio. 

When Jack Thayer died in 1995 he left behind a legacy of innovation and achievement that pays credit to his Minnesota roots.

Inducted September 29, 2013