Bernie Strachota

strachotaInnovation was the hallmark of Strachota’s 19-year career in Milwaukee radio. He started in 1959 at what was then WRIT AM/FM and worked there until 1978. In 1962, he turned WRIT-AM, Milwaukee’s top “Top 40 Hits” station, into one of the first fully-automated radio stations in the country. He was also one of the first broadcasters in the country to grasp the concept of niche programming in radio. He designed the first “For Women Only” format for his FM station, even changing its call letters to WFWO-FM. Then, when the Top 40 format waned as a viable force on AM radio, he became the first commercial radio broadcaster in Wisconsin to use an “All News” format, programming WRIT-AM for All News in 1972. He was also extremely active in Milwaukee community affairs and was one of the founders and initial board members of two of Milwaukee signature events: the internationally famous SummerFest and the Vince Lombardi Memorial Golf Classic which has raised millions of dollars of funding for cancer research. He served the broadcast industry in Wisconsin with distinction, sitting for two terms on the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Board of Directors and serving a term from 1976-77 as the Association’s President.

Bernie Strachota passed away on Nov. 25, 2018.


  1. Brian Platt

    Bernie is also a veteran pilot of WWII. He flew the P38 Fighter in the Pacific Theater. I was lucky and proud to be Bernie’s guardian on Honor Flight to DC in 2011.

  2. Ernie Gudridge

    Colleague of Bernie with Air Trails Network for 16 years. Sure would like to get in touch with my old friend. E-mail or telephone. My best to you, Bernie

  3. Clark Weber


    It’s heartwarming to see a fellow WRIT employee still alive and kicking. Those were certainly exciting and memorable days.

    Clark Weber Bent & Slightly bowed but alive at 87!

  4. Drema Mankins

    I was Bernie’s Administrative Assistant when I worked at WRIT. He was so much fun, and we got along so well. We accomplished a lot. I am so happy I worked with him…I never minded going to work for even one day.

  5. Kenneth Pakulski

    I REMEMBER BERNIE IN THE LATE 70’S AND EARLY 80’S . Bernie let me work at W.R.I.T. To get my feet wet
    in the broadcasting field . After week of stopping at the station he gave me a assignment .
    This took place after a info at Brown Institute up in Minneapolis Minn. It was a school which I was told about from Tom Rippy and John Drilling at T.V. 6 , Milwaukee , that it was very good.
    The assignment that Bernie gave me was morning and evening from high atop the city from the 1st Wisconsin Bank , downtown . After that I got a little bolder . Looking for different things like interviewing David Brenner , Milton Berle , Liberace , Frankie Avalon and a good deal more . Those interview were used on the Rob Edwards and Steve York Shows. After that it was digging up stories in the city of Milwaukee and the surrounding areas. The money wasn’t not the greatest but memories were the best in all my years. They will always be with me. Thanks Bernie for helping me but a number of guys at W.R.I.T. W.R.I.T. slogan was right , “THE FUN STATION” 1340….. from BIG BEND , WISCONSIN this is Ken De John reporting !!!!!!!!

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