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via Record Courier Online

One of the best-known radio voices in Northeastern Ohio has been silenced.

Howie Chizek, whose 38 years as a talk radio host on WNIR made him a broadcasting institution, died unexpectedly Saturday while on a plane reportedly traveling to Florida. He was 65 years old.

Chizek’s death was reported on the radio station where he had been a broadcasting fixture since 1974. The news was announced on Bob Erley’s radio show at about 9 p.m.

Opinionated, provocative and engaging, Chizek had a loyal fan base who listened to him six days a week. He did five-hour shows from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays and a 9 a.m. to noon show every Saturday.

“I’m an entertainer and people who don’t understand that are foolish,” Chizek said in a Record-Courier interview earlier this year, marking the 50th anniversary of WNIR, which originally was known as WKNT.

“We’re concentrating on common sense radio,” Chizek said. “And America has very little common sense at this time.”

In addition to hosting his show on WNIR, Chizek also was the  public address announcer for the Cleveland Cavaliers from 1984-1995 and the Cleveland Force soccer team during the 1980s.

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