Harvey Irving Mednick passed away peacefully with his family by his side on Sunday, March 10.
Born in New York on February 13, 1935, he attended the University of Alabama where he was a member of Alpha Epsilon Pi and served in the U.S. Army from 1957-59, stationed in Stuttgart, West Germany.
After completing his service, he worked as a camp counselor and a substitute teacher before getting hired as a DJ for a small station in Towson, Maryland. This job sparked a passion for radio that grew into a long and successful career in varied aspects of the industry.
While he was vice president of RKO Radio, he became respected for his sharp marketing intuition and is well known for launching major promotions in various markets, including one note-worthy event for WRKO-Boston, which put the fledging station on the map as a riot ensued during a promotion of the 1967 spoof “Casino Royal” when 13,000 listeners showed up at a theatre in trench coats and sunglasses.
He also provided programming for in-flight service, interviewing well-known recording artists such as Barbra Streisand, Elton John and Dolly Parton. During a short stint at KABC Radio as marketing director, he created the “Talkradio” positioning campaign, which has since become the format name.
Later on in his career, he was director of marketing for Radio and Records, a leading broadcast publication, a consultant to various radio stations in the U.S. and U.K., and helped execute “We Are the World” and “Hand Across America” fundraisers.
Following retirement, Harvey funneled his passion and energy into his faith. He was a dedicated member of Pacific Palisades Presbyterian Church, where he served as both an elder and a deacon.
Service became a guiding force in his life as he strove to live by Mark 9:35: “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and servant to all.”
In addition to his work with the church, he was also a loyal volunteer at Providence Saint John’s Medical Center as part of their NODA (No One Dies Alone) program.
His greatest joy was his family, which includes his wife Shelley Wagner, son Clayton, daughter Samantha and his mother-in-law Mary Alford. He also had an abiding love for dogs, especially his loyal companion Ernie—a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel affectionately referred to as “Velcro” because he was always by Harvey’s side.
Harvey enjoyed traveling internationally, listening to music of all genres, was an avid golf enthusiast, a voracious reader and a lover of all things tech. He had a keen intellect, a sharp sense of humor and an impeccable sense of style. Friends and family will remember him as a man who dispensed jokes just as easily as he did valuable advice.
A Celebration of Life has been scheduled for 11 a.m. on April 6 at Pacific Palisades Presbyterian Church, located at 15821 Sunset Boulevard.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to Pacific Palisades Presbyterian Church or Saint John’s Health Center Foundation, 2121 Santa Monica Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90404. (Please write on your check “gift supports the Volunteer Department.”)
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