I worked at WRUN, Utica, at the same time Michael Dziedzic did his Polish language program on week-ends. At WRUN, his program was heard Saturday evenings at 7:00 PM. Actually, here's a bit of trivia. Louie Bienkowski and Joe Trela always had a person at the control room board to spin discs, watch voice level volumes, etc. Mike Dziedzic did it all himself, as did Joe Skiba. Mike is the person who got me to refer to his home town as "beautiful and clean New York Mills", a habit which remains ingrained to this day.
Photo of Michael Dziedzic which was used for publicity purposes.
He began his radio broadcasting career at WGAT in 1946. It was owned at that time by Eric Williams and his wife, with a silent partner, Ralph Tector, owner of Tector Shoe Store, located next to the Gardner Building, the building which housed the England and Mc Caffrey Drug Store on the first floor. As mentioned earlier on this website, WGAT began its broadcasting in the former White Building at the corner of Bleecker and Charlotte Streets, with Luebbert's Hof Brau on the ground floor and Andy Scala's Cigar Shop located next door. The State of New York Department of Labor and other offices were located on the upper floors of the building. Later, the station was sold to Thomas L. Brown ---and the station's call letters were changed to WTLB. Mike later transferred his Polish Melodies program to WRUN, and then to WBVM. WBVM was owned by the Fusco brothers, Mike and Dan. They sold the radio station to a conglomerate and the call letters were changed to WUTQ. The station was then purchased by Ken Roser of Utica who then sold it to Clear Channels, Inc. and then repurchased it and now broadcasts beautiful music 24/7. During his time on the air, broadcasting his Polish melodies, independent rating services ranked his Polish Melodies as the most listened to Polish radio program in Central New York.
The publicity poster for the Polish Melodies Hour on WUTQ, Utica, New York.
l to r: Michael Dziedzic, Community Award Winner; Archbishop of Philadelphia, National Award winner and Matthew Duek, of the Obbserver-Dispatch, Young Adult Winner. The Awards dinner was held at the Harts Hill, Whitesboro, on April 9, 1978.
On April 9, 1978, Mike was honored, along with John Cardinal Krol and Mr. Matthew Dudek by the Kopernik Memorial Association as a person who had given outstanding service to the Polish-American community.
Mike and his wife had three children. A son, Eugene, distinguished himself as a researcher of local Polish-American history. Eugene's research on the labor strife at the Knitting Mills in New York Mills is a classic.
And, oh, did I mention that Michael was a charter member and Past President of the New York Mills Lions Club of New York Mills.
It was my honor to have worked with this Great American of Polish Descent. I've got, no check that – we all have bragging rights to have known Michael M. Dziedzic, a very near, dear friend.