Long-Time Industry Vet Dick Downes Passes


(By Barry O’Brien) I first met Dick in the mid 80’s when Bill Clark and Dwight Case hired Dick for the R&R sales department in Los Angeles. I was in charge of sales on the East Coast in R&R’s Washington, DC Bureau.

Over the years, Dick and I formed a close bond…even when he worked for Radio Ink, and when he was running his very successful CPM Group, producing high quality magazines for radio stations all over the country. When my wife Nancy and I moved to Florida full time about 11 years ago, Dick and I became even closer.

Dick was great for a laugh, or to just shoot the breeze. Our politics were polar opposites, and I had no interest in his passion for football, but we both loved Jimmy Buffett and good restaurants. Dick was in the VA Hospital for more than a year here, and when he got out, I helped him sell his home and find an apartment in downtown West Palm Beach. Which did have his mandatory water view, by the way.

He wanted so badly to go to Jetty’s Restaurant in Jupiter (he loved their swordfish), and ironically, I had arranged to take him there tonight. Unfortunately, God had other plans.

Rest in peace, pal. You fought the good fight.

Note: Dick Downes was 74 years of age when he died.


  1. Dick and I were roommates in 1970 when we both worked for Bill Hennes consulted oldies station WSVP in the Providence, RI market. Dick was a talented Air Talent who later became a successful PD in Little Rock and Des Moines among other markets before venturing into sales at KWK, St. Louis, and later at R&R. He had a great “third act” as a publisher. Dick was very proud of his service as a combat veteran of the war in Vietnam, and he wrote prolifically about his experiences there. He was a great guy and great broadcaster, and he will be missed.

    • I’m very grateful Jack informed me of the passing of our “chowder-head” buddy. Dick & I shared a large list of mutual friends, so it was no surprise we would be “besties” when The Downes clan ended up in Agoura Hills, CA on Lake Lindero during his R&R tenure. Although our Radio careers never touched down in the same markets our tales were much the same. I have some great pix of us at a 1991 R&R Century City confab. As Jack sez’…he was a hellava’ guy and a superb buddy. Looking forward to sharing a brew with him in that big studio-in-the-sky…. Roger Lifeset


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