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Former KTAR executive Jim Taszarek passes away

PHOENIX — One of the biggest voices in news-talk radio has been silenced: Former KTAR News Vice President and General Manager Jim Taszarek has passed away.


Taszarek passed from cancer on Thursday night, leaving behind a legacy in the radio station industry that will take only the biggest of shoes to fill.

The radio legend, who liked to be called “Taz,” began his career in 1965, as a disc jockey in St. Louis. He quickly rose up the ranks to general manager and took his talents across the country, from Miami to Cincinnati.

Taz spent one of the the biggest portions of his career with KTAR News, from 1981 to 1983 and then again from 1987 to 1995. At KTAR, he increased the station’s earnings from $300,000 to more than $3 million in just two years.

Taz then went on to start TazMedia, a consulting firm for broadcast, online and print media, in 1996.

His influence has not only been felt throughout the Valley, but also the country.

Arizona Diamondbacks announcer Greg Schulte offered his condolences to Taszarek in a Twitter post, calling it an “honor” to have worked with the radio giant.

Ryan Wrecker with Radio Ink in Indiana called Taz a “good man indeed” in a Twitter post.

Taszarek leaves behind his wife, Sharon, who celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary earlier this month.

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