Wynn Rosenberg, known around Northeast Ohio as “The Mud” or “John J. Mudcliffe,” passed away Saturday night in a hospital room in Scottsdale, Ariz.
A Beachwood High School graduate of the class of ’72, “The Mud” started his career as the morning man at Cleveland's M105 (WWWM-FM) in 1975. It was an Album-Oriented Rock (AOR) station that took on the mighty Buzzard, WMMS. Mudcliffe was not only able to take them on; he beat the Buzzard in the dayparts.
His style of radio was Howard Stern before Howard found himself, “Morning Zoo” before anyone coined the term. Once, to protest the high price of coffee, he covered his body in tea bags and jumped into Lake Erie on the air.
“Mud’s” antics were covered several times in the Cleveland Press and was the cover story on the April 21, 1977, edition of Scene Magazine (pictured above).
He left Cleveland radio in 1979 and took on the name Wynn Richards for the rest of his career, with notable stops in Buffalo and Seattle.
In Buffalo, he was the program director for WWKB-AM where he put Howard Stern on the air in 1991, immediately after Stern received the highest fine ever given by the FCC. It helped Stern reach a Canadian audience and expand internationally.
Arriving in Seattle in the mid-90s at the height of the grunge movement, he took his rock & roll attitude to a country format (KYCW-FM, Young Country 96.5). It worked. At times, you could hear the Who, Led Zeppelin or AC/DC between Garth Brooks, George Strait and Reba McEntire.
A rebellious attitude, but fun-loving spirit, he told his listeners to call him “Uncle Wynn,” and they did in droves. He’d always say “I’m Uncle Wynn, I’m your new neighbor,” but listeners treated him like family.
The Mud did make a return to Cleveland airwaves in 2008. He took over the morning show from Howard Stern on WNCX-FM, an extremely hard act to follow.
Rosenberg died from complications related to diabetes. He is survived by his wife, Tami, and 2 sons, Jeramy and Robert.
Obituary courtesy of Robert Rosenberg.