When long-time WBZ NewsRadio 1030 AM personality Lovell Dyett died after a long illness at the age of 77 two years ago, the station issued a statement that said, “A natural leader, trusted friend, and mentor, [he] will be greatly missed by not only those who knew him personally, but also by those whose lives he touched over the airwaves of WBZ.”
Lovell was noted throughout his life for being an erudite speaker, devoted community activist, and renowned television and radio broadcaster.
Born in Florida in September of 1934, his father was an Episcopal minister and history professor, and his mother worked as a college administrator.
A graduate of Bethune-Cookman University, Lovell served as Executive Assistant for the President of Urban Affairs at Howard University in Washington DC and produced and hosted a daily show on WTOP-TV, for which he won a regional Emmy Award.
Throughout the late 1960s, Dyett worked on the campaign to elect Edward Brooke as the first African American U.S. Senator, and was an organizer and director of the campaign that elected Tom Atkins Boston’s first black City Councilor
Lovell enjoyed stints at WGBH-TV, WBZ-TV, and the former WNAC-TV, and began his WBZ NewsRadio 1030 career on Sunday, December 3, 1971 as host of “The Lovell Dyett Program.” It was billed as a “telephone-talk show that dealt with all issues affecting the black community,” but it turned out to be much more. Lovell’s “sane, silly, suave, sarcastic, yet sensible” nature, as the station put it, probably touched the lives of many more than just those in the “black community.”
Lovell, the station once boasted, “had a clear understanding of the issues of the day – however complex,” and his once-a- weekend 9PM to midnight program tackled many of those tough issues in a balanced conversational manner.
For nearly 40 years, Dyett covered topics and issues that affected people of all walks of life, discussing topics that were often times contentious, like busing and the desegregation of Boston’s schools, and sometimes uncomfortable, such as interviews with former members of the Ku Klux Klan.
Lovell was a major player in many organizations including the Workshop on Cable Television for Minority Municipal Officials, serving as Chief Media Consultant of the Congressional Black Caucus, as Board Member of the Roxbury YMCA, Roxbury Chapter of University Without Walls, Boston Chapter of the Urban League, and was also a long standing member of the NAACP.
Lovell relished every opportunity to interact with the listeners of his WBZ talk show and treated each guest with courtesy and respect.