Hall of Fame: 2009
Allan Roberts’s career demonstrates a lifelong commitment to community radio. He has owned and guided stations serving Ware, Pittsfield, Westfield, Boston, and many markets outside of Massachusetts.
Allan Roberts was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania and at a very early age he arranged for shows for the neighborhood children in his parent’s cellar. Each time before he visited his grandparents’ New Jersey home [several times a year and about 45 minutes from New York City] he would buy about 50 postcards and send them to the various radio network shows that had audiences. He requested tickets to see their programs. This was Allan’s ﬁrst introduction to what was going to be his life’s ambition—RADIO!
While his friends were playing high school sports, Allan worked at the local ABC affiliate in Scranton and later at the local independent station where he was mentored by Frank Blair, who later went on to be the newscaster for NBC’s Today Show.
After high school, Allan joined the student body at Emerson College in Boston. He was active as the Student Manager of the college FM radio station and joined the Phi Alpha Tau Fraternity. He contacted the widow of Edward R. Murrow and arranged for the fraternity each year to give the Murrow Award to an outstanding celebrity. Some years after Allan had graduated from Emerson.
Allan Roberts went on to become a partner of Judge Woody Tarlow who owned what was then WHIL AM & FM and now is known as WXKS.
WGUY in Bangor, Maine offered him his ﬁrst managerial position but within a year, he was drafted into the Army and served in the Pentagon in the ofﬁce of the Chief of Staff, General Maxwell Taylor.
Upon being discharged from the Army, Allan became a partner in stations in Charlotte, North Carolina and New Orleans, Louisiana. He then determined now was the time to go out on his own so he bought WARE in Ware, Massachusetts, situated between Worcester and Springﬁeld. Allan later went on to purchase WDEW in Westﬁeld and WUPE and WUHN in Pittsﬁeld, Massachusetts as well as WFPG AM & FM in Atlantic City, New Jersey, an AM & FM in Rutland, Vermont and an FM in Naples, Florida.
In addition, he was active in the political arena by being very involved in the upper echelon of the campaigns to elect Massachusetts Governor Endicott Peabody and Congressman Silvio Conte.
Allan Roberts is now “retired” and resides in Boca Raton, Florida where he currently assists his son-in-law in the party rental business. He is doing this because he “ﬂunked” retirement!
Allan has been married for some 40 years to the former Arleen Leshefsky of Brookline, Massachusetts and has two daughters and four grand children.