For more than 40 years, Thomas “Tom” McAuliffe, Sr. has been a paradigm of the small-market radio station owner and manager. McAuliffe was Vice President and General Manager of WSRO in Marlborough, Massachusetts from 1959 to 1989. He was Owner and President of WMRC in Milford, Massachusetts from May 1990 until 2008, when his son, Thomas McAuliffe II, purchased WMRC-FIRST CLASS RADIO and assumed top management position.
While McAuliffe managed WSRO, it was named the “Massachusetts Broadcasters Association Station of the Year” on two different occasions. While he owned and managed WMRC, that station won Station of the Year awards for three consecutive years (1993 -96), the only station in Massachusetts ever to do so. McAuliffe also served several terms on the Massachusetts Broadcasters Association Board of Directors and in the role of Chairman for several terms. In 1996, WMRC was selected to join The International Broadcasters Idea Bank.
When WSRO signed on in January 1958, it was a community format station with both music and news programming, serving communities between Boston and Worcester. During McAuliffe’s tenure as GM, it went from being a 1000-watt day-timer to 5000-watt full-service AM, an important media outlet in the MetroWest region.
“If it was going on in Metro West, WSRO was either reporting on it or covering it live,” Thomas McAuliffe II says.
WMRC has been on the air since 1956. After acquiring the station in 1990, McAuliffe built on its existing community service concept and maintained it as one of the last radio stations keeping alive the tradition of small-market individual-owner local-service. An example of WMRC’s programming is morning newscaster Ed Thompson who has been on WMRC-FIRST CLASS RADIO since 1967 and is a local icon.
Born in Hudson, Massachusetts, McAuliffe attended Hudson High School and later graduated from Leland Powers School of Radio and Theatre in 1953, where he was a classmate of sports legend and Hall of Fame inductee Bob Wilson.
McAuliffe began broadcasting in 1954 as Assistant Program Director, Announcer and Newsman at WERI, in Westerly Rhode Island. He was inducted into the U.S. Army service in 1955 and was stationed in Fort Hood Texas, where he was as “The Radio Voice of Fort Hood,” producing a daily radio Fort Hood newscast and a monthly half-hour television program. During this period, he also wrote, produced and directed ﬁlms of military history. McAuliffe returned to Massachusetts a year later and became Program Director of WEIM in Fitchburg, a position he held from 1957 to 1959.
“In 1996, my dad and WMRC were selected as members of The International Broadcasters Idea Bank . . . an exclusive organization of 100 broadcasters representing over 500 radio stations around the globe, sharing ideas and information to improve our individual stations as well as our industry as a whole . . . he NEVER lost sight of the value of a LOCAL radio station and its value to the communities it serves,” says McAuliffe, Jr.