A local broadcasting legend has died.
Frank Harden, one half of the popular “Harden and Weaver” morning radio team on WMAL-AM for more than three decades, died at his Chevy Chase home on June 15. He was 95.
The “Harden and Weaver” show ran on the air for 32 years and at the height of its popularity scored a 28 percent share of the market for D.C. area listeners.
“It was a special time and a special place,” said Andy Ockershausen, former vice president and general manager of WMAL Radio.
Born in Macon, Georgia in 1922, Harden landed his first radio job in Savannah in 1944 and had stints in Atlanta and Denver before he was hired at WMAL in 1947.
When Ockershausen came up with the idea of pairing Harden and Weaver together on the radio, the show became a ratings juggernaut.
“MAL was the biggest thing going,” recalled Bob Geoghan, a local insurance salesman and sports promoter who founded the Capital Classic and the McDonald’s All-American Game.
Harden and co-host Jackson Weaver, who died in 1992, were both Montgomery County residents according to Ockershausen.
Geoghan, who also founded the Quarterback Club of Washington DC, became friends with the local radio team who hosted an annual golf and tennis tournament in Montgomery Village.
The Harden and Weaver Golf and Tennis Tournament attracted sports celebrities from around the area including star players from the Washington Redskins and Washington Bullets.
“Weaver, in my opinion, was the funnier of the two,” said Geoghan. “They went out and raised money for charity through that golf tournament.”
The show ended when Weaver died in 1992 but Harden continued on the air with Andy Parks and Tim Brant.
However, the “Harden and Weaver” show set the standard for morning radio programs in D.C. and across the country.
“They dominated the airwaves,” said Geoghan. “They were the number one radio show.”