Tom Ryan

Tom Ryan is no stranger to Detroit radio or, for that matter, to the city of Detroit. Tom was born and raised here, attending St. Gregory’s High School and the University of Detroit. After college, he took a job in the mailroom at WKMH (later WKNR, now WNIC) before switching to the Traffic/Production department as a writer and producer.

In 1964, when WKMH became WKNR, Dick Purtan joined the staff and Tom became his producer and ‘voice-man.’ In 1971, Ryan and Purtan ‘took their show on the road,’ joining forces with WXYZ. The team stayed with ‘Wixie’ compiling one great ratings book after another until 1978, when the duo moved to Windsor’s CKLW. In January of 1983, Purtan departed for another local radio station, and Tom took over the CKLW Morning Show as a solo act. In that year, he was given an honorable mention in radio columnist Jim McFarlin’s ‘Big Mac’ Radio Awards in the Detroit News.

In June of 1984, Tom joined the staff on Oldies 104.3 WOMC as its Morning Show Host. April 15, 1996, Tom began a very successful afternoon move with his ‘Ridin’ Home with Ryan’ Show that is currently experiencing great reviews! In his tenure with WOMC, he’s been given two more honorable mentions in McFarlin’s ‘Big Mac’ Awards. Additionally, Tom was chosen by Channel 56, Detroit’s PBS station, to host its annual fundraiser in 1985 and 1986. The American Lung Association has twice picked Ryan to be the spokesman for its annual ‘Favorite Bartender’ fundraiser. Tom’s been the Master of Ceremonies for Children’s Hospital’s ‘Festival of Trees,’ Renaissance Center activities such as their ‘Grand Prix Party,’ ‘Bosses Day,’ and ‘Michigan/Michigan State Pep Rally,’ and many other events, including the Ford Motor Land Development ‘Fairlane Food Festival,’ the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade, in which he currently plays Santa Claus, the J.L. Hudson ‘Fash Bash’ and every year Tom hosts a sixteen hour Radiothon to benefit Children’s Hospital.

Tom has received awards from the Berkley P.T.A. for his work in a TV show which showed students how to get extra credits, the University of Detroit, which recently gave him the ‘Tower’ Award for outstanding alumni, the Variety Club of Detroit, which made him the recipient of the ‘Heart’ Award and the Catholic Youth Organization, which named him Outstanding Citizen in 1993. Tom’s worked closely with the March of Dimes and the Michigan Humane Society and has won three prestigious ‘Clio’ Awards for his voice work in local commercials.

Though he’s been a mainstay locally on radio for over 25 years, Tom Ryan is no stranger to Detroit television viewers. Because of his popularity on the radio, Tom was given the chance to host a local children’s show on WKBD, Channel 50, called ‘The Captain Detroit Show’, where he played the part of Sgt. Sacto. The program aired from 1967 through 1970. In 1984, he starred as the wacky vampire ‘Count Scary’ on WDIV, Channel 4. The character became an instant hit locally, and is still seen every Halloween around Detroit. In the late 70’s Tom won an Emmy Award for his work on the Dick Purtan Comedy Special. Ryan has also hosted ‘Free Sports Weekends’ on the Pro AM Sports Service cable channel locally, and starred in ‘Hamtramck,’ which was an Emmy Award winning show. He also hosted the Michigan Lottery’s game show for a year, was a color commentator on Channel 50’s Valvoline Bowling Challenge and hosted the Beaumont Hospital Leukemia Telethon on WKBD-TV.

Apart from his work in various entertainment mediums, Tom keeps very active in community activities. For over 30 years, he’s been a high school basketball referee, the public address announcer for University of Detroit basketball games, the Detroit Pistons, the Detroit Lions, filled in at Detroit Tiger games and spoken at many area high schools about careers in broadcasting.

Tom has called the Detroit area home all his life, and now resides in suburban West Bloomfield with his wife, Joan, Senior Vice President of Merchandising for Walt Disney Attractions. In 1999 Tom selflessly donated a kidney to his bride of 28 years. Reach him at: t.m.ryan@att.net