BALTIMORE — Baltimore radio stalwart Dave Durian passed Monday morning following a brief illness, WBAL Radio announced.
“He had a unique ability to connect with people, which is the Holy Grail if you’re in radio,” said Bill Vanko, Durian’s morning co-host and newsman at WBAL Radio. “If you can make that connection with a listener and make that listener feel entertained and engaged so they’ll come back the next day, you’ve hit the jackpot, and he hit it every day.”
Durian was 72 when he passed. He was a presence on the city’s airwaves since 1982, serving as on-air talent at WBAL-TV 11, Maryland Public Television, and WBAL Radio. He is best known in the market by those who heard his voice coming out of their radio speakers.
“If you grew up in Baltimore for all those years, schools weren’t closed when it snowed unless Dave Durian told you,” Vanko joked, of the veteran host's storm coverage. Durian could keep his listeners engaged as they often heard him roll through the same lengthy lists of closes during each big storm.
“He always made you want to come back and tune in again the next day just to see what he was talking about,” Vanko said. “He would entertain you and engage you and, unlike so much of the media today where your head explodes at some point, your head never did when you were listening to Dave, you just felt comfortable.”
While Durian provided the perception of being everyone’s knowing friend on the airwaves, Vanko said he lived up to that reputation in person, as a humble, friendly persona.
“In this business there there are people that are big stars and there are people that are nice guys, and those are very rarely the same person, but Dave truly was,” Vanko said. “He was as nice off the air as he seemed to be on the air. He was a friend, a colleague, somebody you could walk up to on the street and, half-an-hour later, you could still be talking to him, you’d think he was your best friend. He had a unique ability to communicate with people on all levels.”