Announcer survives open heart surgery |

Announcer survives open heart surgery

If you were wondering where KRLT announcer Jerry Hurwitz was for the last two months, he wasn’t on vacation.

Hurwitz underwent open heart surgery in December at Stanford Medical Center after going in for a routine checkup weeks before.

“I was in total denial,” he said. “I felt kind of tired one day and thought it was the flu. I was wrong.”

It was mums the word around the office, which includes KRLT and AM sister station KOWL, per Hurwitz’s request. Employees fielded phone calls from inquisitive residents who wanted to know where he was. They couldn’t divulge any details.

“We got quite a few calls,” said Zap, the station’s program director. “I’d say we received one to two calls a day about his leave of absence.”

Hurwitz, 47, returned to work on Wednesday and refamiliarized himself with his job. He still has a nasty scar on his left arm, where doctors took some veins and layered them around his heart. His lifestyle will have to change with a recommended low-fat diet and exercise.

“I can’t have food that has any flavor anymore,” Hurwitz laughed. The heart attack was his second and said the first when he was 26 put some realism into his life. “It was frightening. When you’re young, you tend to think you’re invincible. The heart attack did some damage.”

His radio career came matter-of-factly. A sales representative approached the young businessman in 1978 and said he could broadcast a show on Sunday devoted to oldies. He jumped at the chance and the show received such fanfare he expanded to Saturday. He took a five-year hiatus in 1991 before returning to KRLT as news director.

“Jerry brings a personal touch to this job,” said Zap. “He knows the details, he isn’t vague. A lot of people know him around town.”

Hurwitz enjoys finding the most up-to-date details. If there is someone in Meyers who knows about traffic bottlenecked on Highway 50, he has no problem putting them on air.

“I love the fact that we have communicated accurate, concise information that can be a little fun once in awhile,” he added. “You also never know what you will walk into on a daily basis. I want to cover the story most important to our listeners.”

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