Andrew Martin Ockershausen, a longtime media executive whose career began in the golden days of radio and continued into the era of podcasting, died on Wednesday, March 17 in Annapolis, just days after his 92nd birthday.
Ockershausen, known to friends and associates as “Andy O.,” was born in 1929 and grew up in Northeast D.C. where he played quarterback for Eastern High School before beginning a lifelong career in broadcasting.
Ockershausen was hired into an entry-level position at WMAL radio in 1949, becoming the station’s general manager in 1960. Andy O. managed the station for more than 25 years at a time that it dominated Washington’s morning airwaves with the broadcast team of Frank Harden and Jackson Weaver. While at WMAL Ockershausen handpicked the broadcast team of Sonny Jurgensen, Sam Huff, and Frank Herzog – a trio so popular that Redskins fans would often mute their televisions and listen to the popular radio broadcast.
A life-long Washingtonian Andy O. had deep ties in D.C.’s business and civic communities and was a familiar presence at civic and sporting events, charity fundraisers and on Washington’s cocktail circuit. During his time at WMAL, he spearheaded a fundraising effort, which raised more than $7 million for Washington’s Children’s Hospital. He was also actively involved with the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, the Salvation Army and the D.C. Police Boys and Girls Club.
Ockershausen’s commitment to public service prompted Roll Call to credit him directly in a 1983 editorial, calling WMAL “a station that is not only the eyes and ears of Washington, but its voice and heart as well.”
In addition to his many years in radio, Ockershausen spent two decades in Washington television with key management roles at WMAL-TV (now WJLA-TV), WFTY-TV and Home Team Sports (now NBC Sports Washington).
Ockershausen has been married to Janice Iacona since 1993. In 2016 her media firm, Best Bark Communications began producing a series of over 200 podcasts titled Our Town which allowed Andy O. to share his eight-plus decades of memories with community leaders and other Washingtonians.
Always an optimist, Ockershausen once reflected on his long career in broadcasting, saying “Thank God I’m in this business.’ I love this city, I love this town, I love what I do.”
In addition to his wife Janice, Andrew Martin Ockershausen is survived by two sons, Kurt and Christian, along with two grandchildren. Funeral arrangements are incomplete.
Copyright 2021 by WMAL.com. All Rights Reserved. PHOTO: WMAL