Longtime WMAL Host Andy Parks Has Died

John Matthews


WASHINGTON – (WMAL)  Longtime Washington radio and podcast personality Andy Parks has died.  Parks, who spent decades at WMAL, before moving on to host a radio program and podcast at the Washington Times, was 68. 

Andy spent decades at WMAL, first as the station’s airborne reporter, where he worked in the mornings with Harden and Weaver and in the afternoons with Trumbull and Core –  mixing equal parts useful information with witty airborne schtick – keeping listeners entertained with stories of his guest flight attendants – from Jack Kent Cooke to Sandra Day O’Connor – or whoever the perfect news foil of the day happened to be.  

After years of flying the split shift, Andy was all too happy to be grounded in 1992 and earn a morning co-host slot – creating a trio with DC radio legend Frank Harden and native Washingtonian and TV sports anchor Tim Brant. 

After Harden retired, Tim and Andy hosted WMAL’s morning show for several years, bringing a humorous, friendly tone to the news of the day.   Brant and Parks were on the air the morning of September 11, 2001, and they guided Washingtonians through the first hours of the attacks on New York and the Pentagon. 

Eventually, Tim returned his focus to television full time, and Andy was paired with former TV comic actor and congressman, Fred Grandy.  Together with newsman Bryan Nehman as a sidekick, “Grandy and Andy” spent several more years as Washington’s favorite news/talk hosts, mixing humor with newsmaker interviews.  Andy was the perfect straight man to Fred’s informed antic takes on both Hollywood and Capitol Hill. 

Andy left WMAL in 2010, and took his talents to the Washington Times as Director of Radio Broadcasting.  There, he honed his political bones as a conservative talk host and created an interview-intensive political news program that aired on several stations, including WTNT-AM and WRC-AM.  Eventually, his program evolved into a popular podcast, “Politically Unstable”, that continued until shortly before his death. 

Andrew Cook Parks was born in Baltimore on December 28, 1953, and he grew up in Baltimore County, where he graduated from Randallstown High School.  After working in his family’s restaurant business,  Andy graduated from the Broadcasting Institute of Maryland, and got a job with Metro Traffic Control, delivering airborne traffic reports for several local stations, before becoming WMAL’s exclusive reporter. 

Over four decades in radio, Andy became active in many charities, and was recognized for outstanding public service by military, government, and community groups. Together with his WMAL colleagues, he raised significant funds for Children’s Hospital, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Fisher House Foundation and  many other worthy causes. Andy also was honored with numerous industry awards, and was twice was a finalist for the National Association of Broadcasters’ Marconi award for Major Market Personality of the Year.  He and Fred Grandy together accepted WMAL’s award as Major Market Station of the Year in 2008.

Andy is survived by his loving wife of 48 years, Patty, his children Drew and Jennifer and their spouses, and three grandchildren. 

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