Local broadcasting legend Pat Barry dies from COVID-19 complications

Longtime local broadcasting legend Pat Barry died Saturday afternoon of complications from COVID-19. CONTRIBUTED / WCPO
Longtime local broadcasting legend Pat Barry died Saturday afternoon of complications from COVID-19. CONTRIBUTED / WCPO

Longtime local broadcasting legend Pat Barry died Saturday afternoon of complications from COVID-19.

Barry was a staple on Cincinnati-area airwaves for decades, spending time during his career at Q-102, 55-KRC and Classic Country out of Dry Ridge, Ky., among others. His career spanned to local television, working at WLWT and FOX-19, even stepping in for weather broadcasts occasionally.

“People were always glad to hear from Pat because he was always so upbeat and so positive and that’s what’s going to be so difficult to be without and that absence is going to be felt,” said Dennis Janson, former WCPO sports director. “It’s been a tough day.”

A jack of many trades, Barry grew up learning to play several different musical instruments before settling into a career in broadcast.

“He played four or five woodwind instruments for the Springfield High School marching band, but ironically he found his niche playing other people’s music on the radio when he was 16 years old,” said Janson.

Barry made his debut on Cincinnati airwaves at Q-102 in the 1970s and even hosted a studio show on television from the lobby of the Westin Hotel in downtown Cincinnati for a time.

“He had more nephews and nieces than you could shake a stick at because he was Uncle Pat to so many kids,” said Janson.

Among the children who considered Barry an uncle of sorts were those of Johnny Bench, former Reds catcher and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Bench took to Twitter on Saturday, calling Barry one of his dearest friends.

The Springfield, Ohio native had been fighting the COVID-19 virus for about one month and spent three weeks on a ventilator before passing away Saturday afternoon.

Funeral and memorial information has not yet been released.