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Gerald Blum, Inspiration for ‘Big Guy’ Carlson on ‘Wkrp in Cincinnati,’ Dies at 86

Gerald Blum, Inspiration for ‘Big Guy’ Carlson on ‘Wkrp in Cincinnati,’ Dies at 86

Gerald “Jerry” Blum, the inspiration for the character of radio station general manager Art “Big Guy” Carlson on the long-running TV sitcom “Wkrp in Cincinnati,” died Saturday at 86.

The Atlanta radio veteran was affectionately transformed into the fictional Carlson by veteran comic actor Gordon Jump on “Wkrp,” which ran for four seasons on CBS from 1978 to 1982.

Blum passed away of congestive heart failure, according to his son, Gary.

Blum was the former president/Gm of Atlanta Top 40 mainstay Wqxi, heading that station from 1960 to 1989 and what is currently Wstr (Star 94.1) from ’67 to ’89, running legendary promotions like the “Ramblin’ Raft Race” in the ‘70s and “Light Up Atlanta Festival” in the early ‘80s.

“Wkrp in Cincinnati” creator Hugh Wilson knew Blum from his own years in Atlanta working in ad sales at Wqxi, and recreated some of Blum’s wackier promos for the show, especially “Turkeys Away,” which focused on “Big

See full article on Variety