Thomas (Bo Donovan) Becker
1944 – 2012
Tom Becker, aka Bo Donovan, began a broadcast career in 1964 at KXO Radio in El Centro, CA (his hometown). Later he joined KBLU in Yuma, AZ as an afternoon personality and in 1966 joined KDES AM/FM in Palm Springs as its morning personality and Program Director. Palm Springs was always a special place for him because it was there that he fell in love, got married and his son Shane was born. On their honeymoon, in San Diego, he informed his new bride that he intended to eventually live there. She had no problem with that.
In 1968 Bo joined KROY in Sacramento as an evening personality. In 1969 Billboard Magazine named KROY Contemporary Station of the Year. KROY’s audience share exceeded that of all three Sacramento network afﬁliated TV stations . . . combined! Bo
moved back to Southern California and KMEN in San Bernardino and in 1971-73 to programming and on-air positions with KDAY (Top 40) KLAC and KBQ (Country) in Los Angeles. His job at KDAY was responsible for the aka. The person in the time slot
immediately before his was also a Tom, so to avoid confusing the listeners they asked him to use another name. He went out to lunch with friends, came back and went on the air as Bo Donovan. He was a hit and the name stuck, although he never changed it
In 1973, Bo was appointed Director of Programming for SRO Broadcasting in Seattle and supervised the programming and operations of all 9 SRO stations. While with SRO, beginning with rating book zeros, Seattle’s KZOK rocked its way from no documented listeners to #1 in 63 days. To this day, KZOK still uses the logo and call sign (OK102 and a half) designed by Donovan in 1973. In the Tri-Cities, KALE scored a 100 ratings share (a feat never before or since achieved by any radio station). In Eugene, OR SRO’s KASH became a dominant #1 even while at 1600 on the AM dial . . . a dial position not even listed on many radios. Ultimately, all 9 SRO stations hit
ﬁrst place ratings in their target demographics. In 1974 Bo was named Radio Programmer of the Year by Poe Publications, a national broadcast publication.
In October of 1976, Bo ﬁnally moved to San Diego for good when he joined Tuesday Productions as Vice President of its Broadcast Division. Bo’s family put down roots at last and his daughter Jessica was born the following year. Between 1976 and 1984
Tuesday became the largest producer of musical IDs and promotional campaigns for radio and television in the world, with ofﬁces in San Diego, New York, Edmonton and Sydney. At its peak in 1983, Tuesday’s music could be heard every few seconds on a
radio or television station somewhere in the world.In March of 1984, Bo formed Silvertree Inc., a San Diego based Creative Services ﬁrm with clients worldwide. Silvertree has been the recipient of Clio, Addy, Silver Mike, Sunny IBA and Homburg
awards for creative and production excellence. Bo served as Silvertree’s President and Creative Director and functioned as a freelance Creative Director/Copywriter/Producer for advertisers and ad agencies.
Bo is a Past President and Chairman of the San Diego Ad Club, Founding President of the Association for Independent Radio Producers, 3-time President of the San Diego Advertising Golf Association, Board member of the San Diego Variety Club, a member
of the San Diego Production Association, The United Way Marketing Committee and Past Chairman of the BBB’s Advertising Ethics Council. He has performed as a voice talent on hundreds of radio and television commercials and served as live announcer for
a variety of events including the World and National Aerobic Championships (1989-2003) and the PGA’s Andy William/Buick Invitational/Farmers Insurance Open Tournament at Torrey Pines (1987-2012).
In May of 2003, Bo accepted a part-time volunteer position with the San Diego County of Public Works – Airports. Starting with marketing of the Ramona Air Show and then managing the requirements of the department’s FCC licenses, Bo performed a large
variety of assignments as an assistant to the Airport Manager at Ramona.
In November of 2004, Bo was appointed Contract Airport Manager for the Fallbrook Community Airpark. Bo retired from advertising creative services and devoted himself full-time to airport management. In February 2006, Bo’s responsibilities to the County of
San Diego were increased to include management of the Ramona Airport which became his base.
Bo was a licensed pilot, member of the Aircraft Owner’s and Pilots Association (AOPA), the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE). Bo was recently appointed to the Ramona Sheriff’s Citizens
Advisory Group and elected Secretary of the Group and Chairman of its Community Safety Sub-Committee. Bo also served as the Secretary/Treasurer of the San Diego Advertising Golf Association where he has been a member of the Board of Directors
since 1976 and initiated its Scholarship Program.
Bo lived in the San Diego Country Estates community of Ramona and passed away on Tuesday, April 24th, surrounded by loving family. He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Cova, son, Shane Becker, daughter, Jessica Becker Shapiro, mother, Grace Becker,
sister, Mary Jo Ramsey and grandsons Michael Becker and Jeffrey Sparks.
He will be remembered for his great sense of humor, his great energy, his talent for organizing and motivating people to be their very best, his giving spirit and his ability to tackle all kinds of situations and bring them to not only adequate but outstanding
conclusions. He will be greatly missed.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, May 19th 2pm, Ramona Oaks Park (bandstand area), 25386 Pappas Road
Bring everything you’d want for a day in the park with friends and family. We will provide some picnic and grilling basics. Anyone who wishes to share a story is welcome to do so. There will be an opportunity to make a donation to the Bo Donovan Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Please RSVP to the family at: www.tommybecker.blogspot.com
Bonham Bros. & Stewart Mortuary and Cremation Service is assisting the family.Print Obituary & Condolences