Jere J. Sullivan 3d, 57, of Erdenheim, a nationally known radio personality whom local listeners might best remember as "C. Jonathan Morgan," died Tuesday of heart failure at Abington Memorial Hospital.
"He was a consummate pro," said Ed Hurst, the longtime Philadelphia radio and TV host who came to know Mr. Sullivan while working at a local radio station. "He was very competent at whatever he did in broadcasting."
In a business notorious for a range of behavioral styles, Mr. Sullivan stood out, said Gerry Wilkinson, president of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia. "He was one of the good guys," he said.
Mr. Sullivan, who at the time of his death was vice president of operations for the national traffic service Traffic.com, had worked for stations in Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey, Florida and California, spending much of his career behind the scenes as a programmer and consultant.
A notable exception was his stint at WCAU-FM (98.1) in the 1970s, when disco dominated. Mr. Sullivan was the midday host of the highly rated "Fascinatin' Rhythm" program, using the on-air name C. Jonathan Morgan. "When he had the greatest success, it wasn't even under his name," said his brother P. Brian Sullivan.
He said his brother tipped his vocational hand early in life. "Always, always, he knew exactly what he wanted," Brian Sullivan said. He tinkered with microphones and spent countless hours listening to such local rock disc-jockey legends as Hy Lit and George Michael.
Mr. Sullivan, who was born in Lancaster and grew up in the Wyndmoor section of Springfield Township, Montgomery County, went right to work after graduating from Springfield High School in 1969.
He sorted mail at the radio and TV offices of WFIL, and got a job on the production staff of
The World Around Us
, a morning show on Channel 6. He left Channel 6 to become the overnight disc jockey at WIOQ-FM (102.1) and then to WCAU.
When he left Philadelphia, Mr. Sullivan became music director and an evening host at WYNY-FM, an NBC affiliate in New York.
From New York he moved on to Florida, where he was a programmer for several radio stations and ran the radio network operations for the Miami Dolphins and the University of Miami Hurricanes. He also appeared in at least two episodes of the TV show
He returned to Philadelphia in 1988 as a programmer for WSNI-FM (104.5) and WPGR-AM (1540), working with such local icons as Jerry Blavat and Don Cannon.
In short, Mr. Sullivan got to work with some of the legends he had listened to while growing up. Said his brother: "He was living a dream world."
In addition to his brother, Mr. Sullivan is survived by a daughter, Katie Sullivan-Gilbert; two sisters; another brother; his father, Jere J. Sullivan Jr.; and a former wife, Gretchen Schmidt.
A Funeral Mass will be at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Ambler at 10 a.m. today. Friends may call at the church from 8:30 to 9:45. Burial will be in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Cheltenham.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to the Abington Heart Clinic, Abington Memorial Hospital, 1200 Old York Rd., Abington, Pa. 19001.