Julian “Jerry” Liebman
Jerry Liebman

Pregame activities will feature a special media tribute to Howard, including stories from Specs Howard alumni.

A legendary Detroit radio voice will be honored with a dinner and tailgate party Aug. 27 at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield.

Detroiters know Specs Howard for his longtime media institution, the Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts, which operated from 1970 to 2021, when it became part of Lawrence Tech.

Jerry Liebman was born April 8, 1926, in rural Kittanning, Pa. He graduated from Allegheny College and went into radio announcing in his home state. After getting a job with a bigger station in Cleveland, he adopted the name Specs Howard, for his trademark glasses. He was a Top 40 DJ in Cleveland from 1956 to 1962, then became part of “The Martin and Howard Show,” one of the earliest examples of the “morning zoo” drive-time radio format, a combination of music, news, celebrity interviews and comedy bits. 

In 1967, he was recruited to the Detroit market by WXYZ-AM, where he continued “Martin and Howard.” In 1970, he left the airwaves to establish the Specs Howard School, training generations of Detroit broadcast technicians, engineers, and radio and TV personalities in the finer points of the broadcast arts. Many of Detroit’s most prominent radio DJs, news reporters and TV personalities have a Specs Howard certificate on their resume.

Now that his school is part of Lawrence Tech, the Specs Howard community plans to celebrate Howard and all he’s done for the Michigan communications industry with a private dinner and public tailgate party before LTU’s first home football game Saturday, Aug. 27. The tailgate party starts at 6 p.m., and the football game kicks off at 7. Pregame activities will feature a special media tribute to Howard, including stories from Specs Howard alumni. (Specs alumni are invited to submit a memory.) 

The first 100 Specs Howard alumni to register for the event will receive a commemorative coin with the Specs Howard classic radio button on one side and an LTU seal on the other, celebrating the university’s 90th birthday this year. To register, visit this link 

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