Radio Hall-of-Famer Jim Bohannon has died in hospice care in South Carolina; he was 78. According to Talkers, he battled esophageal cancer.
This year, Bohannon had taken several leaves from his nationally syndicated show. Last month, he announced his retirement. Bohannon began his radio career in 1960 at KLWT-AM in his hometown of Lebanon, Missouri. Bohannon also worked in Washington D.C. at WTOP and WWRC.
“It is at times like these that I find myself thinking crying means love,” Bohannon’s former producer Rita Rich told Barrett News Media. “Jim was my “radio-husband” or “work-husband” for about 7 years, from the time he took over for Larry King until 2000.”
Bohannon was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2003 and into the Missouri Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in 2020.
“I am grateful that he was happy that I was able to rejoin team Bohannon after a 20+ year hiatus to help with another transition in the show,” Rich said.
During more than five decades on the air, Bohannon had earned a reputation as one of the most versatile broadcasters in the business. In 1993, after serving as Larry King’s primary backup, he took over his coveted nighttime talk slot. Bohannon joined Westwood One in 1983.
“Jim and I were able to express our mutual love and respect for each other before he left the airways. I’m thankful for that. I will miss his memories and photographic ability for him to recall passages of news correspondence and history. I will miss his laughter-getting the Big Guy to let loose a roaring laugh or even a giggle was a highlight of many a day and night of work for me,” Rich said.
He was a lifetime member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Vietnam Veterans of America. Jim has been honored to be the recipient of numerous awards in recognition of his talent and contributions to the radio industry.
Bohannon is survived by his wife, Annabelle, of Westminster, SC, and daughter, Elizabeth Smith of Janesville, WI. Per Jim’s wishes, no formal services will be held at this time.
Ryan Hedrick works for WIBC in Indianapolis as a Morning News Anchor/Digital Content Producer. Prior to moving to Indy, he served as Assistant Program Director and Co-Host of the Morning News Express at WFMD. His career also includes stints at News Talk 103.7 FM in Chambersburg, PA, Sirius XM in Washington D.C., WBEN in Buffalo, NY, and WIBW-AM in Topeka KS where he earned the Kansas Association of Broadcasters (KAB) award for Major Market enterprise reporting in 2016. To connect with Ryan, find him on Twitter @SureToCover.
WDAY Host Jeff Left Retires After 50 Years
Left worked in New York City, Portsmouth, Columbus, Philadelphia, and Fargo.
WDAY host Jeff Left is saying goodbye to radio as he’s retiring after 50 years in the industry across the country. Left began his career in Cleveland, Ohio, when he was 17 years old, and his first on-air opportunity was reading traffic reports to listeners.
“I wasn’t afraid or nothing. ‘I-35 backed up 10 minutes’, and I’m just reading it,” Left said about doing his first live-reads. “I said to myself, ‘Is this it? This is fun!”
Those live-reads led to Left traveling the country and working at various stations throughout his 50-year career. He worked in New York City, Portsmouth, Columbus, Philadelphia, and Fargo.
Eventually, he returned to WDAY for a second time, working in sales, production, and as an on-air personality alongside Bonnie & Friends.
“I’m lucky enough to have 27 advertising awards, I’ve been published 23 times nationally…” Left said. “…I thought it was time, and so that is why I decided to retire.”
Beginning Monday, October 2, Jace Denman will join Bonnie & Friends as Bonnie’s new co-host.
KQED Promotes Ernesto Aguilar to Executive Role
Since joining the radio station in 2021, Aguilar has been Director of Radio Programming.
News/talk KQED in San Francisco is promoting Ernesto Aguilar to Executive Director of Radio Programming and Content DEI. Since joining the radio station in 2021, Aguilar has been Director of Radio Programming.
Aguilar reacted to his promotion on X, formerly Twitter, and shed light on details of what the new role that he’s taking over will consist of.
“Happy to share that my role at @KQED is growing,” Aguilar wrote. “I’m now Executive Director of Radio Programming and Content DEI. In addition to the exciting broadcasts we do, I’ll also now oversee diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in the Content division.
“I’ll work closely with our Chief DEI Officer and teams to ensure our internal culture and our programming authentically serves the diverse Bay Area community we cherish. I’ll also be implementing annual Content DEI plans.”
Before joining KQED and heading to the Bay Area, Aguilar was Executive Director of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters and worked in Houston’s public radio scene. Furthermore, he thanked his boss, Holly Kernan, for entrusting him with the new role.
“Sincere thanks to @KQEDKernan, my boss, for her dedication and leadership on diversity issues,” Aguilar added. “Her support for devoting resources within Content is invaluable and a step I hope other organizations learn from.
Chris Hayes Taking Podcast on Road with Live Tour
Joy Reid will join Hayes while the tour is in Philadelphia. Meanwhile, Rachel Maddow is the guest for the New York stop.
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes is taking his Why Is This Happening? podcast on tour, as he’ll be hosting three live shows in Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York. Hayes has already made a stop in Austin, but the bulk of the tour is getting underway.
Hayes’ tour this fall will begin on Oct. 9 in Chicago, then head to Philadelphia on Oct. 16, and conclude in New York on Nov. 12. Furthermore, the MSNBC host won’t be alone, as he’ll guest, including some from his network.
Joy Reid will join Hayes while the tour is in Philadelphia; meanwhile, Rachel Maddow is the guest for the New York stop.
The All In host was recently in the news after it was announced that Inside with Jen Psaki will take over the Monday 8 p.m. time slot of Hayes’ show, with the change beginning on Sept. 25.
Nonetheless, Hayes will still anchor his show Tuesday through Friday, and Psaki will continue in her Sunday time slot at noon.