WPLJ/New York Turns Out The Lights … The Party’s Over After 48 Years


Last Day

With the EMF takeover of CUMULUS Hot AC WPLJ/NEW YORK, its air personalities, past and present, along with management and special guests spent the past two days saying goodbye to its listeners. ALL ACCESS covered the highlights of yesterday’s festivities here. Listen to what unfolds today here.

The Last Call

The last piece of recorded music heard on WPLJ was a snip of THE BEATLES’ classic “The End.”  That was preceded by a version of “White Port & Lemon Juice” (one of the station’s earliest signature tunes), which had been performed by HALL & OATES up at the station. The last voice was that of 20-year afternoon personality RACE TAYLOR, who signed the station off for the final time. 

TAYLOR’s final show was a fitting tribute to the station’s 48 years as a broadcast mainstay. As the clock wound down, the entire current air staff (except for the morning show’s TODD PETTENGILL and JAYDE DONOVAN) said their goodbyes. Prior to that, the station’s last PD, DAVE LABROZZI, saluted each of his predecessors one by one in a fitting tribute. Guests such as GAVIN DEGRAW and DONNY OSMOND called in live, and segments of some of PLJ’s historic concert events were replayed, including an emotional STING on the heels of 9/11. TAYLOR’S sign-off followed one final toast and shout-out from a room filled with stalwart broadcasters. 

JACOBS MEDIA Pres. FRED JACOBS commented on his company blog, “Today marks the final day for a radio brand that many now describe as iconic – WPLJ/NEW YORK. Just typing the legal ID gives me chills, because like hundreds and hundreds of radio broadcasters, PLJ played a role in my career. I wrote about the station in this blog a couple weeks ago in a post called ‘The Case For ‘Retiring’ Radio Station Call Letters.’ Not surprisingly, many radio veterans responded positively to the idea of preserving the industry’s history, in much the same way sports teams ‘retire’ the numbers and jersey worn by its biggest stars – its Hall of Famers. And credit where credit’s due.  WPLJ had some incredible people walk through its doors – both the air studio and the corner office – over the past five decades.  Many of them will be part of the “honor guard” that will celebrate this radio station’s sign-off. As it should be.”

Read his full post here.

WCBS-TV covered the change:

Friend of ALL ACCESS and (now former) weekender at ‘PLJ, SKYWALKER reached out to recount the great times he had with the station. He’d been making the commute each weekend from his regular gig as afternoon host/APD for PAMAL Top 40 WSPK (K104)/POUGHKEEPSIE, NY.  

SKYWALKER, who got the gig in SEPTEMBER 2018, said, “I want to say thank you to PD DAVE LABROZZI and APD MIKE ALLAN for the chance to make a dream come true!”

Although his last shift was this past MEMORIAL DAY, he’s hoping to find another way to keep his ‘phones plugged into THE BIG APPLE. SKY’s other experience includes three years as weekender at (then CBS) Top 40 WBMP/NEW YORK. He’s also cracked the mic for WWBX (MIX 104.1)/BOSTON and voice tracks for other stations as well. He can be reached at (845) 206-3458 or [email protected].

New owner EMF took the baton from CUMULUS at 7p ET, wrapping up two highly charged and at times, emotional days of radio history.  


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