If it's true that time flies when you're having fun, I feel like the last five years have, indeed, flown by...
First, please let me get the basic facts out there:
I am leaving iHeartMedia and NewsRadio 570/WSYR. I hosted my final morning show in Syracuse today. While it's certainly possible that I will return from time to time as a guest host or substitute -- come on, at some point, Lonsberry has to take a vacation.
I've been doing morning shows here at 570/WSYR for more than five years. I started filling in for Joe Galuski, soon became Joe's designated pinch-hitter, then became the almost-full-time morning host when Joe became seriously ill, eventually taking over the morning show three years ago after Joe passed away.
I had been doing freelance on-air work at different places, but when I showed up here, everything fell into place. From the first day in March of 2013, everything clicked. I can't really explain why, but it all felt like I belonged here.
The time passed quickly, because I really was having fun on the air. I worked with a terrific staff, I'm proud of what we accomplished, and there's no question in my mind that I've done the best work of my career here in Syracuse. It helped that my wife and I enjoyed being part of the community; Karen and I met many wonderful people, and we tried to take in as many of the great things around Central New York as we could. (We hoped that either the Crunch or the Comets would win the Calder Cup while we were here, but you can't have everything...)
I'm particularly grateful for three things:
First, that iHeartMedia and 570/WSYR gave me the opportunity to return to radio full time and host a morning show at a prestigious station. I had been out of the business for quite a few years, but I knew I had some good radio work left in me, and they gave me a chance to come back and do it. I hope to maintain a good professional relationship with iHeartMedia, and I would not hesitate to work with the company again if the right situation came along.
Second, that the company and the station's management kept my job intact while I dealt with my throat cancer. Even though I knew it would be pretty rough, the ordeal look much longer than I expected. I've spoken with several actors and singers who agreed that your voice is affected by illness and fatigue well before the rest of you feels bad, and well after the rest of you feels better. That's exactly what happened to me, but everyone here gave me the time to recover. That's particularly true for the guys who put in a lot -- and I mean a lot -- of extra time and effort to cover all the gaps my extended absence created. Thank you, gentlemen. Fine work, and it won't be forgotten.
Finally, I'm deeply grateful for the ongoing support of our listeners and advertisers. Our 570/WSYR morning show has had more than it's share of upheaval the past few years, yet you stuck with our station and our morning program. Let's face it, this whole enterprise would be pointless without your support, and I can't thank you enough for being there for us. I hope your loyalty continues in the same way it has for almost a century (2022 will be WSYR's centennial year).
Again, thank you, and farewell. Karen and I wish nothing but the best for all of you.