A New York Radio Icon Signs Off

Pat St. John will continue his longstanding association with Sirius XM from San Diego.

After 42 years on the air with WPLJ, WNEW-FM, WAXQ and WCBS-FM, Pat St. John bid his east coast farewells Sunday afternoon. The 101.1 FM host and his wife are moving west to San Diego to be closer to their two children and grandchildren.

Per Radio Ink:

“I want to thank everybody…” St. John said on his final WCBS-FM show. “It’s been an incredible ride in New York City. I celebrated my 42nd anniversary on New York radio this past Thursday, and then fitting, it’s today and this is it. I’m moving strictly for my family. My little grandson… we just got to be near him. I got to see him. I got see him all the time! And that’s it. The fact I won’t go through a winter – I’ve been through a few – that’s just a little perk.”

From a home studio, St. John will continue to host a weekday 1 p.m. program for Sirius XM’s Sixties on 6 channel. Speaking ahead of his final April 12 show with David Hinckley of the Daily News, St. John acknowledged the commercial radio business has changed:

“The relationship with the listeners has remained the same,” he says. “That’s as solid as ever. What we’re allowed to do for them now is another story.”

It’s a too-familiar story: less personality, more tightly formatted playlists. Much of radio over the years has evolved into shut-up-and-play-more-music.

“I’ve been fortunate,” St. John says. “It isn’t free-form any more, but I’ve been allowed to say things and play some of my songs.”

As Hinckley notes, once Vin Scelsa retires next month from WFUV, there will be very few of the old NYC radio guard left.
[Photo of St. John with The Beach Boys’ Mike Love via: patstjohn.net]