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John DeBella Hosts Final Morning Show on WMGK/Philly


John DeBella
John DeBella

WMGK-FM/Philadelphia morning personality John DeBella stepped into the studio to host his final morning radio show on Friday, June 30. The legendary host is retiring after more than 48 years on the radio airwaves. DeBella's final goodbye show featured members of his family along with Beasley Chief Executive Officer Caroline Beasley, who congratulated him on his incredible career.

To commemorate his final month on the air, the station ran a special tribute segment to celebrate DeBella's legendary career entitled "41 & Done!," where DeBella recounted some of his favorite stories on the air. In addition, the station played old live performances from the Morning Zoo broadcasts in Atlantic City and clips from the yearly shows the legendary personality would do in London. He also read a few tear-jerking emails from longtime listeners.

In addition, numerous artists and comedians, including the Who's Pete Townshend, E Street Band Guitarist Steven Van Zandt, Joan Jett, Graham Nash, The Eagles Don Felder, James Young of Styx, Yes' lead singer Rick Wakeman, Carl Palmer from Emerson, Lake and Palmer were featured in recorded goodbye and thank you messages to John in the "41 & Done!" flashback segments.

On Wednesday, June 21, WMGK hosted a special party with listeners at Parx Casino, where fans could have a photo taken, hang out and chat with John one last time. In addition, this past Monday, WMMR-FM midday personality Pierre spent the entire 8am hour of John's show recounting old stories with him from their time together on the air at WMMR.

On Friday, June 30, Fox 29's Good Day Philadelphia will air an interview segment with John and Mike Jerrick.

The Longtime morning show personality has been synonymous with Philadelphia radio entertainment for 41 years. In addition to serving as the morning host of WMGK-FM for the past 21 years, he was a major force doing mornings from 1982 to 1993 on sister 93.3 WMMR-FM.

As one of the originators of the Morning Zoo format, his morning show not only became an unprecedented number one rated show in Philadelphia, but he also achieved the highest ratings in local radio history at that time.

In addition to DeBella's nationally honored radio career, he has appeared as a stand-up comedian, is a local Emmy award winning host & producer, has co-anchored the Philadelphia Mummers Parade and has won numerous local service and humanitarian awards. Along with his morning show on Classic Rock 102.9 WMGK, John heads Husky Productions, a local TV production company.

In June of 2023, DeBella was named among the finalists for the National Radio Hall of Fame and was officially inducted into the Philadelphia Music Alliance Walk of Fame this past April.

"Being on air 48 years in a business where someone else usually decides your retirement date, I was happy to decide this on my own," said DeBella. "I have been blessed over the years with so many talented coworkers and managers- all of whom helped me be my best and had my back when I needed it. Combine that with a very supportive audience, I leave grateful to them all."

"John's desire to win and his efforts in prepping each and every show have never diminished. DeBella is just one of a kind and I've been fortunate to be his PD," stated Beasley Media Group Vice President of Talent Development and station Program Director Bill Weston.

"In typical John DeBella style, he's leaving on a high," said Beasley Media Group Chief Content Officer Justin Chase. "He spent his last few shows raising hundreds of thousands for Veterans, gets a nomination for the National Radio Hall of Fame and maintains top ratings in the Philadelphia market. Congratulations John, you will be missed by everyone here at Beasley."

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