Ron King's Farewell

On Friday, September 27, 2002, 101.5 LITE FM & evening host Ron King 'hung up the headphones' and retired after more than 30 years of service to the station and South Florida. He wanted to share his thoughts on a broadcast career that's spanned nearly five decades. Who were we to tell him 'no'? 

'It was a dark and stormy night.' 

Wait -- that's Snoopy's opening line for the book he never finished. I need an opening for a 'Goodbye to South Florida.' I know, I'll steal from Lincoln. (The President, not the car.) 

'Thirty years, seven months and two weeks ago, LITE FM brought forth a new voice and its name was Ron King.' Nah, that's too corny, isn't it? 

How about I just start by saying, 'Hey South Florida, this gig has been a blast. But all fun things have to end, and this one is just about over.' 

Friday, September 27th, is (or was, depending on when you read this) my last day on the air. It's time to 'Go West, Young Man' (or in my case, 'Upper-Middle-Aged Man.' Hey, ya gotta let me get away with something here; I think 'upper-middle-aged' is cool!) 

When you say goodbye you're supposed to thank lots of people. If I mentioned everyone that deserves it, the boss would never let me publish this thing. So, let me just say I've worked with many, many people here and they have all been top-flight. (Well, almost all of them; the ones that weren't, didn't stay very long!) 

There is no doubt in my mind that the staff of WLYF, 101.5 LITE FM, has always been -- and very much still is -- the very best in the business. Naturally I haven't worked with every staff in the business ... but believe me I know whereof I speak. Take my word for it, okay? 

That logically brings me to the group that's the most important: the Listeners. During these years I've been blessed by meeting lots of really super people. 

Paul -- who was 16 when I first played golf with him -- is now married with children and a law practice. (Aside: Why do lawyers call their life's work 'practice'?) Young Paul informed me that he listened to my station: 'It's great late at night when you're out, parked with a girl.' (Paul later dated my youngest daughter. Hmmmm...) 

Then there was the gentleman who called late one evening to share with me the news that his wife had just delivered their first child, a daughter. He called back about 20 years later to say she was getting married the next day. (I still haven't heard from the daughter, but I'll bet she listens.) 

It seems that everyone I meet in South Florida listens. And that's as it should be. 

And you haven't really lived till you've sat in my favorite Chinese restaurant -- which always has LITE FM on -- and listened to the cooks sing along with James Taylor ... in Chinese! 

As I depart LITE FM and head west, I wish for South Florida: 

• Unity
• No hurricanes (except the athletic kind from U.M.)
• Drivers who pay a lot more attention!
• Endless sunshine for those days at the beach!
• The continued love of a good partner.
• The knowledge of 'How to raise children', and the wisdom to always do what's right for them. 

And so much more. 

Most importantly for my friends here at LITE FM: I hope you all continue to hold an undying love for one of the world's truly great radio stations. 

And, as I say at the end of each program, 'Hope you've enjoyed the music as much as I have.' 

With love,
-- Ron King 

LITE FM staff dinner, Summer 2002. Standing (L to R:) Morning Co-Host Greg Budell, Promotions Coordinator Adena Paroly, Senior Engineer John Morris, Evening Host Ron King, Traffic & Continuity Director Tina Marcos, Morning Host Susan Wise, Midday Host & Music Director Gayle Garton, Weekend Host Debbie Delgado, Afternoon Host Ellen Jaffe, Weekend Host Sean Casey, Weekend Host Ed Edwards, Broadcast Engineer Larry Janus. Seated (L to R:) Promotions Director Tammy Moye, General Manager Dennis Collins, Program Director Rob Sidney