Porky Chedwick ends WEDO show

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Legendary oldies DJ Porky Chedwick is signing off from his recently launched show on WEDO-AM (810).

Mr. Chedwick's weekly show debuted Sept. 2, airing from 11 a.m. to noon on Fridays. During the Oct. 21 broadcast, he told listeners that this Friday could be the last show because after two months on the air, no sponsors have signed on to support it.

Now the 93-year-old Mr. Chedwick said he doesn't plan to go on the air this week. "We're done. It wasn't a good situation."

He added that he didn't want to work from week to week on a trial basis. "I don't want to broadcast under those conditions. I want to be off the air."

"It was his decision to go off the air, not mine," his wife Jeanie Chedwick said.

"It's a sad situation that a man in the music industry for 63 years can't find a home on the radio," she added.

After hearing last week's broadcasts, some listeners and longtime Porky Chedwick fans offered to contribute money to keep the show going, said WEDO vice president and general manager John James. Most were former area residents who now live outside the area and who listened to the show's online stream. But the program needs business or corporate sponsors, since it's a commercial station, not donations from individuals, Mr. James said.

Mr. Chedwick, 93, whose long radio career started at the former WAMO, was a trailblazer in the music industry who introduced white audiences to records by black artists, and who was the first to play records by people such as Bo Diddley, Smokey Robinson and others. His signature on-air patter -- "The Daddio of the Raddio," "Your Platter Pushin' Papa," "Pork The Tork" -- have become part of radio folklore.

Since the WAMO glory days, he's been heard on many area stations, including a past stint at WEDO and most recently on WKFB-AM (770).

While most DJs who work at larger commercial stations are paid, the situation is different at the smaller AM stations that are home to niche programming like Mr. Chedwick's oldies show. Arrangements between hosts and stations like WEDO vary. Sometimes the station sells advertising time for a program, giving the host a share. Some hosts find their own sponsors or pay for the air time themselves.

The WEDO show also streamed online, and Mrs. Chedwick said that was something they may explore if another radio opportunity doesn't come along.

Porky Chedwick also makes weekly appearances at the Brookline Pub in Brookline Sundays from 6 to 10 p.m.


Adrian McCoy: amccoy@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1865.


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