A front desk receptionist at WJAS answered a call from a listener Wednesday, hours after longtime radio hosts Jack Bogut and Bill Cardille aired their farewells from the AM music station.
“Yes, they decided it was time to retire and they are not going to continue with the new owner,” she told one of several listeners who called in with similar questions throughout the morning.
Neil Diamond, Petula Clark and James Taylor still played after Mr. Cardille and Mr. Bogut signed off, but the radio station will soon switch from oldies music to a talk radio format.
Frank Iorio, owner of Radio Partners LLC, closed the purchase of WJAS 1320 from Renda Broadcasting Friday. Neither he nor the two hosts could be reached for comment.
Mr. Iorio is no stranger to radio in Western Pennsylvania. He owns six stations throughout the region. In a June Post-Gazette article, Mr. Iorio said it was possible he would continue the same format the station has had for so long.
But Mr. Cardille and Mr. Bogut said it was time to move on.
Mr. Cardille has been with WJAS for 19 years, and was on air from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays, the slot after Mr. Bogut, who hosted from 6 to 10 a.m. with “Bogut in the Morning.”
“We’ve watched the music change over the years. We no longer play the old, old, oldies. But the radio station has grown, the audience has been loyal beyond belief. It has been such a treat. And for broadcasters to be able to play to the same audience for a really long period of time in this business is rare,” Mr. Bogut said during the on-air farewell Wednesday morning.
The two said they are not done with radio and will take this time to pursue other opportunities.
Mr. Cardille will continue public appearances and his work with the Living Dead Festival, which commemorates the filming of the zombie movie “Night of the Living Dead” in Pittsburgh nearly 46 years ago. Mr. Cardille appeared in a key role of the film. From 1963 to 1983 he hosted Chiller Theater, a late-night horror movie show, on Channel 11.
“Any other city but Pittsburgh, if you were talking about being involved in ’Night of the Living Dead,’ do you know how strange that would sound?” Mr. Bogut joked to “Chilly Billy.”
In a 57-year career, Mr. Cardille started in radio in high school, and expanded into TV after college. He also hosted Channel 11’s “Studio Wrestling” for many years.
“I’ve worked every day since 1952. Isn’t that amazing?” he said to Mr. Bogut.
Mr. Bogut has called Pittsburgh home for most of his 60-year career, and he was the longtime morning host on KDKA-AM.
“Joni and I had a chance to move to Chicago and New York City to do the morning show on WABC many years ago,” Mr. Bogut said. “And we decided at that time that we were raising our kids here and we loved Pittsburgh more than any other place we had been. So we decided to stay.
”And looking back now it was exactly the right decision.”
He has been named Pittsburgh’s Outstanding Radio Personality four times by the American Federation of Television and Radio Announcers. Mr. Bogut has hosted the morning show for several years and said he continued with radio after a brief fling with television because of the same dedicated fans who called in to the station all morning.
“In any kind of a business, if you can work 57 or 60 years and have fun all that time, that is really special. But we could not have done any of it without the audience,” he said.
“From both of us, thank you for listening to us all these years and full speed ahead,“ Mr. Bogut said.
Sarah Schneider: email@example.com, 412-263-1760.