Bill Jordan to hang up his headphones at Mix 101.5 for the last time

dmenconi@newsobserver.comMarch 5, 2013 

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Bill Jordan, MIX 101.5 radio show host

HANDOUT

— A local-radio institution will be leaving the airwaves in less than two weeks.

Bill Jordan, longtime morning-show co-host on WRAL 101.5-FM in Raleigh, announced his retirement on the air Tuesday. His last day on the station will be March 15, capping a career that goes back to the early 1970s.

“July 1 would make 40 years in radio, more than 23 of them here,” Jordan said after Tuesday’s announcement. “And since October of 1980, I’ve been waking up at 3:20 every morning. So I’m tired. I’m gonna hang up my headphones and find something else to do. Sleep until 6, for one thing.”

WRAL, “Mix 101.5,” is an adult contemporary station owned by Capitol Broadcasting Company. In trend ratings for January, it ranked fifth in listenership in the Raleigh-Durham radio market, the country’s 42nd largest.

Jordan, 58, has held down WRAL’s morning drive-time slot since November 1989. He’s had a half-dozen co-hosts over the years, most recently Lynda Loveland for the past four years, chatting about news of the day between songs and traffic reports from 6 to 10 a.m. weekdays.

“My father-in-law says I’m a freak because nobody stays in the same job that long anywhere, much less in broadcasting,” Jordan said.

Asked what he’ll miss, Jordan cited events including a jump with the “Golden Knights” parachute team and working on WRAL’s annual Radiothon benefit, which has raised more than $15 million for Duke Children’s Hospital over the years. But there’s one thing he won’t miss at all: his get-up time to be on the air by 6 a.m.

“People always want to know what time I go to bed or wake up,” Jordan said. “I swear, you could tell someone you’d been a P.O.W. in Vietnam for 9 1/2 years and they’d say, ‘Horrible.’ Tell them you removed your own appendix with a dull butter knife and they’d say, ‘Terrible.’ But tell them you have to get up at 3:20 every morning, and they scream. A lot of people would kill for this job, except for the 3:20 part.”

WRAL afternoon deejay Jim Kelly will serve as a temporary replacement on the morning show starting March 18 while the station searches for a full-time replacement.

“We certainly want to fill that as soon as possible,” said WRAL program director Barry Fox. “We’re about to initiate a national search, but the ball has not yet started rolling.”

Menconi: 919-829-4759 or blogs.newsobserver.com/beat

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