The Glorious Corner: NYC’s WPLJ Radio Exits, Debbie Gibson, RIP Peggy Lipton and More

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David Salidor, Scott Shannon, and, Steve Leeds 
By G.H. Harding

WPLJ EXITS — WPLJ New York (95.5) will sign off on Friday, May 31 after serving the market for 48 years. The announcement was made Wednesday morning (May 8) by Todd & Jayde, along with an accompanying message and video on the station’s social pages.

“95.5 WPLJ signed on the air in 1971. May 31, 2019 will be our final broadcast,” a Facebook post read. “More details to follow shortly. Thank you for the years of support and for listening.”

Cumulus Media is selling six radio stations, including WPLJ New York, WYAY Atlanta and WRQX Washington, DC, to Educational Media Foundation for $103.5 million in cash.

A reunion of station employees, past and present, organized by former ‘PLJ programmer Tom Cuddy will be on May 21 from 6-9pm at Steve Walter’s Cutting Room on East 32nd Street in Manhattan.

“Having had the privilege to work at WPLJ for 19 years, I felt compelled to bring together the talented people who make-up the station’s history, both on-air and behind the scenes, past and present,” Cuddy said in making the announcement. “So, I’m putting together a reunion where we’ll lift a glass and share some fun stories among all of the gifted staffers who made ‘PLJ tick.”

The current weekday on-air lineup at WPLJ include “Todd & Jayde” (5:30-10am), Melony Torres (10am-2pm), Race Taylor (2-7pm) and Mike Allan (7pm-12am).

The social media post had a nice voice-over by Race Taylor, but scant coverage of legendary Scott Shannon, who made the station what it was in its heyday. Many posted that it was a tragic mistake. Well, I agree. How can you not even mention the on DJ that instantly brought promise to your station. Crazy!

Cumulus Media (who sold the station) should be tarred and feathered. An outrage!

Shannon is one of the most significant on-air personalities ever! He’s right up there will Murray The K, Scott Muni, Don Imus and Wolfman Jack … and, yes, Howard Stern. He’s even in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. One of the few DJ’s.

Shannon now rules the roost mornings on CBS-FM.

Peggy Lipton

PEGGY LIPTON RIP — Peggy Lipton, a former model and actress known for her roles on TV’s The Mod Squad and Twin Peaks, has died after battling cancer. She was 72. Lipton’s daughters from her marriage to music producer Quincy Jones, Rashida and Kidada Jones, announced her death Saturday.

“She made her journey peacefully with her daughters and nieces by her side,” the two said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times.   “We feel so lucky for every moment we spent with her.”

Lipton was initially diagnosed with and treated for colon cancer in 2004.

She was born in New York City in 1946. She began modeling at age 15 before giving acting a try a few years The actress launched her television career with a series of guest roles, and landed the iconic role as flower child and crime fighter, Julie Barnes, on ABC’s Mod Squad. The series co-starred Michael Cole and Clarence Williams III, and ran from 1968 to 1973. Lipton won a Golden Globe for the role in 1971, and received four Emmy nominations.

She had a decades-long Hollywood career, with other credits including the miniseries Secrets, TV’s Crash, Alias and Angie Tribeca, in which she played daughter Rashida Jones’ mom.

Lipton married legendary producer Jones in 1974, and the two divorced in 1990. She is survived by her two daughters.

Very, very sad; she was a huge favorites of mine … always.

‘”Eat Like a Rock Star”
“Living The Lux Life”
Debbie Gibson

SHORT TAKES — Here’s a look a review from the New Kids On The Block’s Mix Tape Tour from a show last week in Memphis. Sounds like quite the production. Author Mark Bego sees the show next week in Phoenix. Two of the performers in the show, Debbie Gibson and Tiffany, have recipes in Bego’s terrific Eat Like A Rock Star book. Here’s the review: … PR-pasha David Salidor gets the Zach Martin-interview treatment next week … This is the time of the year when the networks (major and minor) stage their so-called Upfronts in New York. CBS’ Murphy Brown was officially canceled; NBC’s Blindspot will return for one final season; Fox’s The Orvillewas renewed for a third season; and, NBC’s This Is Us got an unprecedented (I believe) three-season renewal. Our favorites this year, NBC’s New Amsterdam and CBS’ FBI were renewed early on. TV’s more of a roller coaster than ever before. I said it last week and I’ll say it again; FX’s Fosse/Verdon (currently airing) I think is one of the best things I’ve watched in years. Sam Rockwell and Michele Williams are giving off-the-charts performances … Ryan Murphy is bringing Broadway’s The Prom to Netflix. Excellent choice. Excellent play … The book, Living The Luxe Life, the story of hotelier-extraordinaire Efrem Harkham (written with Mark Bego), was suppose to come out last Tuesday; but did not. Trouble in Luxe-land? Stay tuned … Have you see the trailer for the new Watchmen series on HBO? I loved the first film of Alan Moore’s classic tale, from, director Zack Snyder. Snyder did Batman vs. Superman;Dawn of Justice and I have to say, that despite an outpouring of negative reviews, the movie’s just great. Released in 2016, it still holds up today. Damen Lindelof did the new HBO one and I have to say, the tone  immediately reminds me his series The Leftovers (also on HBO) which I adored. He did Lost too. This should be huge! Here’s the HBO trailer:… finally, what ever happened to Nonstop To Cairo? 

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Jane Blunkell; Randy Alexander; Heather Moore; Steve Walter; Greg Messel; Keith F. Girard; William Schill; Howard Bloom; Jeff Smith; Ida Langsam; Wendy Stuart Kaplan; Marc Lacob; and CFS.

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