Longtime Milwaukee radio personality Karen Dalessandro is leaving town for a new gig in Phoenix.
Dalessandro, the former country music host who has been on the afternoon drive shift at WKLH-FM (96.5) for more than two years, will be taking over the same gig at another classic rock station, Phoenix’s KSLX-FM starting April 5, AllAccess.com reported Tuesday.
According to OnMilwaukee.com, her last day at WKLH will be March 26.
Dalessandro spent 20 years as a country radio host in Milwaukee at WMIL-FM (106.1). After briefly retiring in 2017 — she was inducted into the Country Radio Hall of Fame in 2015 — Dalessandro joined WKTI-FM (94.5), which had switched to a country-music format. After WKTI flipped to an all-sports format in 2018, she landed at WKLH as a part-time host, going full-time as the station’s host from 3 to 7 p.m. in 2019.
I guess I am coming up on 27 years since I last left Milwaukee.
The first time, of course, was at age 11; then I returned for the University, but when my prospects were uncertain (I had an English/Philosophy degree and a ton of grocery store experience), so I returned to the St. Louis area to live in my mother’s basement until I found myself (three years later, I landed a technical writing position because I was taking programming classes at night, not just because I had a writing degree).
So I have missed this veteran broadcaster’s entire career. She was inducted into the Country Radio Hall of Fame, for crying out loud. And even if I would have been there at the very outset of her career, I was not listening to WMIL. I was listening to the AOR stations at the time. QFM and whatnot.
I listened to WKTI when I was in high school on summer trips to my father’s house and early in my college days, but they played pop music then (and ‘hits’ like Calloway’s “I Wanna Be Rich” pretty much hourly. Like, hourly.
Although WKTI did introduce me to the Triplets, so it’s got that going for me.
But apparently WKTI has gone through two complete format changes in the interim.
I still have my Best of Dave and Carole from WKLH cassette which I have not listened to for a long time. I see that show ended five years ago. I should pull that old comedy tape out whilst I still have a motor vehicle that supports it.
Ah, well, everything passes, and in the twenty-first century, radio stations and radio personalities tend to swap around a lot and disappear.
You can bet my boys, who are exposed to a lot of radio for their age, won’t have the same nostalgia for stations and personalities that a couple generations of their forefathers did.