The John DeBella Show has been anchoring mornings on WMGK for over two decades now, and he’s been heard on Philly airwaves for twice as long. Our friends at Main Line Today spent some time with DeBella discussing his tenure in this city and how his show has evolved over the years.
Michael Bradley, formerly of our sister station 97.5 The Fanatic/950 WPEN AM, wrote a feature for Main Line Today Magazine celebrating John’s 20th anniversary on WMGK and 40th anniversary on the air in Philadelphia. In the article Michael does a really great job of giving you an idea of our show planning. A lot of times that planning comes from us talking about things that happen in our everyday lives, inside and outside of these studios. Phoners and bits can come from anything, really. Our lives are basically open books. Our wives know that, our extended families know that. You know that. Sure, there are some red lines we will keep sacred and secret, but it is not much. That is how things should be. You, the listener, are part of our lives as we should be yours. We’re a couple of friends going for a ride in the car together every morning.
In this article Michael covers JDB’s time here in Philly: the good, bad and in between that has defined this incredible radio run in one city (a rarity in this industry). It wasn’t always easy, as the article states:
“It was June 2002, and DeBella was “scared stiff.” He was about to start his morning run at WMGK, and he wasn’t at all certain he could do a decent job. “I hadn’t done morning radio in a long time,” DeBella recalls…. (fellow DJ) Pierre Robert tried to calm his friend. “He turned to me and said, ‘Let me give you a piece of advice given to me by [the late Philadelphia rock critic] Jonathan Valania: Use your powers for good,’” DeBella says. “That changed my life. I still came in and did my wacky show, but I picked up causes as I went along.”
It’s a really well done piece. Give it a read on MainLineToday.com when you have the chance. -Steve Vassalotti
20 Years of John DeBella
The John DeBella Show
Join us, weekdays 6am to 9am. Take a shot at the Question From Hell at 6:20am and our rotating 8:35am contests for some really cool prizes like concert tickets, movie passes, restaurant gift cards and even the occasional trip! Hear the stories behind the songs you love each morning at 7:10am during Song Stories and join in the conversation by calling 215-263-WMGK or text us at MGKMGK. Follow @JDBShow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.