‘Big Chuck’ Retiring From Oneonta Radio After 33-Year Career
Boy, I never thought I would be writing this story!
I am retiring from WDOS radio in Oneonta effective June 29, 2021. That is almost exactly 33 years to the day that I first walked into the station in 1988 looking for a job.
I started at the station working for no pay, just to get the feel of it all. My first job was to sit and babysit a 3-hour long Boston Pops concert. It came to us on three huge reel-to-reel tapes which I watched and changed and rotated over the afternoon. From there I was hired in early 1989 to have my own show, "The Sunday Show" on Sunday afternoons and eventually I was made full time morning drive DJ and have been here ever since (see the photo above).
Over the course of my career, the station has gone through 5 different owners and 4 different locations: 10 Market Street, Rt. 23 Southside (where the tire store is across from Walmart), the Dr. Meiler building next to Brooks BBQ and finally (for me) at 34 Chestnut Street.
I have had the absolute dream job for more than three decades. I have interviewed thousands of people, done hundreds of live remotes, given my time for an uncountable number of civic events, and have entertained close to two generations of listeners.
Leaving WDOS is solely my decision. When I started in radio I was 39, and in a couple of weeks I will be 72. Seems, impossible.
I want to thank my bosses at Townsquare Media who have been fantastic to me over the last two years. In fact, they have asked me to stay on with the company and provide some content for their websites. I happily agreed.
But the days of getting up at 4:30 in the morning for me have come to an end. Especially in a blizzard. In January. I will admit that was really getting old.
So, I say good-bye to you all, even though I am sure I will see you around. I mean, I am not heading to Florida yet! LOL.
I want to thank Gordon Hastings for hiring me at the beginning. And I want to thank Jan Laytham who turned me into "Big Chuck" in 1992. That was the best thing that ever happened to me. I will be forever grateful.
I could spend a long time thanking everybody who crossed my path here at the station, both fellow DJs and employees down the years. From the early days of Joe Campbell and Bob Whittemore, to my faithful colleague Leslie Ann at WZOZ, who will now carry the torch forward, But, I really owe everything to just one group.
I really think we have had some fun times over the years. And some serious times too. Whether it was zany things we did on the radio, or maybe you came along on one of the more than 50 Big Chuck Buses, or you went with me to a concert, or you came to a remote broadcast to say hi, or you bought something when Jan and I did our wild and wacky Radio Auctions, or you played my on-air contests and won a prize, or you stuck with me on a 14-hour non-stop broadcast during both the terrorist attacks on 9-11, or on the sad day that NYS Trooper Ricky Parisian was killed in a local grocery store, or maybe you donated some of the tens of thousands of dollars we've raised for our community efforts in supporting our non-profits, or anything else really. I have been blessed with the greatest audience any broadcaster could have.
So I will sign off next Tuesday for the final time. And now it is "grandkids time" for Big Chuck.
But I wanted to say thank you here to all of you for allowing me to entertain and serve this community that I love so dearly for more than 30 years.
It has truly been my honor.
"BIG CHUCK" D'Imperio
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