John DeBella’s Announced Retirement from WMGK-FM in Bala Cynwyd Is a Career Mic-Drop

John DeBella
Image via the Beasley Broadcasting Group at The Philadelphia Business Journal.

Morning radio personality John DeBella is retiring after 41 years of on-air time in Bala Cynwyd. Jeff Blumenthal reported the exit of the former Morning Zoo zookeeper in the Philadelphia Business Journal.

DeBella’s announcement was part of his May 11 show.

“There has been a running joke that started 15 years ago when I was signing what I said was my ‘last’ contract,” DeBella said. “I’ve signed that ‘last’ contract four more times since then.

“But it’s time for that joke to end.”

DeBella, 71, is from Queens, New York, and the Big Apple provided him with his first experiences in free-wheeling radio content.

He arrived in Philadelphia in 1982, as part of 93.3 WMMR’s bold, iconoclastic, rock format at morning drive-time, “The Morning Zoo.”

DeBella dominated until the 1986 arrival of a syndicated Howard Stern show.

The Zookeeper then transitioned to afternoons.

He eventually left ‘MMR and went to WMGK, returning to the morning shift but remaining in Bala Cynwyd. The transition, however, didn’t alter his signature sign-off: the Eric Idle song, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” from the 1979 satire Life of Brian.

DeBella is a long-time supporter of several charitable events, including an annual dog walk at Green Lane Park in Montgomery County.

More on John DeBella and his retirement is at the Philadelphia Business Journal.


A look at one of DeBella’s dog walks at Green Lane Park.

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