Our knowledge of Youngstown radio history is sketchy, but one thing is for sure: Dick Thompson and Johnny Kay are basically right next to each other in our knowledge of the market's past.
The long-time air personalities, who worked together at iconic top 40 outlet WHOT - in its original days at AM 1330 - have been paired at Cumulus standards WSOM/600 Salem for the past few years...until Friday, when both men retired after doing a final show together on Friday afternoon.
Throughout their careers, Thompson and Kay seemed inseparable. Even after coming out of their first retirements to work at WNIO/1390 in the 1990's, they did so together, as they also moved to WSOM as a pair later on.
Thompson tells the Youngstown Vindicator's Guy D'Astolfo that the two have been "like brothers" in their 50-plus year careers working at the same radio stations. He jokes that they've "done this retirement thing before...we hope to get it right this time."
They're certainly up there in the pantheon of local radio history in the Mahoning Valley, along with fellow WHOT "Good Guy" Boots Bell, and WKBN/570 talk show host Dan Ryan - both no longer with us.
WSOM apparently will fill the openings locally. Gary Rhamy takes over mornings, and "Jolly Roger" does afternoons...