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Popular morning radio personality spurns station offer of 1-hour midday show

Jim Grady, a fixture on Santa Rosa's airwaves for more than 40 years, is leaving radio station KSRO next week.

Grady, 68, said he was "forced out," but KSRO officials said he surprised them by turning down their offer of an hourlong midday talk show.

"It's a joke," Grady said, asserting that an hour is insufficient to do a talk show with news and advertisements.

"You can't do anything in an hour," he said. "I was definitely forced out."

His last show will be March 26, the station said.

Grady, a Santa Rosa resident, has been the lighthearted, mellow-voiced "morning man" on KSRO since he went on the air April 1, 1960.

KSRO, in a news release, said Grady's 44-year career with the station included more than 10,000 daily shows.

For more than 30 years, Grady teamed with Merle Rossman, known on the air as Merle Ross, providing the banter to Ross' news reporting. The pair also broadcast high school and junior college basketball and football games for two decades.

"He was a consummate pro," said Rossman, who left KSRO in 1996. Grady, he said, was "kind of like a kid brother."

In a written statement, Rick Eytcheson, senior vice president of Maverick Media, said Grady had an "enduring impact" on KSRO, one of 17 stations the company owns in California, Hawaii, Wisconsin and Ohio.


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