Whitney Johnson let go at WDAE
Whitney Johnson, the news update announcer at WDAE 620-AM and one of the most recognizable voices in local sports radio, was let go by the station on Friday after nation-wide cuts by Clear Channel, which owns the station. Johnson was heard most frequently in the afternoon giving updates and closing with his signature line of "WDAEEEEEEEEEE!''
"It has been a great run,'' Johnson said. "It's a sad day, but I'm grateful for the opportunity to do what I did at 620. It was a good ride.''
Johnson was the first voice ever heard on 620-AM when it switched to an all-sports format in 1998. Johnson came on the air at 6 a.m. that day and gave a news update. In the early days, he occasionally hosted a show with Rock Riley, now at Bright House Sports Network, and became known primarily as a news update anchor. Also known for his love of rock bands such as the Allman Brothers and Grateful Dead, Johnson was a media fixture at local games, especially the Rays, where he was favorite of Rays manager Joe Maddon. Johnson said he felt honored to get a chance to know local sports people such as Maddon, Lightning founder Phil Esposito and star athletes, including Dave Andreychuk and Evan Longoria.
Johnson isn't sure what he will do next, but said, "I'm a firm believer of when a window closes, another one opens.''