Radnich announced the abrupt and unexpected move Saturday with a tweet:
Plan was to retire at the end of the year but with my 70th birthday ahead it makes sense now. Thank you audience for 36 years of TV-Radio!— Gary Radnich (@GaryRadnich) June 22, 2019
With the departure, Radnich makes a clean break from the Bay Area airwaves, according to The Mercury News. Last September, he left his television post at KRON (Channel 4), where he spent 34 years thriving with a format that had him delivering good-natured, rarely serious and off-the-cuff observations about the local sports scene.
Radnich’s radio departure curiously comes just a day after The Athletic reported that Greg Papa is leaving KGMZ 95.7-FM The Game to join KNBR for an undisclosed sports talk show slot.
In an online post today, Bay Area media blogger Rich Lieberman challenged Radnich’s “retirement” description, citing sources who said the veteran sports-talk personality was essentially forced out by station owner Cumulus Media in a move to shed payroll. The move was accelerated, he said, by the hiring of Papa, who will surely command a substantial salary.
Papa recently took over as the play-by-play voice for the 49ers and KNBR is the 49ers’ flagship station. It has been a busy few months for Papa, who went from being fired as the radio voice of the Raiders after 20 years, to having his NBC Sports Bay Area TV show canceled to later replacing longtime 49ers radio announcer Ted Robinson in January.
Radnich’s announcement, meanwhile, drew a number of social-media reactions from Bay Area sports fans. Some referred to him as a “legend,” “an old friend,” or “part of the family” as they related stories about growing up listening and watching him over the years.