Von, whose full name was Eric Von Boardley, was 58, according to The Journal-Sentinel.
"This will be a huge loss not just for the radio station but the entire community, particularly the African-American community," said Michelle Bryant, a radio host who sometimes filled in for Von. "Eric was, for a lot of people, the voice of reason."
Von had joined WNOV in early 2015 to host a show that ran from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. weekdays. Before that, he had worked for years as director of operations and a popular radio show host for WMCS 1290 AM before the station changed its format in 2013. He had also served as the business manager for Radio One in Washington, D.C.
Bryant said Von had passed away while on his back porch with his dog shortly before 9 p.m. His body was discovered by his wife, Faithe Colas.
Jerrell Jones, owner of WNOV, said late Thursday that Von had been struggling with health issues for some time and had a heart attack about a month ago. Even so, Jones said Von's death came as a shock.