|KBZT's Steve West|
NBC San Diego reports the longtime on-air personality had battled several types of cancer over the past several years and was very open and vocal about his diagnoses, treatments and advocacy for awareness, screenings and early detection testing, particularly among men for testicular, prostate and colon cancers.
KBZT Alt 949 on-air personality Bryan Schock was a longtime friend of West's and it was Schock who shared the news on West's public Facebook profile on Monday afternoon.
“I’m in absolute shock at the moment…shock. It is with an extremely heavy heart that I am letting you know that my dear friend, OUR dear friend, father and my brother from another mother, Steve Vintner, who is known to many of us as Steve West, has passed on from this earth and made his way into radio heaven where he’s back hanging out with Biscuit," Schock wrote. "My heart goes out to his daughter, Natasha, and to all of his immediate family and friends.”
West was an on-air presence in San Diego for decades, first joining 91x in 1983 when it launched its Cutting Edge of Rock format. West continued at the station through numerous management and ownership changes, maintaining some role at the station for nearly three decades, with only short-term departures before he would return to institutions like Resurrection Sundays. He permanently parted ways with 91x in 2014 and launched his Legends of the Alternative show on what was then known as FM 94/9.
As news of West's passing spreading, the announcement quickly generated tributes and memories from hundreds of fans, friends and former colleagues.
A spokesman for Alt 949 said the station is planning a tribute for Steve West and that an announcement will be forthcoming.