Longtime Twin Cities radio DJ Mary Lucia is leaving 89.3 The Current
In a surprise move, longtime Twin Cities radio personality and founding 89.3 The Current DJ Mary Lucia announced Tuesday she was leaving the Minnesota Public Radio indie rock station.
Lucia’s final on-air shift at The Current will be 2 to 6 p.m. Thursday. The 51-year-old did not give a reason for her sudden departure, but said in a post on the station’s website that “starting The Current 17 years ago was a joy.” She plans to continue doing voice work in the future for voices.com.
A native of Massachusetts and the younger sister of the Replacements’ Paul Westerberg, Lucia began her Twin Cities radio career in the early 90s on REV 105. She went on to host on Zone 105 and KSTP 1500.
When St. Paul-based MPR launched The Current in January 2005, Lucia interviewed for a position and said two things, that she didn’t listen to radio and that she was looking for an opportunity and platform in which to fail.
“I live my life that way today,” Lucia told the Pioneer Press in a 2015 interview. “I realize that nothing good or creative or interesting comes if you’re not taking a chance. I needed a place where they weren’t so afraid of trying new things. And if something didn’t work, they’d try something else.”
Lucia is one of three original hosts left at the station. After Thursday, just Bill DeVille and Jill Riley will stand as the sole remaining founders of the station.
During her career, Lucia has interviewed everyone from Johnny Rotten to Tori Amos to Trent Reznor and is known for her warm, personable on-air charm. She has also appeared in commercials, local theater and in the films “The Last Word” and “Tuscaloosa.” She also was the narrator for the audiobook of Bob Mehr’s acclaimed biography “Trouble Boys: The Story of the Replacements.”
“She has long been more than a DJ to music fans,” said Current program director Jim McGuinn in a statement. “She’s been a friend, playing her favorite records and opening her heart to our listeners, who have responded with deep appreciation … after approximately 3,867 weekday 4 p.m. ‘No Apologies’ picks, fans and friends have a few days left to celebrate and honor Mary’s work at The Current.”
Given that radio is a tough business known for its on-air churn, Lucia told the Pioneer Press in 2015 she wondered how long her time in the business would last.
“Maybe it’s because I’ve been burned so many times by radio, I walk in every day thinking this is it,” she said. “Radio is precarious. It’s a business, and stations get sold and change format. It’s happened to me so many times.”
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