SYRACUSE - For the first time in more than 20 years, Rick Gary is back to just doing radio, and nothing else. Today was his last day co-hosting "Bridge Street" on local ABC affiliate NewsChannel 9 (WSYR-TV).
In a statement posted on NewsChannel 9's website this evening, General Manager Theresa Underwood says, "Rick has been a tremendous asset to this station and our community and we thank him for years of putting smiles on the faces of folks throughout Central New York."
The announcement does not get into detail behind the terms of his departure, but during today's telecast, Gary had made no mention of any plans to leave the television station.
For years, Gary was one half of the edgy "Rick and Ron" morning show on WOLF until the station changed formats in 1981. He then hosted mornings on WSYR 570 until moving to Channel 9 in 1986. Starting as a weatherman, Gary later became co-anchor of the station's morning newscast. Gary then transitioned to become co-host of Bridge Street when the mid-morning gabfest debuted in 2004. For many years, he was also known for cooking "Rick's Recipes," a feature which was even syndicated to Channel 9's present and former sister stations in Binghamton and Utica.
Along the way, Gary picked up extra duties as co-host of the morning show at Clear Channel's Y94FM (WYYY), but was one of several staffers let go from the radio cluster in a cost-cutting move in 2006. Gary quickly resurfaced as afternoon host on Galaxy's Sunny 102 (WZUN). He soon picked up the same shift on Utica's Mix 102.5 (WUMX) when Galaxy acquired the station from Clear Channel in 2007. NewsChannel 9's announcement even included a plug for Gary's airshifts on the radio stations.
The Syracuse Post-Standard also picked up on Gary's exit. There was little information beyond what WSYR-TV had posted on its own website, and no comment from Gary himself.