After 12 years on the air at SiriusXM, veteran local DJ Michael Tearson has announced he'll no longer be lending his talents to the satellite radio broadcasting service. Citing unhappiness with programming changes, Tearson made his announcement Monday morning. His last show was Sunday night.
"It's really something that's been brewing for several months," Tearson said. "I got to be unhappy with the way they were evolving the channel. It was time for me to walk way from it."
The Westmont, N.J. resident pre-recorded his weekend shifts on air on Deep Tracks, on the platform's classic rock deep cuts channel, from his home studio. He'd made his final decision to leave the company after recording last weekend's shows on Thursday, alluding to his departure by dropping little hints throughout his breaks — like how Bob Dylan's "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" was "uncommonly appropriate" in his life currently.
"I did the last show knowing it was the last show, but they didn't know," he said.
The 48-year radio veteran got his start in Philadelphia at WXPN and then moved on to WMMR and WMGK until jumping on to SiriusXM in 2003. He also wrote a pro wrestling column for the Daily News. He's lived in Westmont for the last 15 years and has no plans of leaving the area — maybe just for a few road trips, he said.
As for broadcast radio, Tearson says he's done with that. Instead, he'll focus his time on his two, free weekly online podcasts: Michael Tearson's Marconi Experiment on iRadioPhilly and on online streaming station Radio That Doesn't Suck.
"The webcasts I do are essentially my radio art," he mentioned. "I don't get paid a penny, but it keeps the radio pure."
Another project the broadcaster is focusing on is a documentary on Philadelphia's rock and roll history with local filmmaker George Manney. Tearson was already onboard as narrator but now will assume an executive producer position.
Though his time in radio format has come to a close, Tearson has no regrets: "I've been sleeping better, too. I haven't slept this well in ages. It was the right decision."