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David Dye stepping down from World Cafe

Longtime WXPN-FM (88.5) host David Dye announced Monday that he will step down from his role as full-time host and producer of World Cafe. He will remain with the program as a part-time contributor.

He said in a phone interview that the show's impending 25th anniversary may have played a part in his decision.

"That may have been the feather that pushed me over the edge, but I have been thinking about it for a while," he said. "It's been a treadmill for 25 years. I just got tired of waking up at 3 in the morning and panicking about what I was going to do next and making sure the beast got fed."

Dye, who lives in Mount Airy, said he isn't planning any new projects.

"I'm getting a dog," he deadpanned. "It's hard for me at this point to look beyond radio. I'm happy to have some part in it, and that is what's really valuable to me."

He will continue to host his popular Funky Friday program, WXPN said.

World Cafe, which is syndicated on more than 200 public radio stations across the country, will name a new host in March. Dye's retirement will become effective March 31. Canadian broadcaster Talia Schlanger joined the program as a contributing host last month.

The station plans to honor Dye with musical tributes in the coming months, according to a news release.

"It's impossible to measure the impact that David has had on artists and audiences with World Cafe," WXPN general manager Roger LaMay said in a statement. "The show's tremendous success and high acclaim is due mainly to his efforts and the generous support of members and listeners."

Dye, who is married to former Inquirer columnist Karen Heller, launched his career at WMMR-FM (93.3), as host of a progressive music show. After stints at radio stations in Maine, he returned to Philadelphia to work at WHYY-FM (90.9)  and then WIOQ-FM (102.1). In 1989, he joined WXPN, where he  headed the launch of a new program, World Cafe, that offered listeners a diverse palette of contemporary music. Last month, World Cafe expanded to Nashville, where a new hub opened that focuses on Southern music.