Reporting Pat Warren
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore radio icon Ron Smith is retiring. The veteran WBAL broadcaster announced he is in home hospice with pancreatic cancer and he can no longer do his radio show.
Pat Warren has reaction from listeners.
It was just a month ago that we were stunned to hear Ron Smith announce a diagnosis of Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
“I certainly didn’t want to keep this a secret. Too many people knew about it already and I owed it to my audience to be honest with them in my comments on political and social matters,” Smith said.
Monday morning, once again on the air, he made the leap from honest to brutally honest.
“The decision has been made by me to stop appearing on the radio shows. I basically can no longer do it. I’m getting weaker every day and it’s time to pull the plug,” Smith said.
He ends a 26-year career at WBAL Radio a little more than a month after assuring listeners that he would continue to broadcast for as long as possible.
“I’m now in hospice care at home and now it’s time to…I was hoping I could do it several days a week but I’m just not up to it so you have to face that kind of thing,” Smith said. “Something’s going to get you in the end.”
“Thank you so much, Ron, for all the wonderful years we’ve had. You are an inspiration,” said a listener.
“We really thank you for what you did for Baltimore, keeping us informed with a good heart and a good attitude. We wish you well,” said another.
“Ron Smith was a favorite of mine and my son’s…the whole family,” said another.
“I certainly wish him the best as he seeks to recover and wish him well as he retires,” said a listener.
“I think he’s very brave to share this. It’s hard for people to share news like this,” said another listener.
“I’ll be praying for him. I’ll keep him in prayer,” said one.
“Basically the curtain is coming down right now and I’m bidding everyone a fond farewell,” Smith said.
According to wife June Smith, Ron Smith’s radio show has been “his highest calling.” There’s no measure of how highly he is thought of by his callers.
Ron Smith is 69.