Brevard radio 'legend' Michael W. Lowe laid off from Lite Rock 99.3 after 48-year career
Longtime Brevard County radio personality Michael W. Lowe, who co-hosts the Mike & Mindy in the Morning show on Lite Rock 99.3, has been laid off.
Lowe's first radio job was with WEZY-AM 1350 in Cocoa back in 1972. After logging 13 years as operations manager and program director at WA1A-FM 107.1 in Melbourne, he worked the past 18 years at Lite Rock 99.3.
Friday, he said he was called into his boss's office shortly after wrapping up his morning show.
"The pandemic just basically destroyed corporate radio economically. And you know, I understand it completely. In fact, I told him, 'Look, I'm 68 years old. I worked longer than I really thought I was going to work,' " Lowe said.
"I was shooting for 50 years, which would have been in February of 2022. But we came up a little short. So I have to stop it at 48 and a half years — unless something happens," he said.
"We had a wonderful time. It was a great run. It was a corporate decision," he said.
Lite Rock 99.3 is a Melbourne-based FM iHeartRadio station. The media giant is imposing a third round of nationwide layoffs since January, Radio and Television Business Report reported earlier this month.
iHeartMedia controls more than 850 live broadcast stations in over 160 markets nationwide. The company reported a 47% year-over-year plunge in revenue during the second quarter amid the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by a 22% drop in the third quarter.
A message seeking comment was left with a Lite Rock 99.3 staffer Friday afternoon.
Popular former radio host Timmy Vee worked at WA1A from 1991 to 2015, and he co-hosted the No. 1-rated Mike and Tim in the Morning show with Lowe.
"The guy's a legend. Period," Vee said.
"I couldn't even think of anyone that I've ever even heard of in this market that's ever done what he's done around here. And that's just the bottom line," he said.
"It's not very often you get to go through life being the best at something in your area — the best of the best. But that's what he's done," Vee said.
"He's a good friend. And he'll continue to be a good friend. And who knows? Maybe someday, he'll jump back on the air — maybe someday I'll jump back on the air," he said.
Lowe said Mindy Levy, his morning show co-host, is off on vacation until Monday.
"I called her a couple hours ago — and she was shocked as I was. But the show must go on," Lowe said.
"Hey, like I said, I've had a great run. I did nothing wrong. So, you know, it's an economic thing. I'm sure there are people all over the place that have lost their jobs for the same reason, and I commiserate with them. I understand," he said.
Rick Neale is the South Brevard Watchdog Reporter at FLORIDA TODAY. Contact Neale at 321-242-3638 or email@example.com. Twitter: @RickNeale1. To subscribe: https://cm.floridatoday.com/specialoffer/