Longtime 97 Rock (WGRF) morning radio personality Larry Norton will retire later this year, after more than 30 years as morning show host for the station, and over 40 years total in Buffalo radio. Cumulus Media Buffalo announced the retirement on September 17, 2015.
Nortonâ€™s final show on 97 Rock will air on December 4, 2015. He will then retire to spend time with his wife of 36 years, and focus their combined efforts on working for their church and favorite charities.
Norton â€“ a Buffalo native â€“ graduated from Amherst High School and Buffalo State College. As a student, he worked weekends and overnights at the former WPHD-FM. Norton joined Q-FM (now 97 Rock) in 1984, hosting middays. It wasnâ€™t long before he gained international notoriety for starting a non-stop 20-hour on-air marathon of music by The Police to convince the band to play a show in Buffalo. It worked, and Norton emceed the show. He also gained a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records in 1985 for spending 40 days on the Ferris wheel at the Darien Lake Amusement Park to promote the new attraction. He broadcasted from the ride the entire time. Norton took over the morning show at WGRF in 1982 with his â€œNorton in the Morningâ€ show, joined by his longtime co-host Rob Lederman. He has helped raise $2.8 million for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Western New York through the annual 97 Rock Make-A-Wish Radiothon. He has been a champion of the cause and the event for two decades.
â€œAfter 40 years on the radio in Buffalo, and living my dream to be the morning radio host for my generation, I have decided to “Turn the Page” to the next chapter of my life. 97 Rock has been, and will always be, an amazing and inseparable part of me. But now, together with my wonderful wife Barbara who has supported me for 36 years as of this month, it is time to elevate our life from our many blessed successes, to a life of more significance. As of December, we will be devoting more of our time to works of charity, for God and for our church. I can’t thank the people of Buffalo enough for their support for me and the charities of Western New York that together we have helped over the last 40 years. From the entirety of my heart, thank you, Buffalo! Rock and Roll Never Forgets, and I will always love you,â€ said Norton.
Image Credit: 97 Rock (WGRF)