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November 14, 2016

'World Cafe' host David Dye stepping down for changed role at WXPN

Radio WXPN
111416_DavidDye Joe Del Tufo/WXPN

Radio legend and music cognoscente David Dye.

David Dye, the unmistakable voice of NPR's long-running "World Cafe" show, announced Monday that he will step down from his host position to assume a changed role at Philadelphia's WXPN. 

After a 25-year run on the syndicated "World Cafe," a blend of in-depth interviews, choice tracks and live performances, Dye issued a statement explaining his decision. 

“On one hand, it is extremely hard to picture my life without hosting the World Cafe on a daily basis,” Dye said. “It is the best job in radio, working with the most talented people. For years I have had the opportunity to sit in the same room talking with the likes of Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock and thousands of others. Our 25th anniversary seems like the perfect juncture to get off the treadmill of daily radio and see what is next.”

Dye's presence in Philadelphia radio stretches back 40 years. After launching his career at WMMR in 1970, where he helped lift Bruce Springsteen into stardom, Dye spent time in Maine as a DJ and then returned to Philadelphia. His profile rose alongside Helen Leicht at WIOQ, where he became known as Mr. Friday Night for his weekly dance party show. 

In 1989, Dye joined WXPN as host of "Sleepy Hollow" before taking over "World Cafe" upon its launch in Philadelphia in 1991. 

In his new role, Dye will continue hosting WXPN's "Funky Friday" show and serve as a special contributor to "World Cafe," which recently brought on Talia Schlanger and established a Nashville bureau. 

“Across hundreds of public radio stations, David has become a beloved national guide to great music and the creative artists who power our culture," said Anya Grundmann, NPR’s Vice President for Programming and Audience Development. "He has built an important platform for music that will continue to benefit from his original and abiding vision.”

Next March, Dye will be honored with two celebratory concerts to mark the 25th anniversary of "World Cafe."

“It’s impossible to measure the impact that David Dye has had on artists and audiences with World Cafe " said WXPN General Manager Roger LeMay. "The show’s tremendous success and high acclaim is due mainly to his efforts. We look forward to honoring him with some one-of-a-kind musical tributes and by making sure that his program has a long future of national musical discovery.”