In a surprise move, veteran programmer, on-air personality and Radio Hall of Famer Kid Kelly has left SiriusXM after nearly 20 years with the radio giant, a rep for the company has confirmed to Variety. The news was first reported by RAMP. He most recently served as SiriusXM’s VP of Pop Music Programming.
“After a long tenure at SiriusXM, Kid Kelly is no longer with SiriusXM, and we wish him the best in his new endeavors,” a rep said, declining further comment. “His programming responsibilities are being taken over by SiriusXM Vice Presidents Alex Tear and Lou Simon.”
Kelly began his radio career in the early 1980s — “earning a salary of just $130 dollars a month, sleeping in a 1970 Chevy Nova bought for $200 and washing at McDonald’s,” according to his bio — was with New York’s Z100 for more than 10 years, ultimately becoming operations manager in 1998. He also held posts in Buffalo, NY and Wilkes-Barre PA, created and hosted the first weekly nationally syndicated ‘80s radio program Backtrax USA.
According to his bio, he “is credited as the first to launch the ‘80s music phenomenon (now known as Classic Hits) by the Wall Street Journal. He also created and hosted the first 90s Show Backtrax USA The 90’s.
He joined Sirius (now SiriusXM) in February of 2003 and was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2018.