It may sound like an eight-year-old April Fool's prank, but it's no joke.
Local media icon James Rabe is returning to the Rochester radio airwaves on April 1, exactly eight years since he last signed off from the KROC-FM morning show. He is taking over morning show on TownSquare Media's Y105. Y105 belongs to the six-station radio family that includes KROC-FM, KROC-AM, Quick Country 96.5 and Z Rock.
"I was excited to jump at the opportunity," said Rabe, while on the road from Idaho to Rochester. "I totally didn't expect it and then — boom, there it was."
Rabe was a well-known personality on KROC-FM from 1991 to 2007. He went from being a weekend announcer to working the night shift. In 1997, he began hosting the morning show with radio personality Tracy McCray.
McCray moved to the AM side of KROC’s station in 2000, but Rabe stayed on in the slot until he left with co-host Cori Jensen in 2007 to move to Fargo, N.D. Rabe later moved to Twin Falls, Idaho, where just left to return to Rochester.
During his years in Rochester, Rabe was known for being very active in the community. He was involved with many nonprofit organizations, including an active role as a Kiwanis member adviser with the Key Club at John Marshall High School.
That history was part of what made Rabe such a good choice, said Townsquare Media's Operations Manager Brent Ackerman.
"We know about his work ethic. We know about his community involvement. We want all of our people to be active members in the community," he said. "It's a great move for our station. He's a great fit for Y105."
TownSquare has been looking for a morning host for Y105 since Tom Garrett's departure in January. The station has been teasing listeners about the identity of the new morning host for a while. It revealed Rabe's name to its VIP members on Monday.
While traveling to Rochester on Monday, Rabe described what listeners should expect from his new show.
"I like to have fun that involves the listeners. The listeners have always been the stars. It's upbeat, friendly and fun," he said.