The red light on the air goes out, but the jokes don’t stop as the morning sunlight streaming through the giant windows of Sunny 95 Studios intensifies.

Once his mic is muted and a U2 song starts playing for the morning listeners, Dino Tripodis leans his chair back so far you’d think he might tip over, but his foot resting on the counter. high anchor. He’s leafing through a children’s book about the origins of babies that the team will discuss once the red light comes back on.

But co-host Stacy McKay and show producer Greg Hansberry use the few minutes’ break to give Tripodis a bit of grief about the way he drinks coffee until 9 p.m. and then complains. when he arrives at the studio before dawn each day of the week that he hasn’t. sleep well. Hansberry laughs, telling Tripodis that he “mum” him to change his ways.

“Hey! Hey now! I didn’t sign up for that kind of abuse! Bragging Tripodis. Then he stops, turns around in his chair, glancing around the room and laughing.” Well, wait a minute. Guess I signed up, didn’t I? “

And indeed he did.

Dino’s comeback on Sunny 95 makes the morning show feel right at home, says Stacy

After spending 24 years at WSNY (94.7 FM), Tripodis left the station which is part of the Columbus Radio Group family of Saga Communications in 2018 to focus on his own creative writing, filmmaking, developing his “Whiskey Business” podcast and increasing his stand-up comedy gigs. But in July, after morning host Bobby Mitchell left a month earlier, the 62-year-old returned with a triumphant on-air announcement that the station was re-assembling the group, as they say.

In addition to Hansberry, the official “Sunny This Morning with Stacy McKay & Dino Tripodis” also features station news director Clark Donley, who has worked continuously with WSNY since 1993. Hansberry has worked twice at Sunny, totaling seven years. and, except for three years when McKay walked away when her 15-year-old daughter was just a child, she and Tripodis have been doing this morning concert together since 1994.

The return of Tripodis, McKay said, makes the place feel like home again.

“We have this chemistry, the four of us,” she said. “And when one of us is gone, it’s just not a complete set and it’s never quite right.”

Although McKay had been at the station briefly earlier in the 90s, she was gone for a while and returned in September 1994, the same month and year as Tripodis. She had heard of him, but meeting him for the first time was no easy task, she said.

“I can tell you the exact time!” I can even tell you exactly what I was wearing! she said. And, yes, the exclamation marks throughout this story are necessary because these two really good-humored and naturally excited radio personalities are talking animatedly and with, uh, enthusiasm.

McKay recalled that she was sitting on a counter talking to Donley when Tripodis entered the room.

Stacy McKay on air during the "Sunny this morning with Stacy McKay and Dino Tripodis" broadcast on WSNY (94.7 FM) August 20.

“He walked in and I thought, ‘Oh my God! It’s gonna be awesome! “She said.” We were immediately real with each other, and that translates into being real with listeners who are like our family. Dino is one of my favorite people on the planet.

For the record, she said she wore black stirrup pants and a long-sleeved silk shirt. Tripodis replied with a laugh: “How weird. I wore the same thing!

In a Dispatch story about an on-air fashion makeover the couple received in 1998, reporter Marshall Hood described them as: The Host. Dino Tripodis is the wit with a resonant tone, an easily acerbic cue, and a delivery coming to you perfected for years as a stand-up comic. She’s Frick, a blonde with a bright, cheerful smile, akin to her Frack, a swarthy guy whose mood hints at dark thoughts. “

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Listeners might not even know who Frick and Frack were, but whatever. Judging by the public reaction to Tripodis’ return, few, if any, believe that the Sunny 95 duo have lost touch even after all these years.

Fans quickly embraced Dino’s return to morning show Sunny 95

The response to the morning show’s crew meeting was swift. Gushing tributes have poured in online and on air to greet the news. And even after more than a month of being on the mike, the praise didn’t stop. Just as the ensemble was wrapping up a recent morning show (it runs 6-10 a.m. each weekday), Hansberry answered the station’s phone.

Caller Emily had something to say so Hansberry put it on the air. “Stacy, you are wonderful and Dino, welcome back,” she said. “You complement each other so well.”

The praise makes Tripodis, 62, a little uncomfortable, and he admits he must have given some serious thought to his return.

“I had some fears. You wonder, you know, can you put the magic back in the bottle? he said. “But at the end of the day, I missed being a part of this world in the moment, being here with the listeners when great things are happening, and being present for this lifetime. I realized that I had not finished here yet.

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This memory in their recent interview with Dispatch quickly turned the speech into significant moments, nothing more for them than the broadcast after the 9/11 terrorist attack. McKay and Tripodis were both on vacation, she already in Arizona and he about to leave for Las Vegas.

Stacy McKay and Dino Tripodis are pictured in this 1996 photo when they took over as the new morning crew at Sunny 95. In 1994 and 1995 they were on the morning show at the station but she didn't. had not been officially declared theirs.

Donley made the news as the 9/11 tragedy unfolded 20 years ago and Tripodis rushed to the studio. McKay got the keys to the last rental car at the Phoenix airport and called the station as it drove across the country.

Memories still stifle each of them. But as horrible as it was, being able to share the experience together and with the listeners – their extended family, really – was also powerful.

“The philosophy of Sunny 95 is to be your escape from reality. Dino and Stacy? They are everyone’s best friends who accompany you in your car on the way to work,” Donley said. “But then we embrace you on dark days too. It’s about living life in the comfort of friends.”

the "Sunny this morning with Stacy McKay and Dino Tripodis" The team pose in the studio on August 20.  Left to right are Tripodis, McKay, station news director Clark Donley and show producer Greg Hansberry.

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