Charlie Tuna Dead At 71


The awards were endless for Charlie Tuna who died peacefully in his sleep February 19, according to his close friend Steve Wall at The Talent Farm. Wall called Tuna a great business partner and a dear friend. “Charlie Tuna was one of the greatest talents I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. His tireless efforts each and every day created one of the best-sounding radio shows in history, and his long career and big heart impacted many lives along the way. I will truly miss my daily conversations with Charlie. His laugh, his stories… We often chatted about his family — his wife, his prized children and grandchildren — who are all in my heart, thoughts, and prayers this week. Charlie’s legacy will live on as one of the all-time greatest people and radio personalities ever, and I am honored that he chose me to work with him and to be his friend. Today and every day I will miss my fix of Charlie Tuna. Forever yours my friend, may you rest in peace.”

Tuna worked as morning drive radio personality for more stations and formats than anyone in Los Angeles radio history: Top 40, AC, Hot AC, Oldies, Talk, Sports Talk, and Country. In 1990, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce honored Charlie by presenting him with a Star on the Walk of Fame. In 1999, he was inducted into his home state Nebraska Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame. In 1997, Los Angeles Radio People readers voted Charlie one of the Top 10 L.A. Radio Personalities of All Time. In 2007 and again in 2013, Charlie was elected by his broadcast peers as one of the Top 10 Los Angeles Radio Personalities.

Tuna left Kearth 101 in Los Angeles back in August of 2015 to focus on his syndication company.


  1. Charlie was at his peak in the great period of radio, the late 60s to the early 80s. He was a major player back then. Everyone in the LA area knew who he was, many listened to his programs as he bounced around to several stations over the years. His kind, the guy linked so deeply and directly to LA (he used to pop up on national tv series, not as much as Gary Owens but a lot) were celebrities outside of radio who set trends and established LA as the place to do radio if you wanted to be big. Sorry he died so young, but as Mark del Glenning of the old Monarch Stations said ‘Charlie had a long, long run in radio and in show business. He laid down a path for the younger broadcasters to follow’. Derrick Washington at Radio New Mexico-Grants worked with Tuna at KTLA and admits stealing things from him that he has used over the years on-air. ‘Charlie made you believe he was your friend. He had a way of reaching out to listeners and making contact with them emotionally at times. You trusted him’. Ed Romanski worked with Charlie over the years, including doing edits for his long running Armed Forces Radio program. ‘I started out, before moving here, on WOR with Greg Dolce and later Jean Shepherd. Jean weaved stories and was anti-establishment. Charlie wasn’t like that at all but he did have that same trust factor Jean probably either invented or perhaps just started to fill time. Charlie was in radio so long it’s going to be hard accepting that he’s actually gone’.

  2. I’d never heard of him when I was station in Korea back in the early 70s, and got to listen to his one hour shows on AFKN (Armed Forces Korea Network). Then, in 1977, I moved to California to attend college and there he was again, on KTLA I think, and it was like old home time. That station, and KMPC I think, had great DJs including Gary Owens and Dr. Demento (sp).

  3. I am so sorry to hear about his passing. The last time I saw him was on the bus ride to the CBS legal seminar last year. We chatted about a number of things including his being a listener of mine and me of his. Wow this is a shock and a sad day


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