Philly Fixture Debbi Calton Retiring


Beasley Media Group’s Classic Rock 102.9 WMGK-FM/Philadelphia will lose legendary midday personality Debbi Calton to retirement on December 6. She’s been on the air at the station in the same daypart for 26 years.

The trailblazing disc jockey began her radio career at the young age of 19 at a small, daytime AM station in Charlotte, NC. She went on to spend 10 years at former Philly Rock station WYSP-FM before moving to WMGK-FM in 1993.

An early run-in with management at a station over equal pay could have derailed her career. “I was told at that time that I was just a little girl who, until they taught me, didn’t know anything and that I would never work in radio again,” said Calton. “I am extremely grateful for what I learned there (and at all the radio stations I’ve worked at since), but I also deserved equal pay. I’m glad I held my ground at that time. Here I am all these years later, still working in radio…a profession that I love!”

She added, “I have been so fortunate to work in Philadelphia, with such amazing fans, over the past 36 years. I am also grateful for having the best shift ever (9 a.m.–2 p.m.) at WMGK. As a result, I was able to drop my son off at school and pick him up afterwards. He’s now 27. This has been an amazing ride!”

WMGK-FM will feature highlights of Calton’s career in November, including early air checks, classic interviews, and event coverage, while also posting as many embarrassing photos as she will allow.

The station is actively conducting a search for Debbi’s on-air replacement and is accepting qualified applicant materials at [email protected].


  1. good luck Debbi!!! love your show although I am from Toms River area and only listen to you on my way home from work. but I love your dedicated fans who call up for requests!!! you are going to be missed.

  2. Debbi Calton’s departure from Philadelphia airwaves will leave a career not every radio personality can attain. Her warm and cheerful voice leaves a wake of community engagement and music appreciation that was a part of music fans lives in Philadelphia for a generation. Rock N’ Roll radio will lose a bright spot in the everyday lives of people in my city.


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