“This Is It” For Casey Kasem

Michael Jackson’s farewell tour was to be called “This is It.” That’s also an appropriate title for Casey Kasem‘s send off this weekend. The radio legend winds up his “American Top 40” spin-off programs, “American Top 20” and “American Top 10” exactly thirty nine years after the American Top 40 franchise debuted on July 4, 1970.  Kasem said in a statement, “Hosting various versions of my countdown program has kept me extremely busy, and I loved every minute of it. However, this decision will free up time I need to focus on myriad other projects.” For Casey fans who have been “Counting down the hits” with him over the last 40 years, Kasem will not be completely out of earshot, his classic 1970s and 1980s “AT40” syndicated radio countdowns will continue to be distributed by Premiere Radio Networks. This is not the first time the  The “King of the Countdowns’ ” departured  from the syndicated radio franchise. After a contractual dispute with the show’s owner, ABC Watermark in 1988, Casey left “AT40.”  In 1998 ownership reverted back to Casey and he returned to host the revived version. He later stepped down as host in 2004 and handed the duties over to Ryan Seacrest. To radio insiders, Kasem along with the recently departed Paul Harvey, remain the masters of the “tease.”

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