Delilah (radio host)
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Delilah Rene Luke (born February 15, 1960 in Reedsport, Oregon), almost always known mononymously as Delilah, is an American radio personality, author, and songwriter, best known as the host of a nationally syndicated nightly U.S. radio song request and dedication program, with an estimated 8 million listeners.
The show, known simply as Delilah begins at 7pm and ends around midnight local time. She takes calls from listeners in her home studio, providing encouragement, support, and receiving musical dedication requests. It is based in Seattle, Washington.
One of the cornerstones of the show is its use of callers. Most of the time the caller tells Delilah their situation or story and then she chooses the song that she feels best matches the caller's situation. Callers are recorded during the show and replayed later, sometimes within the hour during the show. She also plays songs by direct request.
Originally heard only on weeknights, stations that carry the show have the option of doing so six or even seven nights a week, with most stations doing so at least one night of the weekend (usually Sunday) in addition to the weeknight show.
There are several versions of the program that are available. The most common formats are as follows:
- Adult contemporary (AC): This is the most widely distributed version of the show between January and early November. It airs the usual adult contemporary music and is geared towards adults and their families. This is the version heard on most radio stations. It has also surfaced on hot adult contemporary stations such as WEZF in Burlington, Vermont after that station moved from AC in March 2012. The station's AC/hot AC feed replaced the syndicated love songs on WEZF in late 2011. Every year, since the first week of November until the first day that the "Christmas" version of the show comes on, stations who switch to Christmas music in early-November abruptly stop airing all holiday music when this version of the show comes on at 7pm local time and not play a single Christmas song again until this version of the show ends at 12am local time.
- Gold-based AC: A version of the show that features several older hits.
- Christmas music: This is the only version that is produced live between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It features all Christmas music, mainly because most of the stations that carry the show switch over to the format. Stations that do not switch to Christmas music at that time can receive repeats of previous programs. Likewise, those who change before the day of Thanksgiving can get repeats of the previous years' Christmas shows until the changeover takes place. In 2012, this version of the show is being produced live between the day after Veterans Day and Christmas.
The show includes "Friday Nite Girls," a "fan club"-style feature in which she honors groups of her regular female listeners with prizes. She occasionally also calls certain "Friday Nite Girls" chapters and speaks with them live on the air. She also airs a "Delilah Dilemma" each evening in the first hour of the broadcast.
The show was originally syndicated by Broadcast Programming in the late 1990s, which was later bought by Jones Radio Networks. Delilah moved to Premiere Radio Networks in 2004, where she remains to this day. Jim Ryan, the Director of AC music programming for CBS Radio, is a consultant to the show.
Many of the stations carrying the show are owned by Premiere parent Clear Channel Communications (now iHeartMedia), which led to speculation that the company would drop similar locally produced "lovesongs" programs in New York and Los Angeles in order to place her on the air in the nation's top two radio markets. In November 2006, WLTW in New York began carrying her, after longtime evening hostess J.J. Kennedy was laid-off as part of a major company-wide layoff at Clear Channel (in addition, the version of the show that runs on WLTW is a separate specially tailored version of the show produced just for that station, with music programmed by local WLTW Programming). In 2007, longtime lovesongs host Zoe Bonet was dropped from KODA Houston and replaced with her. In March 2012, she went on the air in Los Angeles on KFSH-FM. iHeartRadio has an online Delilah station where listeners can hear the show all the time regardless of time zone or broadcast market. In early January 2014, a number of AC stations (some owned by CBS Radio) have dropped the show as noted on her post on her official Facebook page. This was mostly due to certain AC stations (such as KVIL in Dallas) going for a Hot AC or Adult Top 40 leaning fare.
The show in a fictional sense also plays a role in the Hallmark Channel television series Cedar Cove, which is based on writer Debbie Macomber's book series and set in a fictional Pacific coast town in Washington state. Quotes and other inspirational pieces voiced by Delilah especially for the series set up some of the plot devices which occur in the course of each episode.
The show is popular among women between the ages of 25 and 54. Delilah says that it is a "safety zone where listeners take off their armor, slip into a "Mr. Rogers" cardigan, sit around the electronic hearth, and share their secrets."
Delilah is a mother of 13 children, 10 of whom are adopted. Her adopted son, Sammy Young Dzolali Rene, died on March 12, 2012 of complications of sickle-cell anemia. She has been married four times (and divorced three times), which she tells as a common joke on the show and mentioned when giving advice to her callers. She is an Evangelical Christian and a public advocate of adoption. Her on-air persona is said to be remarkably similar to her real personality. In 2004, partly because of her personal experience with the foster care system, and partly because her heart was touched by a fact-finding trip to Ghana, she founded a humanitarian aid, non-profit organization, Point Hope, as a voice for forgotten children everywhere. It is focused on saving lives, providing purpose and restoring hope for foster children in America and for refugees and other vulnerable persons in Ghana and Liberia, providing a sustainable helping hand-up instead of a hand-out to these persons. The work in Ghana began through providing fresh, safe drinking water, thus alleviating the suffering of Liberian refugees who were camped at Buduburam, a refugee camp that was established in Ghana following the Liberian civil war.
Delilah has written three books: Love Someone Today, Love Matters, and Arms Full of Love. She lives near Port Orchard, Washington. She owned and operated a business in downtown Port Orchard called Delilah's Cozy Kitchen, but it is no longer in business.
On October 27, 2012 Delilah married her longtime friend, Paul, at her home. The invited guests (and most of the staff) were only aware they were attending her Halloween party.
In 2007, the show was nominated for the Syndicated Personality/Show of the Year award by Radio & Records magazine. Other finalists included Blair Garner, Steve Harvey, Kidd Kraddick, The Lia Show, and John Tesh.
In May 2012, Delilah received a GRACIE Award celebrating influential women in the media.
- "Talking off-air with Delilah, the 'Queen of Sappy Love Songs'". CNN. February 14, 2012. Retrieved February 14, 2012.
- Show information page from Premiere Radio Networks
- JS Online: Rancor tinges Rather's departure
- If you're missing my show at night... Delilah's Official Facebook page (Posted January 8, 2014)
- Yes, that Delilah lives in South Kitsap Kitsap Sun. 24 February 2008. Cite error: Invalid
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- Delilah Loses Son; Then Loses WLIT-FM Chicagoland Radio and Media 13 March 2012.
- http://www.twchesssafari.blogspot.com/2014/01/a-message-from-delilah.html halloween marriage
- "2007 Industry Achievement Awards". Radio and Records. September 28, 2008.