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Edgemont alumnus rises to fame as radio host

By JULIE SCHNEYER
Gerald DeLaney
 

You might not know Gerald DeLaney. But if you’ve ever listened to WFAS you probably know Jay Michaels, DeLaney’s professional name. The popular disc jockey for many years at Hartsdale-based WFAS radio and currently on the air at Cumulus’s station WEBE in Bridgeport, Conn., has local roots and spent most of his childhood in Edgemont. His family moved to Hartsdale, from Boston, in 1954 and then moved to Midvale Road in Edgemont in 1961. Michaels then started second grade at Seely Place School and continued his education in Edgemont until his graduation in 1972.

The road to radio

Michaels, whose deep voice and rapid manner of speaking is that of a quintessential radio announcer, told the Inquirer he has “great memories” of his childhood in Edgemont and he really valued the small, intimate setting of Edgemont High School. He’s been getting together with his class of ’72 friends for many years, having celebrated their 40th reunion a few years ago. Most of his after-school time while he was at EHS was devoted to athletics, as Michaels was a three-season athlete, competing in football, basketball and baseball all four years, getting a spot on the all-county team in football during his senior year. Michaels won best male athlete at the E Club’s Sports Awards his senior year as well as most valuable player for baseball.

The road to his life as an on-air radio personality was in the genes, so to speak, as Michaels’s father Robert DeLaney was a sports broadcaster and freelance commercial voiceover artist for most of his career. He called Red Sox games and then moved to New York Giants baseball broadcasts before the giants moved to San Francisco. DeLaney senior became the announcer for John F. Kennedy's presidential campaign and, after the election, DeLaney worked as a television sports host in New York City. He went on to become a disc jockey at WFAS. He died in 2008.

Robert DeLaney’s role at WFAS helped open the door for his son, who worked part time at the station after graduating from college in 1976.

Michaels attended American University in Washington, D.C., his freshman year and then transferred to SUNY Cortland, earning a sociology degree. This led him to a job at a White Plains-based residential school for troubled boys, where he spent 15 months as a child care worker, which he said was a “tremendous experience. But I always wanted to do what my dad did, back from childhood when I played 45s and held pretend radio shows in our house.”

Michaels was hired full time by WFAS in 1978. He hosted his morning show from 1993 until 2013 and was honored for his work with Westchester Magazine’s Best of Westchester Award. He was also on-air/production director of WYNY in New York City for six years and couldn't think of a compelling radio name when he was first working in radio, so the WYNY program director gave him the name “Jay Michaels.”

Michaels currently lives in Bedford with his wife, to whom he has been married since 1983. They have three children and one grandchild.

Michaels and WFAS parted ways in July 2013 when the station moved their transmitter to the Bronx to be closer to New York City and reformatted their programming.

Cumulus Media then hired Michaels in May 2014 for a morning show hosting position at WEBE 108. Just this week WFAS announced Michaels’s show will again be broadcast in its morning slot, so listeners can tune in to either station to take in Michaels’s show. After the announcement Michaels told fans, “Thanks for all of the messages from those who have heard me the last few mornings on 94.3 WFAS FM. While I continue to host the WEBE Wake-Up Morning Show on WEBE 108, through the magic of radio, I can also be heard on WFAS FM and other stations across the country! Thanks for listening and it’s great to be back in Westchester once again.”


Read more local coverage of your hometown in this week’s issue of The Scarsdale Inquirer. Newsstand copies are available at several locations listed above, or subscribe today for convenient home delivery.

 

SEPTEMBER 11, 2015