The world of rock music mourns the loss of Jim Ladd, a renowned Freeform Rock DJ and Radio Producer, who passed away at the age of 75 on Sunday, December 17, 2023, succumbing to a sudden heart attack while peacefully at home with his wife Helene by his side, as confirmed through a heartfelt Facebook post.
Jim Ladd commenced his professional journey in 1969 at KNAC, a humble rock station situated in Long Beach, before moving to the vibrant Los Angeles station, KLOS, after a two-year stint. His notable tenure unfolded at KMET in 1974, affectionately known as “The Mighty Met,” where he made a lasting impact over thirteen years. Despite a brief return to KLOS in 1984, he eventually rejoined KMET briefly before the station underwent a format shift.
Alongside his radio presence, Ladd’s talents extended to producing and hosting ‘Innerview,’ an hour-long syndicated interview program that captivated audiences across the nation.
In 1991, Ladd penned the semi-autobiographical book, “Radio Waves: Life And Revolution On The FM Dial” (St. Martin’s Press), chronicling his experiences within the radio industry, offering insights into the evolution of freeform rock radio in Los Angeles until KMET’s closure in 1987.
SiriusXM posted on Facebook,
“SiriusXM remembers Jim Ladd, legendary freeform rock DJ. For over 50 years, he championed classic rock and interviewed many of the greatest artists in his Los Angeles studios and on SiriusXM’s Deep Tracks channel”
Despite joining KLSX in the same year, unforeseen circumstances led to his abrupt departure in July 1995 when the station shifted its format to talk radio. Similarly, after Cumulus Media’s acquisition of Citadel Broadcasting on October 26, 2011, Ladd and others were let go from KLOS.
The culmination of his illustrious career was marked by a poignant three-hour farewell show on Los Angeles’s AM station KFI on November 5, 2011, bidding adieu to his remarkable tenure in radio.
The family plans to release an obituary, offering a tribute to the life and legacy of Jim Ladd, a pioneer whose impact on the world of rock music and radio broadcasting will forever resonate.