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Hamptons Life

Mar 12, 2019 4:49 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Radio Personality Bonnie Grice Is Leaving 88.3 WPPB-FM

Mar 13, 2019 9:53 AM

After two decades as a fixture behind the mic at Southampton-based NPR stations, radio personality, host and producer Bonnie Grice has announced that she will step down from her position at 88.3 WPPB-FM (Peconic Public Broadcasting) effective March 29.

In an email, Ms. Grice explained that the decision to leave the station stems from her desire to take a break from radio in order to focus on the next chapter of her life. It’s a chapter that includes “Boots on the Ground,” the theater company Ms. Grice founded in 2016 that stages stories of historical significance.

To that end, Ms. Grice is currently working on an original play for the company that will bring together a number of legendary 19th-century female figures, including authors and abolitionists. Among them is Susan B. Anthony, whose birth bicentennial is in 2020, the same year as the centennial of women’s suffrage in the United States.

“Meanwhile, I’m going to produce some great playlists for WPPB over the next few weeks, so take a listen,” said Ms. Grice, who encourages people to message her via Facebook at the “The Eclectic Café with Bonnie Grice” page to let her know what they think. “I love radio and always will,” she added

Ms. Grice joined WPBX at the Southampton campus of Long Island University in 1998. In 2002, the station changed its call sign to WLIU. Then in 2010, after the campus was sold to Stony Brook University, ownership of the station was transferred to Peconic Public Broadcasting. The station currently operates out of an office in Southampton Village.

Prior to her tenure in Southampton, Ms. Grice, a two-time Gracie Allen Award winner, worked for NPR in Washington, D.C., as well as KUSC in Los Angeles, which is the second-largest radio market in the United States.

“Bonnie and I had a conversation this morning about her decision to resign,” said WPPB’s general manager, Wally Smith, in an email on March 12. “She is going to take a breath, do some new things, and take some time to enjoy life after many years of producing and hosting a daily morning radio program.

“I fully support her and her decision, even though I wish it weren’t so,” he added. “She is a multi-talented artist who naturally knows how to use radio and print as an arts, information, entertainment, news, music, theater, and public affairs platform for listeners of all ages. We will truly miss her, and wish her the best in all that she chooses to do next.”

During her time at WPPB, Ms. Grice created shows that frequently focused on local music and news, as well as the arts. She was the producer, host and creator of “The Eclectic Café,” a show that she describes as a “sonic gumbo” of music interviews and East End perspectives. Ms. Grice’s “The Song Is You,” a nationally syndicated hourlong weekly radio show, featured guests (often well-known ones) sharing their top 10 favorite tunes, while “The Media Mavens,” a Friday morning weekly roundtable with area journalists, covered East End news and arts for more than 10 years.

“This has been such a ride. I love the East End and have so enjoyed the honor and pleasure representing NPR for Long Island on WPPB,” said Ms. Grice in a statement. “I thank Wally Smith and the staff for their ongoing support and their own amazing creativity. And our wonderful loyal listeners! I look forward to further adventures down the road. On and off the air. In the meantime: Stay tuned!”

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Bonnie Grice has been a stead-fast voice of our community for fifteen years. Her energy, passion, and joy will be missed on air. But, I look forward to seeing more productions by "boots on the ground."
By Barbara Jo Howard (1), Southampton on Mar 13, 19 9:18 AM