Local Radio and TV Icon L.A. Tarone Passes Away

PITTSTON TOWNSHIP -- Louis Alfred Tarone, WILK radio talk show host and former news director at WYLN-TV, passed away Sunday evening after a courageous battle with cancer.

L.A. Tarone was also a well-known television personality on WYLN-TV hosting numerous segments.

He was a writer for the Standard Speaker newspaper in Hazleton and was the author of the book, "We Were Here Once."

It is an unmistakable voice you will no longer hear, a voice silenced by lung cancer.

L.A. Tarone has died. Tarone worked at radio and television stations in Hazleton. He wrote for the Standard Speaker, but Tarone spent the last several years at WILK radio with studios in Pittston Township.

WILK's morning broadcast was dedicated to memories of Tarone. Some came from listeners,  some came from morning co-hosts Nancy Kman and John Webster.

"He thought of his show as his home, and he battled through when many other people would not," Kman said.

Even though lung cancer kept Tarone off the air since April, he kept fighting, kept hoping for a return to the microphone.

Tarone could be abrasive at times, but that was also part of what kept him on radio and television for decades.

"He would tell you what he thought all the time, every time," said Webster. Either you liked it or you didn't, but in the end, he was always likable, so he could get away with that and that was part of L.A.'s charm, I think."

Coworkers say Tarone knew it all -- news, politics, cars, sports, and music but he also knew the importance of communicating all that knowledge, all that experience.

"He never, ever, ever gave up letting you know how much he appreciated being on this radio station," said WILK radio's "Fast Freddie."

WILK' s mid-day host Sue Henry was a friend and fan since her King's College days. Tarone is also a King's graduate. Henry was with her friend when he died last night.

"He held the opinions he wanted to hold. That's what I'm always going to take with me, as a colleague, as a professional, a friend, I'll always carry L.A. Tarone in my heart, absolutely," Henry said.

A visitation for Tarone will be held on Thursday, June 29, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Joseph A. Moran Funeral Home, 229 West 12th Street, Hazleton.

His funeral mass will be Friday, June 30, at 9:30 a.m. at Queen of Heaven Parish at Our Lady of Grace Church, 750 North Vine Street, Hazleton.

L.A. Tarone was 58 years old.

19 comments

  • LAT! Thanks for Everything.

    God sent LA here to help us, but it was merely a loan. One thing omitted here was the great work LA did promoting pro-driving views, and the National Motorists Association. Others in the media never brought this stuff up, or took the incorrect positions. LA was great all around. I was fortunate in that I was able to meet him, do stuff with him, and be a friend. While the pain right now is not easy, I was supposed to meet him and would not trade the few years I had with him, if I had the chance.

  • James C. Walker

    LA Tarone was a true friend of the motorist. He understood the difference between traffic laws set and enforced for safety versus those set and enforced for profits, at the expense of less safety. Pennsylvania has been a serial offender of laws and enforcement for profits for many decades, and LA helped us fight these for-profit rackets.

    James C. Walker, National Motorists Association

    • Joe

      Thanks a lot for coming onto LA’s show regularly. You were one of the best guests he had. People requested you to appear. Everyone learned a lot about correct engineering and enforcement, as well as the many abuses that happen in PA and elsewhere. Maybe you can continue to appear on one of the other WILK shows? LA was also good for motorists every day.

      • jcwconsult

        Put me in touch with another like-minded host, I am always willing to appear to present the issues.

        James C. Walker, National Motorists Association

  • MAD Drummer

    I first met LA at WRKC and touched bases whenever possible with friends like Dave Yonki (who would usually put the meeting together). L.A. seemed to start every day with a mission, be it news or music. He was incandescent.
    I will miss my friend. RIP Brother Louie.

  • bill williams

    as a democrat im actually very upset about L.A. he was a great radio personality and actually listened to views of people that didn’t agree with him. that is what our country is about, not just listening to one side, and talking trash and refusing to hear the other sides point of view. there is nothing wrong with standing your ground, as long as you’re well informed on both sides of the spectrum. many people around here could learn from his example.

  • Bill

    LA was far ahead of the (past and present) on-air talent on WILK. What a refreshing change LA brought to the 3 to 6pm time slot. LA was a listener to callers and he wasn’t rude. LA did his homework and was a true news guy and didn’t let his own ego take over his career. LA Tarone will be missed.

  • hidden

    What a shame, I was really enjoying him on WILK. I am surprised that so little was said about how bad off he was, or perhaps it was not really our business until now. God speed, LA.

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