Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County -- A tragedy leaves Wilkes University radio station WCLH 90.7 with a big void. The staff is mourning the death of Michael Onley, known in music circles as DJ MO. "He was the heart and soul of WCLH and that he would give of himself to no extent." Adjunct professor and WCLH General Manager and Advisor Renee Loftus considered Mr. Onley her right hand man. He not only was a former student but also worked at the college radio station for 13 years. He helped convert its music format from mainly alternative to include hip hop. "He was very involved in the community with getting new artists and he would bring them into the studio and interview them, play their music," said Ms. Loftus.
Mr. Olney also served as a mentor to students like senior Joe Pugliese of Staten Island, New York who deejays at the college radio station as a hobby. "He basically taught me as much as he could about the deejay tables and I couldn't' believe the amount of information that he knows." Fellow student Markeata White of Edwardsville is just preparing to begin deejaying this semester at WCLH. She sat in on DJ MO's show for the first time just last week. "When I had seen what he does on his show it just like inspired me so much," said the Wilkes University junior as she choked on emotion. "Now it's just a sad thing."
Ms. White was preparing for her first radio show on November 2nd at WCLH at Wilkes University. She was getting much help thanks to DJ Mo. As that show date approaches, she says it just doesn't feel the same. "Now I just feel like I lost my partner, like, I just don't feel that security and that reassurance that I need to know that it's going to be okay." Others say the loss of DJ MO is irreplaceable. "This station is a home and that's what he... he basically was, you know, the father of the home," said Mr. Pugliese.
WCLH will air a special memorial show Tuesday from 4:00 p.m to 8:00 p.m. It will include excerpts from DJ MO's previous shows and remembrances from the community.