Radio personality Kristi Lee has left “The Bob & Tom Show” after 27 years on the program, she said Monday morning, confirming industry and listener speculation that began last week after she failed to return to the airwaves following the holiday break.
Lee, 55, known as the “news director” on the show, said she has “decided to pursue new opportunities in 2016.” Her last day on the program, which airs locally on WFBQ-FM 94.7 during the morning drive (6 a.m. to 10:20 a.m.), was Dec. 17.
“I wish all those involved in making “The Bob & Tom Show” the best radio program in America continued success,” Lee said in written comments. “I owe this part of my career to Bob Kevoian, Tom Griswold, Chick McGee, Dean Metcalf and all of those on staff. They have been family to me both on and off the air. I gained a lifetime of growth and experience for which I am extremely grateful.”
Lee’s departure coincides with the retirement of Kevoian, who signed off Dec. 17. Kevoian announced the retirement Nov. 5 when he and Griswold were inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame, 32 years after starting the popular comedy show.
Lee’s off-air name is Theresa Ritz. She graduated from Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis, attended Indiana University and worked as a TV engineer at WRTV Channel 6 in Indianapolis for six years before joining Q95 as a part-time disc jockey. She began working full-time on “The Bob & Tom Show” in 1989.
Lee often described her role on the show as that of a den mother, playing the straight role amid the typically immature and raunchy antics of the male cast members.
She helped make the program a national success and local ratings leader. The show went into national syndication in 1995 and is carried on 130 stations nationwide It also won five Marconi Awards and generated more than 50 comedy albums over the years.
Calls to Q95 to comment on Lee’s departure were not returned.