As a child growing up in Rochester, NY where his parents managed a sporting goods store, Neil took his first stab at broadcasting, entertaining himself by calling baseball play-by-play in front of the family TV. His first paid radio job was spinning records at a tiny daytimer in Canandaigua, NY. From there he went on to study broadcasting at Michigan State University but, two years later, dropped out to go on the air as a sportscaster and deejay.
For most jocks in those days, radio jobs ended quicker than a one night stand, so he did his share of moving – from Batavia, NY to several stations in Michigan, and then on to Florida to PD WSPB/Sarasota (1972). His next move, to WJNO/West Palm Beach, would keep him on South Florida radio for the remainder of his career.
Rogers got a call from WKAT/Miami Beach to do afternoons in 1976. From there, he moved to WNWS (1979), WINZ (1982), Zeta-4 WZTA (1988), and WIOD (1989). It was while working at WIOD that his show was simulcast in Tampa Bay in the early 90’s on WSUN-AM. WQAM hired him in 1997 as the only general talk show host on the normally all-sports station.
In the summer of 2009, South Florida’s top-rated and highest paid talk show host (for most of his 30-year career) retired from on-air work. He later suffered a heart attack and stroke in October the next year.
Neil Rogers (born Nelson Roger Behelfer) died December 24, 2010 at Florida Medical Center in Broward County of congestive heart failure. He was 68.
(Photo courtesy Patrick Farrell, Miami Herald)
1972 - 1974 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (On Air Personality)
1972 - 1974 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (Program Director)
1994 - 1994 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (On Air Personality)