‘Great sadness’: WZLX announces passing of longtime morning radio host Kevin Karlson

BOSTON — Classic rock radio station WZLX on Friday announced the passing of Kevin Karlson, who worked as a morning drive talk show host in Boston for nearly 20 years.

“It is with great sadness that 100.7 WZLX shares news of the unexpected passing of our friend, Kevin Karlson,” the Medford-based station said in a statement. “For almost 20 years, Kevin helped wake up Boston with humor and classic rock.”

WZLX didn’t specify how Karlson died, but fellow station employee Chuck Nowlin said he passed away in his sleep.

“Our ZLX family is in a state of shock right now. Our radio brother, Kevin Karlson, passed away in his sleep last night,” Nowlin wrote in a tweet. “Rest in peace big man.”

Karlson, who was born and raised in Ohio, spent his career working in morning radio at a number of stops across the country alongside Pete McKenzie.

The “Karlson, McKenzie & Heather Show” is been a longtime hit among Boston radio listeners.

Karlson, McKenzie, and Heather Ford launched their show on WZLX in 2005 after moving from New York, where they had worked together.

News of Karlson’s death generated thousands of reactions and shares on WZLX’s Facebook page.

“Absolutely devastating, Kevin was so funny and made any day a better one. He will be missed. My condolences to his family, friends, and to all of us who listened each day,” one listener wrote on Facebook.

Another saddened listener added, “A legendary voice in Boston radio. He will be missed.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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