Skip to Content
Everything Else

Just like Columbus, Ronnie Kaye is history…

11:10 AM EDT on October 16, 2023

Over the weekend, Oklahomans of all ages learned legendary Oklahoma radio DJ Ronnie Kaye is still alive when he announced via Facebook that he was terminated by KOMA for an “offensive comment” he made regarding Columbus and Indigenous Peoples Day. 

Check this out:

Your familiarity with Ronnie Kaye probably depends on your age. 

Oklahomans over the age of 100 remember him as one of the original pioneers in the 1889 Land Run and the person who first brought talkies to Oklahoma cinema, while Boomers fondly recall him as a DJ on WKY and the host of a local American Bandstand ripoff called “The Scene.” 

Gen-Xers like me, on the other hand, remember Ronnie from his news days when he would do quick 30-second news updates on Channel 25 in between Transformers, G.I. Joe, and other after-school cartoons, while our millennial counterparts remember him as the voice they would hear on the radio while stuck in the backseat of their parent's car listening to oldies during rush hour. 

Gen Z kids and all those younger millennials, however, had no clue who he was, but now get to know him as the fossilized DJ who was fired for apparently saying something offensive about Columbus Day. 

On that note, I did some quick social media digging to find out what Ronnie actually said.

According to Oklahoma County Assessor Larry Stein – the face that greets you when you creep on your neighbor’s property value – Ronnie said he didn’t know what Indigenous Peoples Day was and didn’t care.

Listen, I know we probably live in an ultra-politically correct cancel culture age. I also know that in today’s digital landscape, Tyler Media was probably looking for any excuse to cut Kaye’s hefty salary and terminate his contract with cause. 

Regardless, isn’t that a bit of an overreaction? 

First of all, the older you get, the harder it is to remember new names for things. For example, I still find myself referring to Science Museum Oklahoma as the Omniplex, Paycom Arena as the Ford Center, and 92.5 KOMA as 1520 KOMA.

Second, I’m pretty sure Ronnie Kaye was on the Santa Maria when Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492 and officially kicked off the genocide of indigenous peoples across the North American continent, so you can’t really blame him for the confusion. When Ronnie was a young lad serving as a porter for General Washington, Columbus was seen as a mythological hero of sorts, not the very historically accurate inhumane person that he’s seen as today. 

Then again, with his centuries and centuries of acquired knowledge and taste, Ronnie probably should have known better. His job is to introduce “oldies” from the 1970s and 1980s – WTF?! – not make flippant remarks about Indigenous Peoples Day, something important that many Oklahomans who aren’t Kevin Stitt hold close to their heart. 

The news that Ronnie Kaye has been canceled has upset some of the anti-Native American olds who still listen to oldies on KOMA. Ironically enough, some are calling to cancel KOMA in response to KOMA canceling Ronnie.

Yikes! Outside of satellite radio or one of the endless music streaming apps available on a smartphone, where are these people going to turn to hear the biggest hits from the 1970s and 1980s!? For the sake of irony, I'd suggest KRXO.

Anyway, now that Ronnie is out at KOMA, I guess that means he's officially retired, something he probably should have done 150 years ago.

Stay with The Lost Ogle. We’ll keep you advised

Already a user?Log in

Thanks for clicking!

Please provide your email address to read for free.

See all subscription options

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter