RIP John…..You will be missed. Heaven has gained another angel
You will be missed may God be with your Family
Ernie McDermitt,Lake Villa,Illinois
I produced John Cigna’s evening talk show, and John had a tendency to seemingly stop paying attention to callers he found boring. One night, a woman caller was droning on, and he finally replied: “that may be true, I’m not really into the English language.” To which she replied: “yes, I’m aware of that.” After a short pause, John cracked up. Completely aware that she had shot him verbally between the eyes. He was thrilled: “what a shot!” he exclaimed, followed by the familiar belly laugh. I remember that call as if it were 3 hours ago. Just when you thought John was asleep at the switch, he demonstrated he was actually at the top of his game. R.I.P.
To Johns family and friends, I was so sad when I heard of Johns passing, I didn’t know him very well but was impressed with John when I met him several years ago. I remember him most seeing him on his bike which he loved very much. John was always happy, stepped right up to the plate to help a friend or a stranger. Pittsburgh will miss Mr. John Cigna. God Bless his family, I will be saying a prayer for John and his family.
So sorry and shocked to hear of John’s passing. As his Program Director when he had the nighttime talk show, and later GM when we moved him to mornings, I have more than my share of memories, about half of which are actually good!
I’ll not forget the strange morning when he said, and had confirmed by listeners, that strange craft had landed in North Park. So effective was the gag that I didn’t get the joke until a newspaper reporter called me and demanded to know what I thought of John’s ‘report’, mentioning that it happened to be April 1st … And it wasn’t until that moment that I ‘got it’.
Then there was the alligators roaming the city, and the lawsuit by Pare Lorenz, who John had insinuated was a Communist sympathizer. As it turned out John had done his homework (something I would come to appreciate with his vast preparation for hs shows) and the case was thrown out.
When KDKA was in crisis because Jack Bogut left to go to WTAE, I talked to John about taking the morning show. He had three ‘demands’ if you can call them that. First, it had to be a ‘team’ show, and he suggested K-Team as the slogan, one I thought awful, but accepted. Second was that Fred Homsberger had to come to the morning to join Dave James. That was an easy yes, because they were both great. And the third was ‘money’, and let me only say that he took less than he was worth, didn’t haggle or hassle, and the deal was done.
Oh Johnny, I miss you.
KDKA VP/GM 1983-1988
We will miss you, John. I know you are riding a Harley to heaven. My sympathy to your family and friends.
God bless the Cigna family. John and Fred together again. I hope heaven can handle it. Rest in Peace. Pgh has lost another great voice and man.
Listened to John from day one, he will be missed, he was one of a kind when it came to talk show hosts. My prayers go out to his family. Barb
I was privileged to have worked with John for 18 years while at KDKA Radio.
John was a “larger than life” personality, a true gentleman, an amazingly talented talk show host, a prankster, a loyal friend and a creative genius.
His grass roots marketing to oust greedy politicians from office with his “Remember in November” campaign urged listeners to tie red ribbons onto their car antennas garnered him front page news in the Wall Street Journal. The big bosses in New York were pleased.
Another idea he dreamed up one April Fool’s Day was to tell listeners a UFO had crash landed in North Park. With a little help from some of his friends it became believable. What we didn’t know was that Army Reserves were in full force that day with various vehicles traveling up I-79 North. The Associated Press called the station to get a quote from John. Our boss was contacted once again by the top brass in New York as to what was going on in Pittsburgh. His answer was not to worry John was on the story. April Fool’s!
John lived his life with a driving passion, whether researching a story for his show, riding his beloved Harley or behind the wheel of his Mercedes …John seemed to squeeze much more life into a plain 24 hour day.
When that microphone was “on” John was a broadcast legend entertaining and educating his listeners …but off the air John did even more important work…raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities that were dear to his heart.
To his sons….although it’s difficult today to see beyond your sorrow…may the comfort of your many friends and the memories of your father bring you peace in the days to come.
Wow that was one pretty cool dude.
We’re really going to miss you. You were my morning anchor, my evening buddy.I will plant one more fig tree in your honor.This Fall we’ll enjoy the figs as a salute to that guy from Brooklyn that found a home here in Pittsburgh.Friends in Brooklyn and family in Pittsburgh salute you. Smile down on us once in a while. We’ll be smiling up at you. Hold a couple of spots up there for us. Many spaghetti dinners to come will be enjoyed in your memory. Blessings and sympathies to your family .Your made your “cigna” (mark) on Pittsburgh .
When you couldn’t remember you’d say “como si ciama”. Well , we know what to call you now, an angel who lives in Heaven. Tu si ciamo un angelo nel cello infinito.
Rest in peace my friend,
John and Ruth Bonatesta
“News, Traffic, Sports… and a Good Morning-The “K” Team with John Cigna on KDKA-Week Day Mornings at 6 AM on 1020-KDKA”…You will be missed John-a long time listener from Cleveland!!!
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