Larry Mendte seeks ‘career redemption' with radio show gig

Larry Mendte co-anchors the morning news radio show.
Larry Mendte co-anchors the morning news radio show.
Posted: June 13, 2012

FOR ANYONE else, being a morning-drive radio personality in Philadelphia would simply be a great job. For Larry Mendte, being the co-host of WWIQ-FM's "Philly's Morning News" is exponentially more significant.

The gig, which Mendte started when the station signed on earlier this spring, represents a chance to atone for the unseemly scandal that was ignited when it came out publicly that he had hacked the email account of Alycia Lane, his former news co-anchor at CBS3.

"Because of my missteps and because of my great mistake, this is a chance at career redemption," said Mendte, who served six months on house arrest after being convicted in late 2008 of the digital snooping.

Mendte's co-host, Al Gardner, who is also vice president of programming for IQ WWIQ's corporate parent, said he never considered letting the scandal get in the way of hiring Mendte. Gardner and company CEO Randy Michaels discussed hiring Mendte, whom Michaels got to know when he was CEO of the Tribune Co. Mendte remains a news commentator for Tribune's New York TV station, WPIX-TV, and his segments are syndicated to 20 stations nationwide.

"We came away with the same conclusion," said Gardner. "It's not what you do in life, it's how do you face that adversity; do you grow from it? And we were convinced he was so the right thing to do. We fell in love with the guy."

Mendte promised to always walk the straight-and-narrow.

"It's important to me," he offered.

"I love this city. I dreamed of working in this city again. I allowed that dream to slip away from me, and I'll never allow that to happen again."   

— Chuck Darrow

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