Dave McKay, a St. Petersburg, Florida radio host, was found dead in his apartment on Thursday after he did not show up to work. He worked at 99.5 WQYK. He was 55 years old and his real name was Steve Ehmke.
Here is what we know so far about McKay and his death.
1. Police Went to His Apartment After He Failed to Show up For Work
St. Petersburg police released the above statement on McKay’s death. A co-worker of his lives in the same apartment complex and checked in on him, only to find him deceased. Police said he lived in the apartment alone. A cause of death was not released.
Police said they do not suspect foul play. The investigation is ongoing. Police did rule out homicide and suicide.
“He put himself in the cheap seats, as we say it. He wasn’t trying to be a star. He wouldn’t say, ‘I’m Dave McKay,’ he leaned in and talked to you,” fellow radio host Orlando Davis said during a memorial at the Maheffey Theater in St. Petersburg on August 11, reports Fox 13.
2. McKay Co-Hosted the Dave & Veronica Show, Starting in 2005
WTSP reports that McKay had been co-hosting The Dave & Veronica Show since at least 2005 and the co-hosts knew each other for 17 years. One former co-worker told WTSP that the two were almost like a married couple.
3. McKay Was Born in Buffalo & Always Knew He Wanted to be in Radio
In 2014, McKay attended an event for the Kwanis Club of Siesta Key. According to a speech given there, he was bron in Buffalo, New York and was raised in Bemus Point, New York. After he graduated high school, he knew he wanted to be a radio host.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, he had been working at radio stations for 32 years.
“I don’t know that there’s any radio jock that ever cared as much about his listener as Dave did,” Cledus T. Judd, a former on-air partner of McKay’s, told the Times.
4. WQYK Called Him ‘One of the Nicest People Any of Us Have Ever Met’
WQYK quickly issued a statement about McKay, noting that he was “one of the nicest people any of us have ever met and he was 100% the guy you heard on air for years.”
“If you were a listener to 99.5 QYK, you were his friend – that’s how he felt. Even if you’d never met him, Dave loved you,” the station said. “Say a prayer for Dave’s family, his friends, and all of us here at 99.5 QYK – because we’re hurting right along with you.”
5. McKay & WQYK Earned Academy of Country Music Awards Nominations
WQYK is a nationally known country station, even earning awards from the Academy of Country Music. The Dave & Veronica Show was even nominated for Major Market Personality of the Year in 2014. The station itself won Major Market Station of the Year in 2012.
As a result, McKay interviewed several key players in the country music world. In 2016, McKay also attended the ACM Awards. In the above interview, he interviews Martina McBride.
Pinellas Park, Florida officials announced on August 26 that a portion of 81st Avenue North will be renamed “Dave McKay Way” this fall.
Rick Butler, Pinellas Park vice mayor, said in a statement:
Dave McKay was a personal friend of mine and just a really great guy. He supported so many city events and it will be truly an honor to have a street named after Dave in the Pinellas Park community. He will certainly always be remembered and greatly missed. All of Council felt privileged to make this dedication happen.