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WFUV’s Rita Houston Has Passed Away

The value of her leadership is incalculable.

By Paul Marszalek

New York radio legend Rita Houston has passed away after a long fight with cancer — a disease she kept at bay for some six years.

In her 26 years as Music Director and Program Director, she impacted NYC and influenced peers nationwide as a taste-maker, loyal friend of the artist community, and champion of diversity, equity, and inclusion. She touched thousands of people directly and, indirectly, hundreds of thousands more.

Said WFUV General Manager Chuck Singleton:

“Her courage and resolve were an inspiration. Cancer or no cancer, she gave her all every day — to her dear Laura and their family, to her friends and colleagues, to WFUV and our listeners, and to artists and music lovers everywhere.

Rita was the north star of WFUV’s sound and its public service, guiding the station’s musical direction for decades. She was a New York original, a trailblazing woman of exceptional talent who shaped a unique style behind the microphone — informed and informal, intimate, warm, genuine. But also, one of tremendous joy.”

She is survived by her wife Laura Fedele, and siblings Deb, Rich, and Rob. Her brother Bill passed in October.

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