Central New Yorkers tuned in to Sunny 102 Wednesday morning got one last listen of “Big Mike and Cindy” together on the radio.
After 40 years on the air, with the last 16 spent at Sunny 102, “Bike Mike” Fiss has decided to retire from radio.
His final day in the studio gathered farewells from fellow broadcasters, both radio and TV, friends he made along the way, local music legends and a member of the New York State Senate who had a special gift in hand.
“I’ve got a proclamation for you which I’m not going to read because it’s too long,” said State Sen. John DeFranciso, 50th District. “Ironically, the first time i ran for office was for the school board 40 years ago. This is the end of my 40th year, so our careers have been parallel.”
Although “Big Mike” doesn’t have any plans set in stone for retirement, he and his wife, Willie, plan to stay in Central New York and enjoy breakfast together every morning.
“My plan is to be active, to be busy,” he said. “To make friends, to volunteer. A lot of people do that when they retire. I absolutely have to do that. I have to Otherwise, I’ll simply…I don’t want to just waste away and sit at home in my pajamas all day.”
“Big Mike” has spent decades on the air. His voice has been heard by more people than he may ever know.
“They develop a personal contact with you. They become friends. They hear me every day. I don’t see them every day,” he shared. “So, we’ve gotten calls. Right, Cindy? One guy called yesterday or the day before — you don’t remember me? I met you at a grocery store 20 years ago.”
After countless radio shows — “Big Mike” has played the greatest hits for all to hear, but most of all, he’s played a part in how people drive to work or relax at home.
“Not everybody listens every day, but over the years, most people in this town heard me at least once on the radio. And every time you did that, I appreciate it,” he said. “I cherish it.”
Fellow radio personality Gary Dunes will join Cindy on the air Monday morning on Sunny 102.