Rebecca Pratt, a former New Orleans radio persona recognized for an outspoken on-air type and deep connection to listeners, has died at age 55.
Pratt was discovered lifeless in her residence within the 900 block of Poeyfarre Road by constructing managers on Thursday, based on a police log and WWL-AM. The trigger and method of demise haven’t been decided.
A transgender girl previously often known as John Osterlind, or by the on-air nickname Ozone, Pratt was one of many out-of-town hosts employed by conservative discuss station WRNO-FM as a part of a 2008 shake-up.
Drawing on earlier stints in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, Pratt introduced a “rock-and-roll mentality” to the comparatively staid airwaves of New Orleans, mentioned Michael Castner, WRNO’s morning host on the time. One common characteristic was “Why Right now Doesn’t Suck,” a comedic rundown of the day’s date in historical past.
Pratt was admired by different hosts for her “continuous” wit, Castner mentioned. Fellow radio station workers didn’t escape the banter: Castner mentioned that Pratt had “one thing inappropriate as a nickname for just about everybody.”
‘Not faking it’
Her phrases typically landed her in sizzling water. In Boston, one discuss radio station fired her after she made an offensive remark about Palestinians. The station mentioned she had mentioned Palestinians “need to go” throughout a dialog about suicide bombings.
Off the air, Pratt typically broke what Castner described as the primary rule in radio by getting drinks with listeners. However regardless that Pratt wasn’t a New Orleans native, her easygoing reference to the general public made it work, mentioned Jim Fisher, former program director for WRNO.
“Lots of people are pretend on the market,” mentioned James Parker, one other former colleague. Pratt, he added, “wasn’t faking it, and I believe folks may inform.”
Pratt’s run on WRNO got here to an finish in 2015. Her subsequent cease was on the rock station WKBU-FM, a return to roots for the previous document spinner at Boston’s WAAF-FM.
Not on the air on the time of her demise, Pratt informed buddies about her gender transition a few 12 months in the past, Castner mentioned. Pratt spoke about her transition in a web-based radio look with Parker in Could.
“I do know she would love for everyone to know the reality,” Parker mentioned.