Ron Diaz (born c. 1955) is an American radio talk show host on Clear Channel Radio's sports radio station WDAE (620 AM and 95.3 FM) in Tampa, Florida as the host of the highly rated The Ron & Ian Show.
The Ron & Ron Show
Beginning in the mid-1980s, Ron Diaz partnered with stand-up comedian Ron Bennington to create the wildly successful raucous morning radio program, The Ron and Ron Show on Tampa Bay, Florida radio station WYNF-FM (known as 95YNF). The show also featured regulars Fez Whatley, Fast Eddie, Billy the Phone Freak and Flipper. The show's audience quickly grew and was a huge ratings success and ripe for syndication. Known as "Radio's Bad Boy's" Diaz and Bennington partnered with their agent Ross Reback to found The Ron & Ron Radio Network to syndicate their show nationally and own its intellectual property. The Ron & Ron Show's final broadcast for WYNF-FM was on March 12, 1993. Reback became President and CEO of the newly formed network and quickly negotiated a deal to broadcast the show in Miami, FL, Orlando, FL, and Jacksonville, FL with another dozen markets soon following (including a new more lucrative deal in Tampa, FL).
The Ron & Ron Show regularly featured celebrity guests and Ron & Ron made national headlines after engaging in a screaming match with apparently inebriated actor Don Johnson (Miami Vice, Nash Bridges) which was highly chronicled in the press, on many TV entertainment news shows and was featured in People Magazine and on Inside Edition. The show made international headlines once again when show regular Flipper formed a rock band to play at the upcoming Ron & Ron Live Gig in Miami, FL and named his band The Dead German Tourists after two German tourists who had recently been murdered upon leaving the Miami International Airport in a rental car. The band's name caused an uproar and Miami city officials held an emergency meeting and voted to prohibit The Ron & Ron Show from holding their Live Gig within Miami city limits. The show considered the city council's vote a form of censorship, and undeterred, moved the Live Gig to neighboring Hallandale, FL at the last minute. An estimated crowd of approximately 10,000 fans attended the show.
In May 1993, Diaz's wife Debbie was diagnosed with AIDS, leading him to periodically take time off from the show. On December 20, 1994, Ron Bennington publicly broke the news of Debbie's diagnosis and devoted their entire show that day to the topic of AIDS. On November 13, 1995, Debbie Diaz died.
Ross Reback successfully negotiated a divestiture of The Ron & Ron Radio Network through a sale to Paxson Communications Corp., then a publicly traded company headed by Lowell W. Bud Paxson, the co-founder and former president of Home Shopping Network (HSN). At the time, Paxson Communications owned a large number of radio station properties, in addition to being the largest owner of television stations in the country. Ron Diaz announced his departure on-air from The Ron & Ron Show in early 1997 as Paxson prepared to relocate it from the network's studios in St. Petersburg, FL to one in Hollywood, FL. Without Diaz and under Paxson the show quickly floundered. On September 29, 1997 after a successful 11 year run (the last few months of which featured several replacement hosts, all of whom took the name "Ron" in a failed attempted replacement of Diaz). Due to low ratings after Diaz's departure, The Ron & Ron Show was promptly canceled when Paxson Communications' radio division was acquired by Clear Channel Radio.
Ron & Ron Live Gigs
The Ron & Ron Show was also famous for hosting a series of live events known as Ron & Ron Live Gigs which were live broadcasts of their radio program in a rock concert type atmosphere and would feature musical acts, celebrities, stunts, etc. These live appearances would typically attract estimated crowds of between 10,000 and 30,000 attendees.
Let The Puppies Breathe
The Ron & Ron Radio Network produced two full length feature videos - Ron & Ron - Let The Puppies Breathe, and Ron & Ron's Pup Friction which contained video highlights from the radio show along with specially produced material. Both videos were huge sellers to the show's loyal listeners. The term "Let The Puppies Breathe" is a reference the show used to encourage women to expose their breasts. Ross Reback, Ron Diaz and Ron Bennington served as Executive Prodcuers.
Ron Diaz announced his departure from The Ron & Ron Show on-air in 1997. A short time later, Diaz joined Clear Channel Radio's Classic Rock station WTBT-FM (Thunder 103.5) and launched the brand new "Ron Diaz Show," as the station launched its dial position on 103.5.
The Ron & Ian Show
Ron Diaz now hosts The Ron & Ian Show with former Tampa Bay Buccaneers player Ian Beckles on WDAE (620 AM and 95.3 FM) in Tampa, FL.