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Radio icon Terry Lee is battling lung cancer

Wednesday, July 24, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

Longtime radio personality Terry Lee Trunzo has been stricken with lung cancer.

Family members confirmed the diagnosis via Trunzo's website, www.tlsoundco.com.

“We have received many inquiries as to why Terry has not been doing live shows for the past couple of months,” his family posted. “We only ask for your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Thank you for respecting his privacy.”

Trunzo, known to generations of listeners as Terry Lee or TL, was a staple of WMCK and WIXZ music radio and a popular disc jockey at Mon-Yough dance venues in the 1960s and ‘70s.

Now 70, he continues to share his trademark “TL Sound” via internet broadcasts.

“You always dread hearing news like this,” former WIXZ owner and current Renda Broadcasting senior vice president Alan Serena said. “Terry has stood the test of time and we all are praying for his full recovery.”

Trunzo has overcome recent health problems to remain a force in the broadcast industry.

In 2008, he had a heart attack and stents were put in, which led to a conversation with WLSW-103.9 owner L. Stanley Wall, who had open heart surgery in 2007.

“Because I had the same thing, we discussed the operation and he said he wanted to come back into the Pittsburgh area,” Wall said.

That resulted in Lee doing weekend shows on WLSW and Renda's WJAS-1320.

He made a well-received return to McKeesport's Palisades for a show on Feb. 13, 2010.

“Everybody was so nice,” he said. “My wife said it made me 10 years younger just to be there.”

Carol Trunzo, who grew up in West Mifflin, joined her husband for the show, where many in attendance reminisced about his appearances at the old Foggy Bottom and Trunzo's own Night Train along the Glassport-Elizabeth Road.

“People who grew up in the ‘60s, ‘70s in the Mon Yough region also grew up with the TL Sound and often reminisce about dancing to him at the Night Train,” Serena said.

Trunzo worked at other radio and television stations in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

He hosted the “Come Alive” show on WIIC, now WPXI, and had shows on KDKA-TV and WPGH.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1967, or pcloonan@tribweb.com.

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