By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Jun 16, 2021 at 7:18 AM Photography: Andy Tarnoff

Milwaukee mornings are going to sound very different starting next year as longtime local radio host Gene Mueller announced this morning that, after more than 40 years behind the microphone, he will retire from radio. 

Mueller – who, in full disclosure, is also my dad – made the announcement on Wednesday morning during "Wisconsin's Morning News," where he will continue to host the wake-up news show through the beginning of next year, officially signing off in February.

"Hard as it may be to believe, the novelty of waking up between 1:30 and 2 a.m. every weekday kinda wears out after 44 years," Mueller told OnMilwaukee. "I look forward to reacquainting my body with the wonders of the circadian rhythms it's been forced to ignore since 1977."

“Gene has informed and entertained generations of listeners,” said Steve Wexler, Good Karma Brands Vice President and Market Manager of Good Karma Brands, in a release. "He is so beloved by so many people in our community because of the authentic, personal connection he’s made with them over the air and in person. We can’t thank him enough for his years of early wake-ups, his commitment to our stations and our community, and, of course, his sense of humor."

Born and raised in Sheboygan, Mueller got his professional start in radio while attending UW-Stevens Point, working at the campus station and WSPT before making his move to Milwaukee airwaves as news director and morning show co-host at WQFM in 1981.

His voice would become an ingrained part of the Brew City media landscape from there on out as the following year, he joined forces with Bob Reitman at 94.5 WKTI to form the iconic Reitman & Mueller morning show. The popular duo would entertain Milwaukee listeners (all seven of them) for more than two decades before Reitman retired at the end of 2006. Mueller stayed on at WKTI before shortly hopping frequencies to 620 WTMJ and its morning news program in 2007, where he'll broadcast his final show – leaving behind a long radio legacy of "Cabbage Patch doll drops," strange surprise retro cameos on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon," a calm and comforting voice during breaking news, and welcome humor to start the day.

“I've been blessed with fantastic opportunities over the course of my career, not the least of which was the one I had the past 14 years to host Wisconsin's Morning News, accompanied by so many talented teammates and such supportive management," Mueller said, in a release.

To listen to Wednesday's announcement, visit WTMJ's website. And stay tuned for more updates from Gene Mueller's farewell from the airwaves. 

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.