Former New Orleans radio personality Rebecca Pratt, known for her candid on-air style and deep connection with her listeners, has died at the age of 55.
Pratt was found dead in her apartment on the 900 block of Poifare Street on Thursday by building management, according to police records and WWL-AM. The cause and cause of death have not been determined.
Pratt, a transgender woman formerly known as Jon Osterlind, or her on-air nickname Ozone, was hired by conservative talk station WRNO-FM as part of her 2008 reforms in a suburban neighborhood. I was one of the hosts.
Drawing on previous stints in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, Pratt brought “the spirit of rock and roll” to New Orleans’ relatively stable airwaves, said Michael Cast, then WRNO’s morning host. One of the recurring features was “Why Today doesn’t Suck,” a comical compilation of the dates of a single day in history.
Pratt was praised by other hosts for her “non-stop” wit, Castner said. I have something that is inappropriate as a nickname for people.
“I don’t imitate”
Her words sometimes dropped her in hot water. In Boston, a talk radio station fired her after she made offensive comments about Palestinians. Said he said
While on air, Pratt would sometimes break what Castner described as the first rule of radio by having a drink with listeners. But Pratt wasn’t from New Orleans, but his lighthearted connection with the public worked well, said Jim Fisher, his former program director for WRNO.
“A lot of people are fake,” said James Parker, another former colleague. Pratt added, “I think it’s not a forgery and people can find out.”
Pratt’s work with WRNO ended in 2015. Her next stop was rock station WKBU-FM. This was her WAAF-FM original record in Boston, a return to her spinner roots.
Pratt, who was no longer on the air at the time of her death, told a friend about her gender transition about a year ago, Castner said. I made an appearance and talked about her transformation.
“I know she wants everyone to know the truth,” Parker said.