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KWMU Host Mike Sampson Dies at 53

Mike Sampson.
Mike Sampson.


St. Louis, MO. – The KWMU family has lost a valued member. Mike Sampson, host of the KWMU program, "St. Louis on the Air", has died.

The cause of death is not known. Mike was 53.

In addition to hosting "St. Louis on the Air" for the past two years, Mike had served as host of the arts program "Cityscape", the local host of "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered."

KWMU General Manager Patty Wente says Mike Sampson will be missed at the radio station.

"Mike was willing to do everything he could to share his passion for public radio and the St. Louis community," Wente said. "He loved the station. He was ready to step forward and fill in at any time for anything." The person who worked most closely with Mike while he was host was Mary Edwards, the producer and director of "St. Louis on the Air" and "Cityscape."

"Mike was a natural when it came to hosting," Edwards said Thursday. "I've never met anyone who could respond as quickly or easily to just about any situation. He was very witty, he was quick to come up with one-liners, which helped to put the guests at ease and also was entertaining to the listeners as well as the guests."

Originally from Philadelphia, Mike moved to St. Louis in 1983 to host "PM Magazine" on KTVI television. He filled in for Greg Freeman as host of "St. Louis on the Air" until Freeman died on the last day of 2002. After that, Sampson was the permanent host.

Sampson also did some media consulting work and could often be seen walking around his neighborhood in the Central West End (he didn't have a car). He was involved with Trinity Episcopal Church, as well.

Funeral arrangements for Mike Sampson are pending.

To hear Friday's tribute to Mike, as aired on KWMU's "Cityscape," click here.