with Joe Cortese

Congratulations on 40 YEARS, Joe!

Joe, the music and inspiration you bring to Retro Pop Reunion each week and to your listeners in Boston is remarkable.  Thank you for all you’ve done for our team – and CHEERS!

(November 6, 2023) – A celebratory “CHEERS” sounded across Boston – and the GLOBE – on Tuesday, November 7, as longtime radio talent, production director, and programmer Joe Cortese celebrated his 40th anniversary on the air in Boston.  

Joe began his radio career at WPRO-FM in Providence, RI, before starting his Boston run at the former 98.5 WROR-FM on November 7, 1983 as a late night talent. As the station evolved to Mix 98.5 WBMX-FM in 1991, Joe took on duties as midday host and later, host of the widely acclaimed Back to the 80s Saturday Night. Over time, the program evolved into other posts with cluster-mates Magic 106.7 WMJX-FM and the former Oldies 103.3 WODS-FM, now Big 103 WBGB-FM. Back to the 80s Saturday Night continues to thrive on Magic each weekend, and Joe serves as the cluster’s creative services director. 

The ongoing success of Back to the 80s Saturday Night eventually spurred Joe into national syndication in 1998 with Retro Pop Reunion, which continues to air on over 40 stations each week. Retro Pop Reunion is produced in conjunction with Throwback Brands and nationally syndicated by Skyview Networks.  


“Joe Cortese is a name known around the radio world and for good reason—he’s the best, and he can do it all,” said Steve Salhany, VP of Programming and Brand Manager for Audacy Boston. “Congrats on your 40 years of success, Joe!”  

“To know Joe is to love Joe,” added Tony Lorino, CEO of Throwback Brands. “He’s quietly taught a generation of programmers and producers how to raise the bar for their brands by the work he puts in on the ground in Boston, and each week into Retro Pop Reunion. Our industry is, simply put, better because of Joe Cortese.”  

Coworkers, past and present, along with family and other friends, joined together to share their memories and well wishes for Joe with a special tribute video.