‘Coast to Coast AM’ Host Ian Punnett Dies


For the past 23 years he has been the regular weekend host of the long-running Coast to Coast AM syndicated talk program and of his own spin-off podcast, “Vaudeville for the Frightened.” Most recently he hosted Coast to Coast AM‘s weekday broadcasts twice per month.

Now, the team at Premiere Networks is mourning the loss of Ian Punnett. He was 63 years of age and suffered a brief illness.

“His keen intellect and delightful sense of humor will be deeply missed,” Lisa Lyon, Executive Producer of Coast to Coast AM, shared in communication distributed on December 22. “I’ve had the privilege of producing for Ian these past 24 years, and I will miss our friendship and the professional collaboration. Every conversation behind the scenes was as lively and entertaining and everything we strive for on the air. Ian was great radio personified.”

Before shifting to the world of spoken word radio in 1994 at WGN-AM in Chicago, Punnett was a rock ‘n’ roll air personality who hosted the morning show on such stations as WKDF/Nashville; WMJY/Monmouth-Ocean, N.J.; and WXLP/Davenport-Moline-Bettendorf-Rock Island, Iowa-Ill.

After three years in Chicago, Punnett shifted to a radio station in Atlanta, where he held the night shift. He returned to a morning show with a subsequent gig at KTMY-FM in Minneapolis with his wife, Margery, serving as co-host.

He is survived by Margery and two sons.

While working full-time in radio, Punnett completed a Master of Divinity degree from Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta. In 2017, he completed his Ph.D at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, part of Arizona State University. One year later, he joined the faculty of the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Kansas State University as a professor of practice and chief operator of the school’s KSDB-FM.

Punnett was also the author of several books, including “How to Pray When You’re Pissed at God from Random House, Toward A Theory of True Crime.”