By Jacob Katel
By Laurie Charles
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
First, a heartbreaking tweet that some readers interpreted as a cruel and belated April Fools' Day hoax.
"Rumors are true, I am no longer with Power 96," Miami's beloved DJ Laz wrote. "I wish them all the best. And to my coworkers and friends, thank you for everything."
Confirmation that Lazaro Mendez and the radio station had split followed shortly thereafter in the form of a news release issued by Power 96's parent company, Beasley Broadcasting Group.
"Effective today, DJ LAZ, who has been with the station for 22 years, has decided to move on and explore other professional opportunities."
But just why would DJ Laz, a veteran of the Miami airwaves and a Magic City institution, want to "explore other professional opportunities"? And why such a vague news release?
"The release is accurate," Beasley Broadcast Miami vice president and market manager Joe Bell says via email. "Laz resigned to pursue other interests. You would have to ask [him] what they are."
Mendez hasn't return New Times' calls. The "pimp with the limp" did, however, sit down with NBC 6 last week to discuss his shocking, sudden, and unexpected departure.
Sporting a casual, nautically themed shirt and sitting next to his appropriately named fishing vessel, Off the Air, he opened up about his desire to change, travel, and spin records, admitting he had fallen into "this whole morning-show announcer thing" unexpectedly.
"I'd been thinking about [this decision] for a minute," Mendez told WTVJ, "and basically saying, If you want a change in your life, you can't continue to do the same thing. The only way to get change is to change, do something different."
Reiterating what Bell told New Times, DJ Laz assured the public that he and Power 96 did not end on sour terms.
"There are no hard feelings between me and Power 96 — none. I just walked in and handed them my resignation letter."
As for his next step, the affable disc jockey and avid fisherman said he'll "take the boat out for a little while" and spend more time with his family. He also vaguely discussed his small-screen aspirations.
"I've always wanted to explore different options — the possibility of TV. I would love to be on TV one day. Maybe now that I have more time, I can explore that."
DJ Laz, the next Louis Aguirre? You'll have to stay tuned, Miami.