"Thank you for being my friend": BBC Radio York presenter Jonathan Cowap breaks down as he says farewell to audience after 34 years - and confirms colleague Adam Tomlinson is also leaving soon
Cowap joined the station in 1989, but confirmed earlier this month that he had taken voluntary redundancy due to cuts and a restructure which mean his 10am-2pm slot will no longer be broadcast from the York studio.
Although local programming will still be aired from 6am-2pm, he added that his colleague, breakfast show presenter Adam Tomlinson, will soon be departing after a 30-year association with Radio York. Tomlinson confirmed in March that his request for redundancy had been accepted. Their Radio Humberside equivalent David Burns, a popular figure in Hull, is also leaving the BBC.
In an emotional address, Cowap said: “You know how I feel. It has been a tremendous pleasure and a privilege. The folks here do the job because they love it – they are not paid big money. Colleagues have faced a huge and stressful period of uncertainty.
"I want to say that (despite claims of bias), the BBC has never pressurised me to say anything. They have always played a straight bat and the truth has been most important.
"The BBC belongs to you. It is your BBC. Adam Tomlinson, who is also leaving, is a wonderful, kind man.
"Thank you for allowing me into your lives and for sharing so much with me. I am truly overwhelmed. Thank you for being my friend.
"Despite everything, I hope local radio does have a future.”