MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It was a day of celebration at Hits 97.3 radio Monday morning as veteran radio personality DJ Laz debuted his all new morning show, DJ Laz in the morning with co-host Kimmy B at his side.

“It’s difficult not to have chemistry with this guy,” said Kimmy Bell, also known as Kimmy B. “Were both basically born and raised here so we hit it off instantly and all powers that be said wow.”

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Wow is exactly what DJ Laz said after Monday morning’s first show.

Watch the report, click here.

“I’m not good at certain things. Running a marathon isn’t one of the things I am good at,” Laz told CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo. “Radio, I’m good at. It’s my passion and for me there’s no better place to be than radio. The welcome home has been overwhelming.”

For 22 years, DJ Laz, whose real name is Lazaro Mendez, was the voice of Power 96 in the morning until 2012 when he left for the bright lights of Hollywood—a gig that did not workout.

“I’m a Miami boy. LA was nice and I would kick myself in the behind If I didn’t try it and wonder ‘what-if,’ so I tried it. I tried it and it didn’t work. It’s not about when you fall, it’s about how you get back up. I think I’ve gotten up pretty good,” Laz said.

It’s been a tough couple of months for the 43-year-old DJ who was involved in a tragic accident last May. He was at the helm of a boat that fatally slashed a young man who was trying to help free it from a sandbar. In litigation now, Laz cannot discuss specifics about the accident but did reflect on that horrible day.

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“At the end of the day it’s the worst possible thing that could ever happen,” said DJ Laz. “I’m a Dad, I’m a brother and my heart goes out to the family and I wish I can speak to the family. I did reach out but now with attorneys involved and litigation nothing can be said but it is the worst thing that’s ever happened so far.”

Laz said the idea of coming back to the radio, back to his listeners, is what has pulled him through the tough time. It’s a job he loves and does not take for granted.

“Thank God I’ve been fortunate all these years to be able to connect and I’m back in Miami, the city  I love—this is it, I’m smarter” he said. “When you go through things in life, you see whose there for real whose there for fluff. You realize whose there for the day to day grind. It puts your life in perspective. You learn.”

The DJ LAZ Morning Show is on weekday mornings on Hits 97.3 weekday mornings from 5:30 a.m. to 7 a.m.


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Lisa Petrillo