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Former KNCI afternoon host Dan Cheatham found dead in Folsom home

Former KNCI afternoon host Dan Cheatham. (Photo: Facebook)

Former Sacramento radio personality Daniel Cheatham passed away unexpected on Tuesday, according to numerous radio insiders.

Cheatham was 50.

Cheatham worked for former CBS Radio station KNCI (105.1 FM) until 2018 when he departed the popular Sacramento country music station. At the time of his death, he was exploring a possible return to radio at a station in San Francisco and had a meeting with officials there earlier this month, according to two sources.

KNCI morning show personalities Pat Still and Tom Mailey paid tribute to Cheatham in a post on Facebook early Wednesday morning.

“Our hearts were further broken this morning to learn that our longtime colleague, Dan Cheatham, has passed away,” the post said. “We do not have details other than he was found at his home….RIP Dan. You brought a lot of joy into the world.”

The cause of death has not been released. An official with the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office said a completed death report may take several months to complete.

A California native, Cheatham was born in Mountain View in 1969. A California native, he started his radio career after moving to Cleveland, Ohio at the age of 19. He returned to California in 1992, according to a biography that appeared on KNCI’s website in 2001.

“I believe the the key to longevity and success in our business is to treat your audience as you would like to be treated,” he wrote. “Simple, but true.”

Along with his on-air work, Cheatham operated Zapt Music Sharing, a software application company, out of his Folsom home, according to records reviewed by The Desk.

Plans for a private memorial were still being worked out as of Wednesday evening.

KNCI is owned by radio company Bonneville International; it was previously owned by CBS Radio until 2017.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).