NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – After nearly two decades, Monte Belmonte will be signing off for the last time as the host of Mornings with Monte on 93.9 The River.

Monte will say goodbye this Friday, something he said will be emotional but he’s not leaving radio for good. The DJ of the mostly-music show said he plans to still be involved with the River and will continue marching for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. However, the next step in his career will not be revealed until early 2023.

As for why he’s retiring from Mornings with Monte, he told 22News he wants to try something new now that he’s in his mid-40’s.

After 17 years of waking up at 2:00 a.m. five days a week, Belmonte told 22News this is his message to those who listened along, “I’m honored that people would care to listen in the first place and to hear how people are responding to me leaving, it’s an honor, it’s humbling, it’s hard to process and yeah, thanks!”

Belmonte got his start in 2000 as an intern at a radio station in Boston propelling himself on air with his Al Gore impression. In his time in the Pioneer Valley, he said his favorite thing was the interactions with people.