By: Art Vuolo
A little over a week ago, the lines at the Secretary of State offices were long as people feared a state government shutdown. But those lines were not as long as the unemployment line outside of what used to be hot talk WKRK-FM (97.1).
Vice President/ General Manager Kevin Murphy was brought to Detroit by CBS Radio because he’s very good at “adjusting the bottom line” which often requires displacing of personnel. Business can be very cold, but this past week, despite our unseasonably warm weather, generated a considerable chill in the air. With the somewhat unexpected shift of sports WXYT-AM (1270) over to the 97.1 frequency several free FM staffers were let go.
Names you may know with uncertain futures include, Johnny D, Jay Towers, Bill McAllister, Shila Nathan and producer Jon Klaft. The AM side of the new combo billed as “Detroit’s Sports Powerhouse,” lost the Mike and Mike Show, and the FM side waved goodbye to New York City-based Opie and Anthony. You can still hear and see Mike and Mike on ESPN 2 via cable TV, and Opie and Anthony continue to be carried on XM Satellite Radio channel 202.
McAllister had been with the station as a key part of several midday shows for the past seven years, stretching back to just after Ed Tyll left town.
Johnny D, in contrast, was only with the station for about six months. He left a morning show at Toledo/Monroe top 40 WTWR-FM (98.3) to come here. He continues to pull the afternoon shift down in Lima, Ohio, at Wild 93.9 FM. As a huge University of Michigan fan, perhaps an opportunity may present itself with the new sports FM.
A well-known name, Jay Towers, who weekends on Fox 2 WJBK-TV, is exploring new opportunities since sports is not his arena of expertise. This is his second time to be displaced by an abrupt format change. The last time was when top 40 WDRQ-FM (93.1) suddenly became “Doug-FM.” Stay tuned for his next move.