No More Joey Showey

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column written by Art Vuolo, Jr.

Art Vuolo Jr.Recently, progressive-talk WDTW (AM 1310) added The Joey Reynolds overnight show 1 am-6 am. WDTW-AM (once the mighty WKNR Keener 13 in the 1960's) is one of a number of AM signals in Detroit (Dearborn technically) which is unknown to most local radio listeners. Joey was one of only a few programs that actually got this 5,000 watt station noticed. Sadly that is now coming to an end.

The radio station where Joey's program originates, WOR-AM (710) in New York City has decided that the bottom line is far more important than the all-night audience who listened in droves to the last overnight radio show that was actually entertaining! They will pull the plug on Joey's show on April 2nd. He did it for just over 14 years. Reynolds, often referred to as a "radio rebel" had 38 jobs prior to joining New York's oldest station, which has been doing talk for 88 years. He is considered to be the father of "shock radio" years before Howard Stern was ever heard from. His style today, however, is 180 degrees from those days. He also did the first simulcast on both radio and TV at KOA-AM (850) in Denver and KOA-TV Channel 4. It was innovative and wildly entertaining. He broke the first hit by the Four Seasons "Sherry" in 1962 while working in Hartford, CT. His opening theme song was a custom creation by Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons as a token of appreciation.

ReynoldsSo, now after nearly a decade and a half, WOR has decided to push fun radio out the door in exchange of George Noory's AM Coast-to-Coast. Interestingly George is a Detroiter, who has spent much of his career in St. Louis. Noory's show centers heavily on the paranormal and extraterrestrial topics. It is also carried on over 500 stations across the country. It was on in New York, opposite Joey's show, on WJR's sister station WABC-AM (770). Joey did very well. It was a national show that was VERY entertaining and very New York. The studio was often jammed with people even at 2 or 3 in the morning!

When WABC had a new overnight show called "The Red-Eye Radio Show" hosted by former KABC Los Angeles morning host Doug McIntyre, it pushed AM Coast-to-Coast off the powerful Citadel talker. That move sent shock-waves throughout the NYC radio community. Most figured it would only be a matter of time (and of course money) before Noory's show would resurface on another station. Sadly for fans of "fun radio" it was at the expense of losing Joey Reynolds. It's easier and cheaper for stations to plug in a syndicated national show than to do a live and local program. So, once again, the listeners are the losers. Radio keeps drinking the Kool-Aid and wonders why it has a stomach ache.

There should be enough room on the radio dial to do the big nationwide broadcasts AND a local show which, although Joey is nationally syndicated as well, was heavy on New York based stars and entertainment. The theatre-community, in particular, will be upset by this action, since Reynolds featured Broadway cast members, singers, musicians, comics and a plethora of big stars on his show every night. Rarely (if ever) were politics discussed and he very rarely used the phones. His was similar to TV legendary Ed Sullivan Show of the 1950's & 60's.

VuoloIf you spin the AM dial overnight you will hear George Noory, who is a nice man and has a big audience, on literally dozens of stations, but now we won't hear one of the most creative and innovative broadcasters to ever grace the airwaves with the absence of Joey Reynolds. My personal hope is that some savvy radio company picks him up before he even hits the ground, but for now, the last FUN show on radio will broadcast for the final time on Friday April 2nd....and that's no post April Fool's Day joke. Good luck Joey...radio needs you.

 

Reach Art Vuolo at artvuolo@aol.com or visit his web site at vuolovideo.com

 

14 Comments

It wasn't that long ago that only the small-market stations were the ones to carry syndicated programming. A major market station would have been embarrassed to do this.

Probably what will replace Joey on most stations will be infomercials, doubly sad. Speaking of Howard Stern, he just had the Tiger Woods Mistress Beauty Pageant. It was excellent, as more details and "tales" were told about their time with him and in a couple of cases, other celebrities as well...sorry to digress, but I had to share.

Sad news on Joey.
Sadder news about this industry.
Can we shoot ourselves in the foot (ear) any more ????????
---jeff prescott

Money, money and more money - well, it's the times and if you have to go cheap to cover a time slot, that's what you do. It doesn't matter who or what you hurt, the bottom line is $$$$$$. I realize syndicated is much less than live, and JR had both for 14 years. Yes, Joey was a pain in the ass at times, and he always had his big ego hat on, but he had great local entertainment, gave thousands a chance to be heard, and his mind is so damn sharp, considering his younger days with the booze and drugs, for which he has been sober for 30 years NOW. No wonder I fell in love with him over the past 18 months. I will kiss him goodnight on April 2nd, with tears all over my face.

For those of us who sleep poorly, the Joey Reynolds show was a breath of fresh air. Rarely boring, always entertaining with lots of talent. WOR, you're making a big mistake to let him go. There's nothing else like his show. So when Joey goes, so do I. (And remember that one written letter is the equivalent of countless letters that never get written.)

I used to listen alot more often, as my job was at such hours. Recently though I've been missing out on the show with a new shift. Maybe now he can do a morning or afternoon show. He always seems to have great guest with good opinions and stories. I really liked that comedian Chris Rush when he would be on, but then Joey stopped having him I guess. Good Luck to all associated with the show.

I will especially miss the "Jewish Hour" that Joey hilariously hosted every Friday. So many laughs over the years. Thanks, Joey.

Thanks for well-done article about Joey Reynolds. Many of us in the New York area will not be able to get his new show. He will be greatly missed.

WOR has turned into a cesspool of right wing idiocy and hate. I live in Manhattan and have seen this disgusting transition. Oh there will be someone in Joey's spot -- another right wing illogical boring misery.

Please email or call WOR and let them know what you think of them and Mr. Rick (senile old man) Buckley. Here is the email for the programming dept. slakefield@wor710.com. The guy's name if Scott Lakefield. WOR does not want anyone to have access to any of their exec's -- nice huh. Here is their phone number: 212 642 4500.

If you let them know you will not buy from their sponsors usually that is something that hits them where they live.

Joey was amazing and I've listened to him from the time he was first on this miserable station over 10 years ago. You are never bored and he is so original, genuine and talented. But that's the problem for WOR. They DON'T want quality they want SCHLOCK.

I believe Joey will be on MSNBC with his own nighttime show. I can't afford this additional cable cost, so will miss him greatly. I'll miss the Jewish hour, Goldy and Paul, Mother Wonderful, Kreskin, Mikey, etc. and all the other fabulous guests including Gerald Celente an absolute financial genius. Goodbye quality, hello crap.

I was lucky enough to be a guest three times this past year. Joey is a great guy. His intellignece is amazing as evidenced in his oratory.

I wish him well

What is WOR thinking? The Joey Reynolds show was a breath of fresh air. It was interesting, witting and I listened every night from day one. I hope they bring him back. Really WOR what are you thinking - coast to coast, really?!?! Too bad WOR - you lost me and a lot of other people as listeners.

WE NEED JOEY ON THE RADIO

I often have trouble sleeping and listening to Joey has gotten me through many a long night. It's a real shame they cancelled him. Feh!

I am one of those "conservative right wingers" with poor sleeping patterns and have always listened and enjoyed the Joey Reynolds Show nightly. I was concerned when he said he was going to TV overnight because it would be difficult to keep my eyes on the TV, but the little radio under my pillow has provided his pleasant and informative commentary. Heaven forbid -- I will never listen to Coast to Coasts George Noory on purpose. When I have had the program on another station earlier than the Joey Reynolds program and have fallen asleep, and suddenly awaken to hear all that George Noory creepy stuff, I immediately change the station, and put on Joey Reynolds. If Joey Reynolds is on TV, can't the program also be broadcast on radio in the Western NY area?????

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This page contains a single entry by Mike Austerman published on March 10, 2010 1:58 PM.

Sales / Transactions / FCC Actions: March 9, 2010 was the previous entry in this blog.

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