In this week’s issue… Connoisseur, Cumulus take reins at new clusters – Remembering Tom Ellis, Al Bernstein – Silent station sells in upstate NY – Canadian FM deal cancelled 

By SCOTT FYBUSH

Jump to: MENHVTMARICTNYNJ PACanada

*When Connoisseur Media got the keys to two more signals in southern CONNECTICUT last week, it didn’t take long to make changes. While Cumulus is still the licensee at WEBE (107.9 Westport) and WICC (600 Bridgeport), Connoisseur’s LMA took effect on Wednesday – and so did a new lineup at WICC, the full-service AM with a big signal along the shoreline.

The changes start in morning drive, where Tony Reno stays in place but news anchor/co-host Mike Bellamy is out after 12 years at WICC. Replacing him is Melissa Shetekoff, who’d been working up in VERMONT at WCAX-TV and WDEV after starting her career as a WICC intern. Shetekoff was originally tabbed to take the vacant afternoon slot on WICC (her show even had a name, “Dialed In”) – but now that she’s part of the “Melissa and Tony” morning show, afternoons go to Paul Pacelli, who’s been up at former Connoisseur station WDRC (1360 Hartford) co-hosting mornings. Pacelli’s show, which will start next Monday, will feature sportswriter Aaron Johnson as well.

But while operations manager Keith Dakin says the goal is “an on air product that the Bridgeport community can be proud to call their own,” WICC and WEBE won’t be in Bridgeport much longer. By year’s end, we’re hearing Connoisseur will move the stations from their longtime downtown Bridgeport studios over to Milford, where they’ll share space with new sister stations WFOX, WEZN, WPLR and WYBC-FM.

On the WEBE side of things, PD/afternoon jock Mike McGowan and morning co-host Megan Stone weren’t kept on by Connoisseur, which promoted OM/middayer Danny Lyons to PD. Stone’s co-host Jay Michaels moves to afternoons, which clears out mornings for the return of Storm N. Norman. He was part of the original WEBE airstaff back in 1984 and stayed on in mornings until his retirement in 2013.

*On the PENNSYLVANIA side of the Cumulus/Connoisseur swap, the changes have been far more minimal as Cumulus starts its LMA of classic rock WODE (99.9 Easton), alternative “Spin” WWYY (107.1 Belvidere NJ) and sports WEEX (1230 Easton)/WTKZ (1320 Allentown). There’s some physical change in the future there, too – we hear Cumulus is looking for a consolidated space closer to Allentown to combine the former Connoisseur stations with its existing WCTO (96.1) and WLEV (100.7).

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4 COMMENTS

  1. RIP, WFAS-FM. Back in ’93 I was doing the weekend morning show and it was a blast. Mark Mitchell was PD and he was great to work for.

  2. Scott, you omitted Tom Ellis’s time in New York City, at WABC-TV (from ’75 to ’77) before his return to Boston in ’78.

  3. My TV friend Melissa Sheketoff was only on WDEV by way of a phone call from WCAX-TV during the 7am hour after her TV newscast was over. She was always completely a WCAX-TV staffer. They all were like colleagues though. We had the phone list in the studio and when a section of Burlington had flooded phoned her one afternoon and she gave a great on the spot report.

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