In this week’s issue… Entercom cuts claim Buffalo veteran – New morning show in Boston – PA tower rebuilt – Maritimes survive Dorian’s blast

By SCOTT FYBUSH

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*In more than 25 years of writing this column, we’ve gotten tired of sugar-coating some of the lousy things that happen in this business – so we’re not going to say that western NEW YORK‘s longest-running radio voice has “departed” or “exited” Entercom’s WTSS (102.5 Buffalo).

No, Roger Christian was fired from Star 102 on Thursday, an undignified end to a career that started at the station back in 1976, when it was running automated music and he came on board as music director. Christian had already been in Buffalo radio for a dozen years, going back to his early days as one of the teen DJs on WYSL-FM (103.3). After graduating from college in Indiana, Christian worked overnights on WYSL starting in 1970 and then worked on-air and as music director on WGRQ (96.9) from 1973 until joining WBEN-FM in 1976.

And then, once he landed at 102.5, Christian never left. He became the station’s live morning voice in the 1980s as “Rock 102” transitioned from TM Stereo Rock to local top-40, then stayed on board in mornings and eventually middays as the station became WMJQ, “Majic 102” and “Q102,” then “Star 102.”

Along the way, he became a community institution, staying at the top of the workday ratings and being honored last year with induction into the Buffalo Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

In a market where the local newspaper and TV stations still cover radio, all of that could have led to some nice press in a year or two, if Christian had been allowed to retire on his own schedule. Instead, though, Entercom and WTSS got all that publicity last week – for walking Christian out the door as his Thursday airshift was ending. (And Christian, to his credit, didn’t try to sugarcoat the reality of his ouster, either, making it very clear he didn’t leave voluntarily.)

Is there anything good we can say about this? Not really (and not just because we’re grumpy as we recover from a nasty stomach bug that delayed this week’s column.) Entercom has been quietly cutting back on live midday shifts, and so the workday hours on Star – on a station that promotes itself as a listen-at-work station – will likely be voicetracked, if they have any personality left at all.

The 2020 Tower Site Calendar will soon be off the press, but you don’t have to wait to order it.

For the month of September, you can order your copy in advance for 20% off the regular price.

Note to our regular buyers (and our irregular buyers — we love every one of you): This is not this year’s cover, as this year’s calendar is still in production. We promise the real cover will be just as beautiful, if not more.

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Click Here To Register And Purchase This Column!!

You don't have to stop reading here! Each week's NorthEast Radio Watch is packed full of exclusive, in-depth reporting and analysis from across the nine states and five provinces we've been serving since 1994. You won't find anything like it on any free site - and you can read the rest of this week's column for just $2.99 by clicking on the "Purchase Only" link below. 

Or click here to subscribe and enjoy full access to current NERW and Tower Site of the Week columns and two decades of searchable archives -- for as little as 25 cents per day.

If you are already a member, please login to view the rest of this column. (If the site does not recognize your username, don't panic! Either your subscription has expired and we need to reactivate your account, or your username and email do not match our payment records and we need to link them. Please email Lisa,  or call her at 585-442-5411, for instructions.)

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1 COMMENT

  1. re: Roger Christian. I worked with Roger in 1974 in Buffalo, good guy, but I only saw him up and down the hallways at WGR/WGRQ. BUT – it always amazes me, since I worked outside of broadcast for 25 years, how much better “about to retire” employees are treated in other industries, vs. good old radio. DK