In this week’s issue… Alt morning show exits – ESPN sells, Cumulus talks in NYC – Remembering Rod Wood, Bob Brandon – New Canadian stations proposed
By SCOTT FYBUSH
(This is our final regular weekly issue of 2021, as we get ready to try to take at least a bit of a holiday break. Fear not – we’ll have lots of content on here on fybush.com as our 2021 Year in Review segments get underway next Monday, Dec. 27 through Friday, Dec. 31. We’ll have breaking news updates on Twitter @neradiowatch if there’s anything big – and of course RadioInsight will be there daily with breaking news, too. And we’ll see you back here bright and early on Jan. 3, 2022 to start our 29th year of service to the broadcast community. Lisa and I wish you the happiest of holidays and we thank you all for your support of NorthEast Radio Watch and fybush.com!)
*With rumors already swirling about a format change, the future of NEW YORK‘s “Alt 92.3” took another turn late last week when the station’s morning show stars were fired for violating several Audacy corporate policies.
The “Cane and Corey” show took shape at WNYL in 2018 as that station completed its transition from top-40 “Amp,” eventually becoming Audacy’s East Coast morning “Alt” offering at a roster of stations that included Buffalo (the former “Alt” WLKK), Baltimore, Orlando, Miami and Detroit.
A few weeks ago, Cane and Corey were suspended for two weeks, apparently for letting a curse word air on the show and dishonesty to management about the incident – and that would have been the end of things, except that instead of keeping quiet about it, Cane, Corey and producer Jai spent their time off creating a podcast (distributed on Spotify, not on Audacy’s own podcast platform) in which they were rather outspoken about it.
On the podcast, the morning team said they intended to pivot to a Patreon subscription model – and then went on to say that for the last few months, Audacy had been holding the threat of a format change at 92.3 (to a simulcast of all-news WINS) over them as a threat. What’s more, they complained that Audacy didn’t increase their pay when their show went from local to national, nor did Corey get a raise when he was moved from afternoons to morning co-host in 2020.
But wait – there’s more. The trio also announced that they had remained off the air for an extra week, post-supension, because they had no intention of complying with the Audacy vaccine mandate for New York City employees.
Now Cane, Corey and Jai have been dismissed from Audacy’s employ – and their co-host, Riley Lassin, also says she’s departed, even though she wasn’t involved in any of the incidents.
What now? That’s anyone’s guess. All the factors we identified a few weeks ago that make a WINS simulcast a challenge remain in play – but if Audacy is serious about making a WINS-FM a reality, the lack of a morning show to remove from WNYL would certainly make that move a little easier to pull off all of a sudden. We’ll be watching (and listening) closely into the new year.
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