In this week’s issue… Airstaff out at LI FM – Two TV co-anchors step down at once – Romeo out at WXKS – Catlin leaves WSKG – LaFlamme returns on the competition
By SCOTT FYBUSH
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*Long Island is a fiercely competitive radio market, where Connoisseur Media is one of the more significant players, especially on the Nassau County end of things.
As of late last week, though, the company’s classic hits entry, WBZO (103.1 Max-FM), is competing without any live talent in the studio.
On Thursday, Connoisseur cut the jobs of the last three airstaff who’d been heard on Max: morning host Jim Douglas, a 43-year radio veteran; PD/afternoon jock Tommy Conway and Brett Levine, who was news director and traffic reporter for WBZO and its sister stations, including WALK-FM (97.5), WKJY (98.3) and WHLI (1100).
Douglas minced no words about his job loss in a Newsday interview, noting that he’d recently won the New York State Broadcasters Association award for best large-market morning show, a tribute to a long run that has included New York City morning gigs at WMXV (Mix 105) and WWFS (Fresh 102.7) over the years as well as at WKJY.
“We had a good following, but the following wasn’t good enough for them,” Douglas said, saying Connoisseur officials told him they had to cut costs by automating Max and eliminating the last of its talent.
Can an automated Max really compete with the popular personalities on stations such as WALK and its Cox and JVC competitors? Not really – but that’s not necessarily how the cluster game plays out these days, when it’s sometimes enough just to stanch losses and maintain a placeholder that can keep other players from competing in the format.
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