2002 had its fair share of format flips, staff changes, and a few pink slips. Here is CNY Radio’s annual scorecard to help keep track of the ever-changing Central New York radio landscape.
2002 started off with some changes in Hot 107-9‘s morning show. Matt Johnson headed south for a PD gig in Jackson, Mississippi, while Carson took his spot as Dakota‘s sidekick. WFBL‘s longtime morning man Dave Smith signed on behind the scenes as part of the corporate support team at WCNY. Y94FM added John Tesh‘s syndicated show to its Sunday morning lineup. Madeline Halkovich, who worked in WSYR‘s back office for 50 years, retired.
Adam Schein said goodbye to Syracuse and headed to New York City where he signed up for his own national show on the Fox Sports Radio Network. Syracuse SkyChiefs broadcasts moved from WHEN to WNSS. Hot 107-9 PD and afternoon jock Jason Kidd announced he was moving to Pittsburgh’s KISS 96-1 (WKST).
Bill Baker, who split from Sunny 102 months before, signed on with WCNY as their midday classical music host. Jim Lerch moved from WIXT TV 9‘s sports department to program WHEN. Carson,who had joined the morning show at Hot 107-9 in January, headed off to B97 (WEZB) in New Orleans. 570 WSYR and TK-99both eyed the S.U. sports contract which was up in July, a contract that Citadel ended up hanging on to. After ending his daily Primetime Adam Schein call-in show the previous month, Adam Schein resurrected two hours of the local afternoon sports chat show. Abbie Weber was named program director of K-Rock.
Utica afternoon talker Phil Stern ended his run on WTLB and popped up a short time later for a brief stint in Albany. Jeanne Ashley returned to Y94FM to voice the liners and imaging for the station’s Love Songs at Night. WZZZ announced a call letter change to WAMF. Power 106.9 dropped Tom Joyner‘s syndicated morning show in favor of one hosted by Doug Banks.
Bill Colley returned to the 570 WSYR newsroom as a reporter. WFBL 1050 AM switched from adult standards to news-talk. Oldies 92.1‘s Johnnie B. Goode walked away from the overnight microphone after four years; Spider Murphy took his place. Hot 107.9 named Nicole Wilcox as Dakota‘s new morning sidekick. Captain John Smith became Y94FM‘s music director. Alisa Tanner signed on as Scorch‘s sidekick at K-Rock. WTLA/WTLB picked up Broadway’s Biggest Hits after WFBL dropped the show due to its switch in format. Bud and the Manchild, a local afternoon sports call-in show, debuted on SportsRadio620. Al Fasoldt stepped down as co-host of Random Access. Former WHEN/WRRB jock Peter King joined CBS Radio News.
Syracuse University’s play-by-play announcer Dave Pasch announced he was heading to Arizona for a similargig with the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals. Jason Jackson quit his job on Gameday on ESPN Radio. ClearChannel Communications finalized its deal to buy the Ackerley Group which included television stations WIXT TV 9 in Syracuse and WUTR TV 20 in Utica. Marne Mason joined Gomez & Dave on TK-99‘s morning show. B104.7‘s night guy and music director Skip Clark added assistant program director stripes to his sleeve. 570 WSYR‘s George Kilpatrick started shaking things up with a new issues-oriented show on WCNY TV 24 called Access with George Kilpatrick.
The Motley Fool Radio Show rose from the ashes as a public radio version of the financial advice show began airing locally on WRVO-FM 90. The local computer advice show Random Access, heard for years on 570 WSYR and for several months on TK-99, powered down after an eight-year run as longtime host Gene Wolf headed to Florida. Brent Axe of WIBX 950 in Utica moved to SportsRadio 620 to take over Adam Schein‘s afternoon gabfest which was renamed On the Block. Mark Johnson was named the new voice of Syracuse University sports. 570 WSYR bumped Dr. Laura Schlessinger to evenings to make room for Sam Donaldson and Kathy Denman. Randy Michaels stepped down as head of Clear Channel Radio.
After eight years with Big Frog 104, John Raspante, known as Hopalong Cassidy, moved to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to pursue a degree in law. Randy Jay headed to Atlanta after spending 12 years as morning man at Lite 98.7. John Hogan was named the new head of Clear Channel Radio.
Scorch exited K-Rock‘s morning show; evening jock J.J. Herr moved into AM drive. Sunny 102.1 adjusts format to focus on hits of the 60s, 70s, & 80s. Erin Bristol moved from Cedar Rapids, Iowa to sign on as Hot 107-9‘s new program director. After 30 years on WCNY, University Roundtable flipped to WAER. Fulton’s WAMF 1300 AM switched to a traditional country music format. Kevin Michaels of the Hagerstown-Chambersburg, MD-PA market joined K-Rock as the station’s new evening jock. 107 WRCK‘s afternoon drive jock Pat Kelly headed to WRCZ FM in Albany.
Lite 105.9 added more of today’s hits to their music mix, while Dee Collins joined Dave Allen in the morning. Over at Big Frog 104, Bullfrog moves from morning sidekick to afternoons while Lisa Webber (Lisa Reilly from WGNA in Albany) jumped in as Matt Herkimer‘s new morning show co-host. At KISS-FM, Stew Schantz moved to middays from afternoon drive which is now being handled by the former evening pair of Roadrunner and Kenny the Promo Guy. Late nighter Shaun Andrews moved to evenings. Lite 98.7‘s afternoon jock Peter Naughton added program coordinator duties as well. Paul Koffy took over as midday jock at Bob 102.5. Jeff Wise became music director at Hot 107-9.
Mark Richards signed on as Lite 98.7‘s new morning man. Ten months after going dark, WWJS 90.1 FM went back on the air in Watertown. Kathy Rowe moved off the morning show to focus on her midday shift and programming duties at Y94FM. Citadel Syracuse head Reggie Jordan moved to Charlestown, South Carolina to manage the company’s cluster there. Y94FM, Warm 93.5, and Magic 103.1 switched to all holiday music.
Bill Keeler parted ways with 107 WRCK, a move that made room for Frank McBride to slide into the morning driver’s seat. WRCK also flipped handles to Rock 107. Hot 107-9 shuffled its lineup by moving Marty to afternoons to make way for PD Erin Bristol on middays. WXBB flipped from its simulcast of B104.7 to holiday music shortly before Christmas. The day after the holiday, New Rock 105 – The Dog was unveiled as the new format for the Clear Channel station licensed to DeRuyter. Warm 93.5 switched from soft AC to Super Hits of the 60s and 70s and became Kool 93.5 with new call letters WUCL. Greg McShea took over the morning shift from Jack Moran who moved to middays. Because of WRFM‘s format switch, Delilah moved across town to Lite 98.7. The year closed out with Premiere Networks pulling the plug on Rockline and Art Bell saying goodbye as he stepped away from the Coast to Coast microphone for good.