2003 had its usual assortment of radio programming and staff changes locally.
Here is CNY Radio’s annual scorecard to help keep track of the ever-changing Central New York radio landscape.
Bill O’Reilly joined WIBX 950‘s talk lineup. New Rock 105 picked up Scorch for afternoons. Galaxy switched its Syracuse translator at 97.7 FM from K-Rock to Sunny 102. WSCP signed up as a Motor Racing Network affiliate. K-Rock added Loveline to its weekday evening schedule. 95X added the syndicated Harddrive hosted by Lou Brutus. WHEN‘s Jim Lerch added 570 WSYR programming duties. 570 WSYR began sharing news resources WIXT TV 9.
Silent Bob Staffa picked up promotions director duties at K-Rock. WVOA added a Bosnian language show. Sunny 102 added Leeza Gibbon‘s syndicated Hollywood Confidential to Sunday mornings. Dick Carr’s Big Bands, Ballads, and Blues, which got its start on WAER was launched as a nationally syndicated show. Soundcheck was dropped from 95X‘s lineup after a 23-year run.
Bob Schmidt was tapped as New Rock 105‘s new morning man. WOLF AM added a digital signal. The local music show The Backyard, hosted by Josh Farrell, debuted on New Rock 105. K-Rock‘s morning man J.J. Herr left for WBBB in North Carolina. Big Frog 104‘s afternoon jock, Matt ‘Bullfrog’ Raisman, moved to Watertown in a deal that sent Froggy 97 morning man, Bean Pole (Tom Jacobsen), to Utica as the cluster’s new operations director and WFRG afternoon guy.
Dave Frisina left 95X for middays at TK-99/105, bringing Soundcheck with him. Silent Bob Staffa moved to K-Rock mornings while Rainman returned to the station in afternoon drive. 570 WSYR dropped Sam Donaldson for Glenn Beck. Bob Brown did some temporary fill-ins at Sunny 102 for a couple of months while Marty Santy was out following hip surgery. WTNY in Watertown picked up the syndicated Broadway’s Biggest Hits. At Froggy 97 in Watertown, Mike ‘Webb Foote’ Stoffel jumped to middays and picked up assistant program director duties, while Cricket hopped from middays to pair up with James Pond in morning drive. Jeff Moulton joined Oldies 92.1‘s part-time staff. New Talk 920 WKRT in Cortland added Dead Doctors Don’t Lie with host Dr. Joel Wallach. Mark Weston replaced evening jock Lia on Bob 102.5. Bud Money joined B104.7‘s weekend lineup.
WTLA/WSGO added the local motor sports show Around the Tracks hosted by Joe Marotta. Clear Channel‘s Syracuse translator at 98.3 FM flipped from Power 106.9 to New Rock 105. Ryno was tapped for the 95X midday gig. Real Rock Radio 93.5 in Ithaca named Chris Bianchi the station’s new program director. TK-99‘s Dave Coombs signed on as the voice of the Salty Dogs soccer team. B104.7 and Hot 107-9 part-timer J.J. Ryan left for Power 105.7 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Galaxy‘s translator at 101.3 flipped to simulcast of WSCP. Y94FM added John Tesh‘s syndicated weeknight show on overnights. Dave Laird returned to his weekend duties at Y94FM after recovering from heart surgery. WAMF‘s (formerly WOSC and WZZZ) studios in Fulton were destroyed by fire. 95X welcomed Spyder as its new evening jock; a stay that lasted only a few months.
570 WSYR dropped Dr. Laura and moved Laura Ingraham to a later time slot to make room for Michael Savage. Mimi Griswold replaced Roger McCue on evenings at TK-99/105. David Hopperfield returned to Big Frog 104. TK-99/105‘s Glenn ‘Gomez’ Adams joined WTVH-TV 5’s Central New York Live to do in-studio paid interviews.
WRUN switched to an adult standards format as Velvet 1150. Dick Carr’s Big Bands, Ballads, and Blues moved from WAER to WFBL. WRVO FM 90 added Day to Day to its schedule.
Keith Kobland signed on as morning news anchor at Sunny 102. K-Rock‘s morning man, Silent Bob Staffa, exited to pursue non-radio opportunities. 570 WSYR brought in Phil Hendrie after Laura Ingraham‘s show moved to TalkRadio 1050 WFBL. Bob O’Dell exited 95X. Trudy said goodbye to Lite 98.7 listeners after 10 years with the station.
570 WSYR news director and afternoon anchor Bill Carey left for Time Warner’s News 10 Now; Bill Colley took over afternoon anchor duties. 93Q‘s Ted & Amy lost their long-running weekly Time Warner cable show after the company decided to drop all of its locally-produced programs. WIBX 950‘s news director, Scott Carr, left for the Raleigh-Durham area and anchor/reporter Jim Knapp moved to Albany’s WGY. Art Bell returned to the airwaves to host the weekend version of Coast to Coast. Buckley Broadcasting purchased WDCW 1390 AM for $1.2M from Crawford Broadcasting. Nicole Wilcox of Hot 107-9‘s morning show left for a similar job at B103.9 in Ft. Meyers, Florida. A few weeks later, the other half of WWHT‘s morning show, Bill ‘Dakota’ Curry, also left the station. Power 106.9 shifted its format from urban to urban adult contemporary with Tom Joyner‘s syndicated morning show replacing Doug Banks.
Y94FM replaced its Sunday morning airings of John Tesh‘s show with one hosted by fellow new age artist Jim Brickman. Alexis was named 95X‘s program director and afternoon jock, while Matt Jacobs moved from overnights to evenings at the active rocker.
Erica St. James was hired as WIBX 950‘s new news director. Oldies 92.1 added the syndicated Ross Brittain’s Hit Machine. WAER moved into brand new studios on the S.U. hill. Scorch was reportedly suspended from New Rock 105, The Dog for airing an obscene song. He was back in action a week later. For the third year in a row, Y94FM switched to an all-holiday music format as did Kool 93.5 in Utica-Rome.
The WFBL call letters and news-talk format moved to 1390 AM. 1050 AM returned to a simulcast of Oldies 92.1 and became WSEN AM. New Rock 105.5, The Dog moved Erin Bristol to middays from Hot 107-9, and Paulie signed on as the new evening guy for the alternative rocker. Veteran Syracuse newsman Dave Bullard returned to radio as 570 WSYR‘s midday anchor. Rick Deyulio left TK-99/105 after nearly 10 years with the station to return to college. WSYR‘s afternoon anchor Bill Colley joined WFBL as news director and morning show host. Kathy Denman‘s talk show on 570 WSYR ended and she transitioned to head up Clear Channel‘s traffic reporting efforts. SportsRadio 620 added the local racing show On Victory Lane. TalkRadio 1390 WFBL signed a multi-year deal to broadcast the Syracuse SkyChiefs games.