UTICA/ROME — After a little more than two years off the air, Bill Keeler is returning to local morning radio. Starting January 14, he will be hosting mornings at Townsquare Media news/talker WIBX 950.
According to a press release from Townsquare, the program will be titled “WIBX First News with Keeler in the Morning.” Keeler will host weekdays from 6-9am, along with news anchor Kristine Bellino.
“We are so excited to bring Keeler’s energy to WIBX in the morning,” said Karen Carey, the four-station cluster’s VP/GM. “The station already leads the way with radio news in the market and I feel the addition of Bill in the morning is going to add a whole new dynamic to the morning commute.”
It’ll mark the first time in recent memory that WIBX’s morning show will be hosted by a “personality,” who will likely offer commentary and guest interviews, as opposed to a straight newscast delivered exclusively by anchors and reporters.
In the same press release, Keeler said, “I am so excited about doing mornings on WIBX. This is a heritage radio station that’s been around for 87 years and it remains one of the top stations in the market. I can’t wait to get on the air and get started,” he said.
Currently, WIBX’s morning news program runs from 5-8am, followed by the hour-long local interview show, First Look, which debuted in 2004. With Keeler’s timeslot announced as 6-9am, it appears First Look‘s days are numbered. WIBX has not revealed what will fill the hour from 5-6am, once Keeler’s new show begins.
Keeler’s last radio gig ended just a little over two years ago, when locally-owned Arjuna Broadcasting decided to replace Keeler with the syndicated “Bob and Tom Show” on 92.7 The Drive (WXUR). In 2011, Keeler launched his own network of online-only radio stations, called “MOVA Radio,” but the venture eventually faded away. Keeler returned to the public spotlight this past September, with the debut of a TV series called Plate Night, which airs Saturdays on NBC affiliate WKTV.
The WIBX press release gives the impression that Keeler will continue to produce and host the television program.
Press Release from WIBX
WIBX 950 AM HIRES KEELER FOR MORNING SHOW
UTICA – Townsquare Media of Utica announced today that local radio and television personality, Bill Keeler has been named the new morning show host on WIBX 950 AM. The program called, ‘WIBX FIRST NEWS WITH KEELER IN THE MORNING’ will debut at 6am on Monday, January 14th.
“I am so excited about doing mornings on WIBX,” said Keeler. “This is a heritage radio station that’s been around for 87 years and it remains one of the top stations in the market. I can’t wait to get on the air and get started,” he said.
Keeler will broadcast from 6 until 9 a.m. weekdays along side news anchor and Townsquare Bureau Chief, Kristine Bellino.
“We are so excited to bring Keeler’s energy to WIBX in the morning,” said Karen Carey, Vice President and General Manager of Town Square Media Utica. “The station already leads the way with radio news in the market and I feel the addition of Bill in the morning is going to add a whole new dynamic to the morning commute.”
“I love this city and feel we’re on the verge of a reinvention,” said Keeler. “This is home for me and my family and I’m just thrilled to not have to take a job outside the area.”
Keeler currently hosts a restaurant television program called Plate Night, which airs Saturday nights at 7 on WKTV. He’s also been instrumental in many community events including annual toy drives and the recent collection for Hurricane Sandy victims on Staten Island.
WIBX has been the area’s News, Talk and Sports Leader for 87 years and currently features the biggest names in talk radio, including Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck. WIBX is affiliated with FOX News Radio, as well as the NFL and NASCAR radio Networks. Utica’s first-ever radio station is also the catalyst behind America’s Greatest Heart Run and Walk Weekend in Utica, which was started on the station 43-years-ago.
Townsquare Media Group is a diversified media, entertainment and digital marketing services company that owns and operates radio, digital and live event properties including local radio stations WIBX, WFRG, WLZW and WODZ. The Company specializes in creating and distributing original entertainment, music and lifestyle content. Its assets include 244 radio stations, 250 local companion websites in 51 small to mid-sized markets, 350 live music and non-music events annually and certain national digital properties including Taste of Country, Diffuser.fm, Ultimate Classic Rock, Loudwire, The FW, GuySpeed, ScreenCrush and PopCrush, as well as a network of music and entertainment digital properties reaching over 60 million US unique visitors and E-commerce business Seize the Deal. Additionally, Townsquare Media also operates Townsquare Cares, a non-profit organization that seeks to better the lives of troops and their families. Funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management are the Company’s largest equity holder.
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