What’s News? 

January 2005

Stebbins Goes "Down Under"
Jan. 9 was the last time you'll see veteran radio guy and weathercaster Marty Stebbins on WESH-TV. Stebbins, a fixture in Orlando broadcasting, has been doing weather duty on weekend mornings for the last two years. Marty, who is 65, says he's decided to pack it in. He'll be heading to Australia for a two-month back-packing trip. Will we see or hear Marty again? He told the Orlando Business Journal; "Well, I'll be looking around for something," Stebbins says; "Wal-Mart is always looking for greeters."

WLOQ Goes For A “Fresh Approach”       
Brian Morgan, program director at WLOQ-FM 103.1, says they have "freshened" its music selection. Brian is quoted in the Orlando Business Journal as saying; "We shaved down the songs we have been playing and added a lot of newer material”. In the same article it states that WLOQ uses the software called Selector to gradually increase or reduce the number of times a song is played, when it plays and how different types of music relate to each other. Selections are updated weekly, based on the tastes and guidance of Morgan and owner Herb Gross.  Gross says that the “fine-tuning” of the station not a format change, it's just a chance to hear less of the music he considers overplayed. Other changes include The Chill Lounge, a local program that features a new style called “chill music”.  The show airs Saturday nights,  and is hosted by Ash Kimble, who was known as known as Kid Cruz when he worked at WXXL-FM 106.7.  Also a Latin jazz show is being developed for a Sunday nights. Morning host Mark Taylor will be leaving at the end of the month. PD Morgan says he's looking for a replacement.   WLOQ plays smooth jazz.  

Imus On WORL
Looks like Ron Bisson’s weekday morning talk show duties are over at WORL-AM 660.  Infinity owned, “Imus in the Morning”,  from the WFAN studios in New York City is being carried by WORL. WORL has also brought back their financial talk programming from the “MoneyWatch Radio Network”.  

Clear Channel Traffic   1-12-05
Clear Channel is now voicing their own traffic reports.  Heading up the Florida market will be Alan Edwards. Alan will oversee all stations in Florida. The folks in Orlando will supply traffic reports for Jacksonville, Brevard and Orlando. You'll hear many familiar voices from Central Florida Radio stations.  Katherine AdkinsKevin Baldinger, Scott Duncan, Melissa Foxx,  Brian Fritz and Doug Stewart. Joining the CC traffic crew will be Robin Cole former weekender at WLOQ-FM 103.1.

Drew And Crew Raise Funds  1-14-05
WTKS-FM 104.1
night time talk host Drew Garabo is helping to raise money for the tsunami victims. Drew and his crew have teamed up with the Blue Room Nightclub in downtown Orlando. A fund raiser for UNICEF will be held Sunday night, Jan 16, from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. Need more info? Call 407-843-BLUE.

Small Changes At Big 100 And Other CC Stations   1-14-05
Thanks to Dennis Snyder for passing this item along. "WEBG(-FM 100.3) is also doing some fine tuning.  Heard one of the jocks comment that they have adjusted the commercial breaks so they aren't as long and expanded the music they play." Seems like all Clear Channel stations are adopting the new format as far as play lists and spots. From a press release, Clear Channel now has in place "...a Creative Resource Group (that) will drive higher-quality ads and more effective shorter spots."

Not So Says Salem   1-14-05

There were reports that Salem Communications was about to purchase WNUE-FM 98.1 from Mega Communications for $27 million. To dispel the rumors, on  Jan 7, Salem issued a statement indicting an "unknown source" issued a fraudulent press release on Dec. 31, 2004. One news outfit was reporting that in the sale, Salem would change the format to Christian AC. 

WPRK Marathon   1-15-05
Dave Plotkin had planned to stay awake and on WPRK-FM 91.5 for a 110-hour marathon over the summer, but hurricanes Charley and Frances got in the way. Plotkin is now ready to attempt to stay on the air for a 110 hours, from 9AM Monday, Jan. 17 until 11PM on Friday, Jan. 21 to raise money for the Rollins College radio station, and, in the process, set a Guinness World Record.  Want to know more? Go to www.110hours.org

Mr. Bernier Goes To Washington    1-16-05
Marc Bernier is taking his weekday show, heard on WNDB-AM 1150 and WNDA-AM 1490, on the road to Washington for coverage of the Presidential Inauguration. The Marc Bernier Show will be broadcasting from 3PM to 7PM from the nation's capital on Tuesday and Wednesday, with coverage of President Bush's second Inaugural live from 10AM until 2PM on Thursday.

Garabo Gone From 104.1    1-18-05
After six years behind the mic, hosting the evening show, and three years as a producer for Ed Tyll and the "Philips Phile", at WTKS, Drew Garabo has left the station. On the WTKS website Drew states"...My discontent with my current job had been growing and manifesting itself for quite some time now, and something had to give. Today, it gave. I can honestly say that while it's never easy being forced to move in another direction, I can totally see how this is a good thing for WTKS and for me personally..." 

More on Garabo And WTKS     1-19-05
WTKS said it  is planning to take its nighttime programming in a "different direction."  Drew said he was told that his show was canceled shortly before he was scheduled to go on the air, Monday. His show aired between 7PM. and 11PM weekdays. Garabo told the Orlando Sentinel; "The reasons really weren't spelled out for me,"  "It came a week after I signed my contract with the station." Clear Channel said it eventually expects to replace Garabo with another talk show.

Plotkin Gets The Record     1-22-05
Dave Plotkin
of WPRK-FM 91.5, passed the old Guinness Book of World Records record for the longest continuous DJ broadcast. Last night (Friday 1-21-05) Plotkin stayed on the air until after 11 p.m. to provide a "cushion". Even Howard Stern called WPRK, during his nationally syndicated show on Friday, calling the stunt "meaningless" and urging Plotkin to "stop right now." The marathon attracted widespread attention and raised almost $16,000 in pledges. WPRK plans to use the money for Internet broadcasting and scholarships for students.

And The Winner Is...    1-22-05
The 12+ Orlando market ratings are in and WMGF lands the #1 spot. Here is the honor roll.
1. WMGF    2. WCFB   3. WDBO   4. WWKA   5. WJHM   6. WPYO   WTKS tied at #6   8. WNUE   9. WOCL   10. WLOQ   11. WOMX   12. WXXL  13. WEBG   14. WMMO   15. WFLF   16. WJRR   17. WHTQ   18. WLAA   19. WQTM   20. WOKB   21. WPCV   22. WONQ   23. WPRD   24. WRLZ   25. WTLN   26. WHOO

WTKS Looking For Replacement    1-24-05

WTKS-FM 104.1
PD Katherine Brown told the Daytona Beach News Journal; "We just decided to go in a different direction," "It was time for us to make a change." Brown was talking about WTKS dropping the Drew Garabo Show from it's weeknight lineup on Monday, January 18. Brown also said there are no plans to change formats at Real Radio, as has been rumored. The search is already on to find a replacement to fill the 7-11 p.m. time slot. Until then, no timetable has been set to find a replacement, music will keep on playing. "I'm interested in getting back to what we do well, and that's talk radio," Brown said.

Stern Returns To # 1     1-27-05
Howard Stern now heard on WOCL-FM 105.9 has grabbed the number one rated morning show, beating Jim Turner, at WDBO-AM 580. Turner's "Central Florida Morning News" fell to number three after Stern took number one and Tom Joyner at WCFB-FM 94.5 took over at number two. 

Garabo Mulls His Future     1-27-05
Drew Garabo is still deciding if he wants to try for another radio spot, that is if Clear Channel will let him out of a non-compete clause. Garabo told The Orlando Sentinel's Scott Maxwell that when Howard Stern was dropped by CC and they moved The Monsters to mornings, he thought he would be a good choice for the mid day slot. Instead CC brought Shannon Burke over from WFLF to take over mid days. The upside? His wife Angie and son Xander "...are both thrilled to have me around at night." Drew says. 

Afternoon Showdown     1-27-05
The syndicated Sean Hannity on WDBO-AM 580 and The Philips Phile on WTKS-FM 104.1 are in a battle for  #1 in the afternoons. Philips is holding on by winning the key demographics among young and middle-age adults. Jim Philips told The Orlando Sentinel;  "I have always stated that people would rather listen to me than listen to a radio station that is really a nursing home with call letters."

Howell Makes Monster Move    1-27-05
Local comic Jeff Howell decided to leave the Monsters in The Morning crew at WTKS-FM 104.1.  Jeff decided the early morning shift wasn't good for his family life or nightclub performances.

WDBO Ivanhoe Studios Set for Demolition       1-29-05 
Another big condominium project is in the works for downtown Orlando. Plans call for the demolition of the old WDBO-AM 580 studios on Ivanhoe Blvd. The building is now home to Strollo Architects. Greg Strollo, who is a past chairman of both the Downtown Development Board's historic committee and the Orlando Historic Preservation Board, thinks the city should at least have photographs taken of the old WDBO building. He is quoted in the Orlando Sentinel; "I'm not saying it should be preserved, but there should be some recording of it." Thanks to Dennis Snyder we have photos of the exterior taken in 2004.

WDBO_Ivanhoe_Blvd_1.jpg (70503 bytes) 

WDBO-Ivanhoe 2.jpg (76949 bytes)

  WDBO Ivanhoe studios-courtesy of Dennis Snyder  Click photo for full sized view

Orlando Radio Pioneer John Rutledge Passes   1-30-05
John Rutledge passed away 1/29/05 in Ocala, FL.  At the time of his death he was still working as General Manager of WTRS-FM 102.3 and WMFQ-FM 92.9 in Ocala, FL. His service will be at Hiers-Baxley Funeral Home on Silver Springs Blvd in Ocala on Tuesday. John was instrumental in Orlando radio. First at WHOO-AM 990 then WLOF-AM 950 and John also put WLOQ-FM 103.1 on the air. You can read more in his

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