Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Drive and the Loop

The Drive made the Dan McNeil/Pete McMurray move official yesterday. They'll start sometime in March. Producer Scott Miller is following Pete to the Drive too. My old pal Kathy Voltmer stays on as the morning news anchor. (Kathy was my news anchor on WPGU in Champaign a thousand years ago). There's a lot of talent in that room--the questions will be--How do they mesh those very different personalities? and How do they gently abandon the more-music focus without driving away the more-music fans? I'll be following that one closely. John and I faced a similar challenge when we started up the John Landecker show on WJMK. It was a very bumpy ride those first few months as listeners left in droves, and management completely freaked out. It took a while to find our audience. Hopefully Drive management allows that to happen with this show.

As for the Loop, they've been trying out new personalities every week. So far I've heard a little bit of the Abe Kanan show, Shadow Stevens, and Liz Wilde. It's supposedly an on-air audition, and they are taking votes from listeners to decide who the new morning host will be. Right now, I don't think anyone has an edge. According to this morning's RAMP Newsletter, the Loop will keep on auditioning until they get someone who really connects with the audience. It's a novel approach. The Loop, by the way, faces a similar crisis when it comes to incorporating the fans of the more-music approach they've been following for quite some time now. I personally think the one guy who could pull it off is Johnny B. He and that station just seem to go together.