Fri. Jul 23, 2004
A Radio Station Named Dave
I read these things, and can’t help but giggle. I know I shouldn’t. It’s only because I escaped this kind of career torture. This is how the radio business works, when a station decides to change formats:
The news leaked prematurely Tuesday, when an employee from parent company Infinity Broadcasting accidentally sent a mass email to the media meant for internal use, mentioning Z93’s new name and program director.
When reached for comment late Tuesday afternoon, Z93’s program director Frank Jaxon said he wasn’t aware about the impending change. He was terminated soon after, Caffey confirmed, replaced by Michelle Engel, a North Springs High School grad who had been helming a Portland ‘80s station.
By 7 p.m., Z93 pulled its jocks off the air, including evening deejay MaKenzie Taylor, morning show Mara and Dunham and mid-day host Willard.
Davis and co-host Jeff Dunham remain under contract at Dave FM, but veteran deejay Kaedy Kiely, Taylor and Willard will not be back, said Scott Woodside, a former Z93 morning host who still knows people at the station.
That’s the way it goes in radio, a cold, cold business. The PD finds out about a format change via a media inquiry, and the majority of the staff is then let go on the shortest of notice. It happened to me on my very first fulltime gig in the summer of 1978, when WKZL-FM in Winston-Salem, NC, switched from album rock to Top 40, and half the staff (including me) was let go. No warning, just a check for two weeks pay and a bye-bye, out of the blue. It happens all the time.
And, yes, you read that right, some remain “under contract at Dave FM.” Dave FM. Along with most of their staff, they abandoned a 30 year old brand name, Z-93, to become Dave FM (Slogan: “Rock without rules”). That’s their new format. No, it’s not just music by guys named Dave, it’s … well, they can’t describe it, so they named it Dave. Seriously.
Remember that Microsoft program called Bob? It’s a bit like that. Probably be about as successful, too.