More on-air cuts at Q105: Entire weekday on-air staff cut but star Mason Dixon
Just two months after longtime radio personality "Marvelous" Marvin Boone was discharged from WRBQ-FM (Q105), CBS Radio has let go the rest of the oldies station's weekday on air staff, except for star morning man Mason Dixon.
In all, four personalities were cut at the station, including Dixon's longtime partner Bill Connolly (at left), JoJo Walker, Rico Blanco and Mike Reeves. The changes come at a jarring time, as the station is completing Dixon's annual Christmas Wish charity event and the gift-giving holiday is less than a week away.
Ed Krampf, Tampa market manager for WRBQ owner CBS Radio, said the staff changes were focused on elevating the station's ratings performance and were not about saving money.
Stressing that the departing WRBQ personalities would be "replaced by live bodies," Krampf said the situation was not entirely comparable to the October shakeup at affiliated station WSJT-FM, where the smooth jazz station's on-air staff was mostly replaced by syndicated programming from a California company (one personality, Al Santana, is back part-time and may do more in the future, Kramp said).
Currently, the station is playing Christmas music, and on Dec. 26, they will count down the Top 500 songs of all time. By Dec. 29, Krampf expects the station's new lineup of personalities to take the air, including new program director Scott Walker, who is expected to work a shift; the station's format as a classic hits station is not expected to change.
Walker took over programming duties from Dixon two months ago, allowing Dixon to focus on his show, Krampf said. In the summer 2008 ratings book, WRBQ was ranked 11th in the prized 25-to-54 listener demographic.
"My goal is to get this station into the Top 5 . . . but that's any manager's goal," said Krampf, who declined to give much detail on the new personalities for competitive reasons. "The station will sound more like the Top 40 radio stations people were listening to when they were growing up."