New Wild 98.7 News: Orlando Out for the Week
UPDATE: Charlie Ochs, Tampa market manager for CBS Radio, appeared on Wild 98.7's morning show at about 8:30 a.m. to explain what's been happening. Insisting that what happened Monday was not a pre-April Fool's joke, he confirmed that DJ and program director Orlando Davis would be taking some vacation time.
Ochs explained that the company had planned to upgrade Wild's studio along with two other stations in their complex in 2007, but the worsening economy has tightened finances. He also said the company was moving ahead with plans to create HD channels for Wild, because that had been in the pipeline for years.
Earlier in the show, members of Orlando's team talked about hanging out in Las Vegas and taking meetings. But Ochs didn't address the implied threat. Seems like a long way to go for something that could have been solved in a conversation or two, but that's the radio biz.
What follows is my blog post from last night:
I reported yesterday that Ochs said Wild 98.7's star morning guy and program director, Orlando Davis, will be off the radio for the rest of the week on a mutually agreed upon bit of time away from the show.
"We mutually agreed that it was time he take a break," said Ochs, who refused to provide specifics on why Davis was gone this week or why almost everyone else in his morning crew also missed work (Tuesday) morning. The rest of the crew is expected to return tomorrow.
Ochs also says he will go on Wild to speak about what happened Monday and today, sometime between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. tomorrow morning. As my friends at TBT's The Juice reported yesterday, Davis was yanked off the air yesterday -- seemingly after a dispute over upgrading equipment in his studio led to Davis nearly revealing Ochs' home telephone number.
I realize this could put a damper on my theory that this was an April Fool's prank. I guess I was hoping CBS Radio was too smart to mess up its relationship with the best-known hip hop DJ in town. But stranger things have happened in local radio, to be sure.