Todd "MJ" Schnitt tells listeners leaving MJ Morning Show lets him "drive my kids to school"
Early this morning, radio personality Todd "MJ" Schnitt said little about his decision to end his MJ Morning Show after 18 years which hadn't already been reported on Twitter and in a press release from the station.
"I knew this day was coming shortly," he told listeners to his show on WFLZ-FM (93.3) today, noting that he became active on Twitter late last year to build a connection to listeners outside of the morning broadcast. On Thursday, he released news there that he was leaving the morning show Feb. 17 to focus on his 3 p.m. talk program for WFLA-AM (970), The Schnitt Show.
"A mutual decision was made -- it was a great time for me to focus on one program," he said. "It's about 10 1/2 years I've been doing both programs. It gives us a month to wind things down."
Later in the program, he went into more detail, noting that the show would spent the next month bringing back old characters and remembering classic moments. His WFLZ morning show, originally started with partner B.J. Harris, turns 18 on Feb. 7; Schnitt has been the sole star for more than a decade. This morning, he told listeners that hosting both programs was like working two full-time jobs.
Schnitt told listeners this transition was always part of his career plan. "This (morning) show is easy for me to do...This show has become involuntary to me. The afternoon show is four, five ten times as hard; the amount of reading and research and all of the facts you have to be on top of. it makes for an incredibly long day....Because of my two radio shows, I caught myself (telling my kids)...I can't right now, can you give me a second, please?...That started to weigh on me."
"I'll be able to drive my kids to school...those are irreplaceable moments," he added. "Knowing I was heading toward my second radio career. I knew I wasn't going to do a Top 40 radio show forever."
Schnitt didn't mention the changes to his show late last year which added more music and less talk, or the impact of competition from rivals such as Bubba the Love Sponge Clem and WPOI-FM, known as Hot 101.5. But competition from those sources, along with a new ratings system for radio which has produced smaller numbers for traditional morning shows, have produced a competitive environment which has never been tougher.
He also announced plans to visit affiliates airing his Schnitt Show after the morning show ends -- which might make driving the kids to school a little tougher -- focusing on his afternoon program. "I think I'll be back on FM in the future," he said. "You never know."