UTICA/ROME -- According to a story on Utica Daily News, the online newspaper owned by Bill Keeler, his wakeup show on WXUR has been cancelled. The story says owner Mindy Barstein wants to put the syndicated Bob & Tom Show on mornings. Keeler was offered the chance to move to afternoons, but declined. Updated 5:20pm with official statement from WXUR owner Mindy Barstein.
In the article, posted early this morning, Keeler is quoted as saying, "I took a radio station that nobody knew about and helped it get a name in this area. As soon as I did, I get canned."
The UDN article says Barstein would not be issuing any public statement or response to media until she had a chance to talk to Keeler. (Note: Barstein has since issued a statement, which appears below.) The article doesn't say how Keeler knew of the changes if Barstein hasn't spoken with him yet. For now, the station will be playing "best of" Keeler shows during morning drive.
In the article, Keeler says it's possible he was dismissed following some disputes with Barstein over financial terms surrounding Keeler's morning show. The report states "the difficulty in the arrangement came over the fact that he was actually competing against the station for local advertising dollars in the morning."
Keeler had been doing his show on WXUR since October 2007. That December, he was moved to afternoons to make way for the return of Don Imus, but in 2009, Imus was moved to sister station WNRS, allowing Keeler to regain mornings on WXUR.
Here's the statement CNYRadio.com received from Mindy Barstein this afternoon.
DATE: December 31, 2010
CONTACT: Mindy Barstein
WXUR, 92.7 FM, The Drive announces that The Bob & Tom Show will begin airing Monday, January 10, 2011. The Bob & Tom Show can be heard
Monday through Saturday mornings from 6 a.m.- to 10 a.m.
Owner and General Manager Mindy Barstein states that “Everyone at The Drive is thrilled to have Bob & Tom return to the market. Bob & Tom were ratings leaders in the market and we look forward to a successful return.”
Barstein also indicated she will be available to the media on Monday for interviews; unfortunately, your editor won't be able to make it there, but we presume there will be coverage by Utica-area media. We'll update our coverage here with links to those reports, if any significant new information arises.
Thanks to a CNYRadio.com reader who posted the link to the UDN article on the CNYRadio.com Facebook page. That's one way to get our attention, but the best ways are through email to email@example.com or by clicking "Contact" in the menu at the top of this website.
That guy just can't catch a break. Oh well, one more station to take off the car radio.
Trying to be professional about this entire situation, why would the media want to cover or even talk to Mindy of WXUR in the first place. She let Keeler go and, he got a bad deal.
Mindy has never made a good radio decision. And, even if you have the best talent working for you, if you have a poor radio station like WXUR, the ratings will still be bad.
WXUR, as a whole has pretty much ended up 8th out of all the major players. Keeler's show did not do much better BUT, no fault of his. No one to this point cares about WXUR. It hasn't been a factor at all....just a blemish on the big screen. Can that change? I suppose everything can.
She talks about how Bob & Tom did well before when on WOUR. Well, that was before. This is now several years later and Bob & Tom have lost more major market stations than gained over this time, and their popularity isn't the same.
Bill has done a lot for the community and is very creative. What he does on the radio is just a show, so people should lighten up. What do you think Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck and those people do? Same thing. Get people talking and riled up.
I realize at CNY Radio you have to report things, but attending a press conference and making out like WXUR is some giant in the radio industry by announcing that the dwindling Bob & Tom show is coming is a little much, I think.
Good Luck Bill...for what little audience WXUR has, it was because of you. Let them go back to their zero's and 1 share ratings in the future.
Again, Adventure has pretty much said it all. When is WXUR & WNRS going to realize The Mohawk Valley is not New York City? Imus is as stale as Bob & Tom. Mindy isn't the only owner-operator in this area making some crummy decisions. There is a bunch of stations doing very poorly in the ratings, and they will stay there until owners-operators start to realize what the Mohawk Valley really needs in radio. Low budget copy cats with low power stations simply can't compete with the top 5. Then put on something different, like Bill Keeler. But Keeler can't hold the weight for the whole station! Hire additional good talent, do local news, and run sharp sounding production and promote, promote, promote. .How about some contests with good prizes? Well, that costs money, and we wouldn't want to spend a dime to make the station sound good, would we? Just plug in some syndicated garbage and let her fly. Good luck, 'cause guess what? We ain't listening to it!
Hey, CNY Talk Radio, how about a local morning show now that someone good's available to do one?
Dave...maybe you and Bill can team up and form a "super" ad agency and steer all the money to games you do play by play for, My Hometown Sports and the Utica Daily News! Or pocket the money and buy your own stick! You can program it and Bill can broadcast on it and everyone is happy. That'll show em!