UPDATED 11/21 at 6:00pm -- We're back from a little more than a week "off the grid" (a.k.a. vacation). Here's a quick recap -- bullet points first, details to follow -- on some of the stories that happened while your editor was away.
Thanks to multiple CNYRadio.com readers who wrote to point out nighttime jock Brandon C has exited CHR station 93Q (WNTQ). His last day on-air was Saturday, November 12, but based on Facebook posts, it appears he didn't know it until Monday, November 14 -- that's when he announced, "Due to circumstances out of my control I will no longer be on 93Q...Thank you for all your support and keep up with the page to see my next move."
The status update spawned dozens of comments from listeners expressing their sympathies and support. When asked if he's being replaced, Brandon C replied, "no replacement, schedule shifts changed because of this." He says Ops Manager Tom Mitchell, who previously appeared 10am-noon, will now be heard until 3pm, while Rick Roberts, who had a noon-5pm shift, will revert to the traditional 3-7pm afternoon drive shift. Brandon C says 93Q will be "just music after 7," where it previously wasn't jockless until 11pm.
New Information 11/21: Mitchell confirms the above lineup and tells CNYRadio.com, "Brandon is a great broadcasting talent and we appreciate his efforts and time with us." Brandon C started as a part-timer, taking weekend and fill-in shifts for two years, before getting the nod last December to fill a vacancy as the station's full-time evening host.
Mitchell also confirms Brandon C's position was among the latest in a nationwide sweep of job cuts being carried out by Cumulus Media, the new owners of 93Q. But Mitchell points out, despite Brandon C's exit, "Cumulus Syracuse continues to be committed to local content with over 160 hours of on-air live and local talent each week over our four Syracuse stations." Along with 93Q, other Cumulus Media properties in Syracuse include rocker 95X (WAQX), 105.9 The Big Talker (WXTL) and sports talk The Score 1260 (WSKO).
In recent weeks, the national trades have been reporting on Cumulus-issued cutbacks at several other markets around the nation. In order to obtain the financing to acquire the cluster's former parent company, Citadel Broadcasting, top brass at Cumulus promised lenders it would trim expenses by more than $50 Million as soon as possible after the merger closed.
As of Friday morning, Clear Channel adult contemporary Y94FM (WYYY) is the latest (and likely the last) local radio station to hop on the All-Christmas bandwagon. A few blocks away on the other side of I-690, Galaxy's Classic Hits Sunny 102.1 (WZUN) has been playing wall-to-wall holiday tunes since November 1st. In the Utica-Rome market, Galaxy's Mix 102.5 (WUMX) started on the same date, while Townsquare Media's Lite 98.7 (WLZW) made the switch on November 10th.
Townsquare Media's Utica/Rome cluster has been nominated for "Business of the Year" by the Mohawk Valley Chamber of Commerce. The four-station cluster is nominated in the "Business with over 50 employees," up against NBT Bank and Assured Information Security.
The cluster includes country Big Frog 104 (WFRG), AC Lite 98.7 (WLZW), Oldiez 96.1 (WODZ) and news/talk WIBX 950. Townsquare will learn if it wins the award in an awards ceremony on December 15.
From the better late than never file (this one was originally announced before our vacation), congratulations to Jason Furst, the PD of Clear Channel's Hot 107.9 (WWHT) and FM Newsradio 106.9 and 570 WSYR. He's been named among this year's honorees for Edison Research's "30 Under 30."
As Edison's press release describes, the honor is intended to recognize "thirty up-and-coming broadcasters involved with all aspects of the radio industry." The announcement goes on to say, "All '30 Under 30' honorees will receive free registration for the Arbitron Client Conference and Jacobs Media Summit to be held in Baltimore on Dec. 6-8, during which a cocktail party will be held in their honor."