SYRACUSE -- In what appears to be the next step in a potential local radio coup, Galaxy's KROCK dismissed three on-air personalities today. Trusted sources tell CNYRadio.com that morning host Dex Mitchell, midday host / program director Nixon, and night host Candace Curby are no longer employed by Galaxy. The purge comes less than 48 hours after the morning co-hosts at Cumulus-owned competitor 95X (WAQX) suddenly walked off the job.
Our sources say Galaxy issued a memo to staff, announcing the terminations, just before 5:00pm today.
That leaves afternoon drive host Rainman with the distinction of being the sole full-time KROCK personality to survive the housecleaning. As of Wednesday night, the KROCK website still listed Dex, Nixon and Candace among the on-air staff. Although Candace has usually been on-air from 6pm to midnight, Rainmain stayed on the air until 8pm tonight. Minutes before the end of the extended shift, Rainman announced "it was nice to be on the air for an extra two hours tonight... for some strange reason." Without making any reference to Candace, Rainman simply commented, "it's like there's all this stuff going on in radio."
Neiother have posted anything on their KROCK-associated Twitter feeds (Dex | Nixon | Candace) in at least a couple of days. A link from the KROCK website to Candace's KROCK Facebook Page results in a "Page Not Found" error. A link to the "Nixon on Krock" Facebook Page is valid, though nothing has been posted since last week. The "Dex in the Morning" Facebook Page is also online, offering no hint to any changes at the radio station.
Over at Cumulus Media's James Street studios yesterday morning, Hunter Scott and Josh Grosvent spent most of "The Show" on 95X talking about zombies that were moving in to attack them in the studio. While it sounded like a Halloween-related "theatre of the mind" gag at first, complete with the pair getting "killed" just before they signed off at 9:00am, the pair was absent from the airwaves this morning, and their bios had been removed from the station's website. Observations of these absences were soon followed by confirmation that the pair had submitted their resignations, effective immediately.
In an earlier CNYRadio.com story about the pair's sudden exit, Cumulus Media ops manager Tom Mitchell said the pair informed management that they were "looking outside the market and the radio industry" for their next jobs. In a story published later in the day on Syracuse.com, Grosvent told reporter Mark Bialczak that he was mulling the possibility of doing more work at Syracuse's Wise Guys Comedy Club, while Scott had his sights set on returning to his native Midwest.
If the timing of the two events seems too suspicious to be a coincidence, you're doing well at reading between the lines. Trusted sources tell CNYRadio.com that the duo behind "The Show" will be resurfacing on KROCK. When asked about the reports, both Grosvent and Galaxy VP of Programming Mimi Griswold had no comment. Griswold only said there would be a press release tomorrow afternoon.
While nobody's making an official announcement yet, a long thread of publicly-viewable tweets between Rainman, Grosvent and Scott only seemed to add fuel to indications that the latter two could be moving to KROCK. Among them:
— RAINZILLA (@rainzilla) October 17, 2012
— Josh (@thisisjoshua) October 17, 2012
— RAINZILLA (@rainzilla) October 17, 2012
— Hunter (@handohunter) October 17, 2012
This has been the most uneventful boring ass day of my life! Ho hum. Nothing exciting ever happens. Blah blah blah #ironicbaldmantweets
— RAINZILLA (@rainzilla) October 18, 2012
Whether Galaxy's announcement tomorrow confirms or corrects what we've reported so far, there are still other questions we expect tomorrow's announcement will answer -- such as KROCK's plans for the midday and night shifts. There's also no word on who's going to handle programming duties for KROCK -- or for Galaxy's Utica-Rome hot AC station Mix 102.5 (WUMX), which Nixon had been programming for about a year. We'll keep you posted here as we learn new information.
Nixon was the most-senior of the three personalities to be dismissed today, joining KROCK in 2008. Prior to arriving in Syracuse, Nixon served as assistant PD for a rock station in Harrisburg, PA. About a year ago, Nixon added programming duties for Utica-Rome market hot AC Mix 102.5 (WUMX). Three weeks ago, Galaxy announced plans to hire a dedicated PD for Mix 102.5, to allow Nixon to return his focus to KROCK.
Candace Curby was next to arrive at the station, in June 2010. According to a story published on AllAccess.com at the time, Curby also came to Syracuse from the same Citadel cluster in Harrisburg where Nixon had been working. There, she had been splitting her time between the promotions department and filling-in for other on-air personalities.
Dex Mitchell was KROCK's most-recent full-time addition, being hired just this past January to host mornings. When Nixon announced Mitchell as the new morning host, he said, "I can't wait to meet every single listener in Syracuse and Utica!" No word on whether he managed to accomplish that goal.
KROCK can be heard in the Syracuse market at 100.9FM (WKRL/North Syracuse) and 106.5FM (WKRH/Minetto), and in the Utica-Rome market on 94.9FM (WKLL/Frankfort). Programming also streams online at krock.com.
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