UTICA/ROME -- Big Frog 104 (WFRG) is looking to replace an impending hole in its Sunday morning lineup. Lon Helton's "Country Countdown USA" program is being cancelled by its syndicator, Cumulus-owned Westwood One. The show's final episode will air on July 31.
Westwood One announced the cancellation WFRG and other affiliates across the country today, satisfying a typical industry syndication contact clause that requires syndicators to provide affiliates at least 30 days' notice when a program is being terminated or dramatically altered. It wasn't long before trades like AllAccess picked up on the news -- along with word of a number of executives being cut from the Westwood One payroll.
No word yet on whether Big Frog 104 will go with another syndicated program -- either from Townsquare or another outside provider -- or reclaim the 3-hour block with local programming. Townsquare Utica/Rome Operations Manager Dave Wheeler tells CNYRadio.com, "we are currently searching options."
Host Lon Helton told AllAccess, "We have had a great run of 30 years, and my deepest thanks to all of the stations and artists who have contributed to our success." He said longtime producer George Achaves is also being sent packing, but the pair are "exploring other platforms and opportunities."
Lon Helton's "Country Countdown USA" airs on 104.3 WFRG on Sundays from 7-10am -- until July 31.