Two more talkers lose jobs
1230 AM WECK continues as two more on-air personalities lost their jobs in a format switch that spells the end for talk radio on the locally owned, independent station, according to former employees.
"[Station owner Dick Greene] offered me a chance to stay in a different position," said Nick Mendola told Jane Kwiatkowski at buffalonews.com, "They didn't want me to do talk anymore. They wanted me to stay on in sales." His talk show aired from noon to 3 p.m. daily.
Program director Brad Riter, host of a sports talk show from 3 to 6 p.m. daily, was told Tuesday his position was terminated because of the format change. Riter, 36, had been a vocal crusader for WECK's talk radio format, predicting an intensifying effort to compete against 930 AM WBEN.
"They're changing their format," said Riter, whose show has been replaced by a Fox Sports network program. "They're starting to play music. Talk radio was not cost-effective. It was not working financially."
The new music format, according to unnamed sources familiar with the station, will consist of a hybrid of genres and include artists as varied as Frank Sinatra and Coldplay.
Sources also said the station Greene purchased three years ago now would be called "The Breeze."
Greene has been in the broadcast business for 40 years and has owned Lockport's 1340 AM WLVL for 30 years. He declined to comment.
In addition, two more WECK staffers -- a sales executive and a part-time producer -- were let go this week, according to Riter. The departures of the station's local on-air talent began in May, when Bill O'Loughlin resigned from his 9 a.m.-to-noon show. "Good Morning Buffalo" host Loraine O'Donnell was fired shortly afterward.