Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Flint Radio: WRSR Lands Johnny Burke For Mornings

Johnny Burke
Fourteen months after being let go from WHNN 96.1 FM as part of a format change and then later launching his own Internet show, local morning radio personality Johnny Burke has inked an agreement with WRSR 103.9 FM The Fox.

Burke, 62, starts his new morning show gig at the Flint-based classic rock station at 5 a.m. Monday, March 27, according to

"I've talked about this so many times before, that I'm not real happy with corporate radio -- especially in this area," Burke told MLive in an interview Tuesday, March 21. "(103.9 FM) is a locally owned station by a smaller group of people from Michigan. We're going to keep that local feel in mind.

"I know it sounds like a sales line, but it's important that we serve the community. It's really important to me."

To that end, Burke said the show is going to continue his "Homegrown" feature, which highlights local musical artists from the region, and have a noticeable presence in the community.

The show, called Johnny Burke Live, won't include his longtime sidekick Blondie, whose real name is Bonnie Belger-Holzhei. Burke said it was Belger-Holzhei's choice not to return to the show. She has worked with Burke for the past 15 years.

When Burke was let go from WHNN in January of last year, he launched an internet show on the streaming app Periscope and on Facebook. His local celebrity status and brash attitude toward his old station's owner, Cumulus Media, created a buzz that helped him garner thousands of followers online.

WRSR 103.9 FM (2.85 Kw)
He treated the internet show like a traditional radio morning show and soon realized how much work went into its daily grind and how difficult it was to monetize. Burke said the show, which obtained more than a dozen sponsorships, made money, but not enough to keep a full staff employed.

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