radio host Keven Cohen says he was fired because the station wanted to go in a
"different direction," and a statement released by Clear Channel on
Friday appears to validate Cohen's claim.
Reached at home Friday morning, Cohen told wtistv.com he appreciates the support of his listeners. He said it has been "humbling to hear from so many fans who are praying for my family."
Cohen says he loves
and wants to continue work in the Columbia
media market. He added that he isn't surprised by the support he's received and
that's why he wants to stay in the Midlands.
"100.1 WVOC, News Talk Sports, announced today that radio veteran, Jonathon Rush, and co-host, Kelly Nash, will now host the afternoon drive weekdays from 3-6:00 p.m. ET, effective immediately. Known as The Morning Rush, the duo will now host The Afternoon Rush on WVOC.
Rush has been waking up Columbia listeners on music radio stations for over two decades and with Nash will now take their highly entertaining style and political opinions to the afternoon drive. Rush and Nash will continue hosting The Morning Rush on sister station WCOS-FM weekdays from 6-9:00 a.m. ET.
"This is an opportunity I've dreamed of for years," said Rush. "We can play the world's greatest music for the greatest music fans in the morning and talk with the most passionate radio listeners every afternoon."
"I'm very excited to not only expand our audience, but to be able to have two outlets to engage and entertain
listeners," said Nash.
"Pulling the double duty is something that has been done before in
radio with great success and we are eager to serve two of the largest radio
audiences in the state." Columbia
"News Talk radio is more than just political opinions and interviews with lawmakers. All news has an element of entertainment to it that makes it entertaining and compelling," said L.J. Smith, Regional Program Manager, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. "Jonathon and Kelly understand the balance between addressing hard hitting issues while keeping listeners engaged in a compelling conversation about today's most relevant topics."
WVOC-FM's New Weekday Programming Lineup:
6-9:00 a.m. – The Morning News with Gary David
9 a.m. – Noon – Glenn Beck
Noon – 3 p.m. – Rush Limbaugh
3-6:00 p.m. – The Afternoon Rush
6-8:00 p.m. – Talking Sports
8-11:00 p.m. – Jerry Doyle
Keven Cohen, the longtime afternoon drive host on WVOC-FM 100.1, was fired Thursday afternoon before he went on the air.
“I had a great run at WVOC,” Cohen, sounding gracious, told Otis R. Taylor Jr. at thestate.com Thursday evening. “It will always have a special place in my heart.”
Removing Cohen, who peppered his talk show with news and opinion, is a curious decision by the Clear Channel-owned station, especially with a momentous presidential election just four days away. Cohen also anchored the station’s pre- and post-game coverage of USC Gamecock football.
“It’s a scary and confusing time,” Cohen said. “It’s a very challenging time for me emotionally to not know what I’m going to do when I wake up tomorrow morning.”
For more than 18 years, Cohen has been waking up to go to work for WVOC. His voice was first heard on the air on Aug. 1, 1994. Cohen hosted a morning show before moving to the afternoons.
Jonathan Rush and Kelly Nash, current hosts of “The Morning Rush” on WVOC’s sister station WCOS-FM 97.5, were broadcasting in Cohen’s slot. A radio station source, who did not want to be identified, said WVOC planned to move Rush and Nash to the slot permanently. An attempt to reach LJ Smith, the regional program manager at Clear Channel Radio, Thursday night for confirmation were unsuccessful.
After being told of his release, Cohen posted the following on his Facebook page:
"An hour ago, CLEAR CHANNEL relieved me of my duties and fired me. Obviously, I am devastated. I am not getting the chance to do so on the radio, so I want to thank all of you for the love and support you have offered my way over almost 19 years at WVOC. Please keep the COHEN family in your prayers. This will be a significant challenge. Thank you, KEV."
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