Monday, December 3, 2012

What’s Next for Radio's Todd Schnitt?

Suddenly, after almost 20-years on the Tampa radio scene, suddenly Todd Schnitt’s days are numbered.

Todd Schnitt
He announced on Twitter Thursday that December 18th would be his last day on N/T WFLA 970 AM / 105.9 FM.. 

While some may believe the end of the Todd Schnitt Show on WFLA is another Clear Channel reduction-in-force designed to save a huge salary, Schnitt sees the change as an an opportunity. An opportunity to grow his syndicated Rodd Schnitt Show distributed by Compass Media Networks.

His syndicated show is now carried on about 50 affiliates and Schnitt expects to announce exciting details for soon, including 20 new affiliates. No word yet on the possibility of an affiliate in the Tampa market. The show also airs on XM Satellite radio and online.

"I look forward to focusing on The Schnitt Show and my network and its continued growth," the host told media writer Eric Deggans at Friday. "I'm ready to be my own boss."

Schnitt rejected notions his departure from WFLA was a setback, saying the change would give him more control over elements of his show and commercial sales.

He was the market's top morning personality for years while hosting his MJ Morning Show on WFLZ-FM (93.3). But Schnitt left that program not long after his 18th anniversary in that time slot in February, saying he planned to spend more time on his political talk program.

Steve Versnick, program director for WFLA, could not say what might fill Schnitt's 3 to 6 p.m. time slot. Deggans writes he declined to comment on why Schnitt's show is leaving the station's lineup or what kind of show might replace it.

"Our search begins today; we're looking for the next local host on WFLA," he said. If the station follows past practices, options could include fill-in hosts or tryouts of prospective hosts.

News that the station is looking for a local host rules out the possibility WFLA might air Fox News host Sean Hannity's radio show live when he broadcasts it at 3 p.m. Currently, Hannity's show airs on WFLA at 6 p.m.

Tom's Take: If WFLA is looking for a live talker to replace Schnitt, another option would be to air Hannity live and add local talker in Hannity's 6p to 9p slot.