Friday, May 31, 2013

Talk Of Format Changes Gets Hosts Pulled Off-Air

Two Gainesville, FL radio stations are changing formats at midnight tonight, but a local talk show ended a little prematurely Thursday when the incoming owners took issue with comments the hosts made about the changes on the air.

The Gainesville Sun is reporting Jake Fuller and Ward Scott were told not to return for the second hour of the conservative talk show Talk of the Town on WBXY The Star 99.5 FM following their comments during the first hour.

Scott said they have had trouble getting information about the looming changes but finally heard Thursday morning that they might not be on the air Monday.

"As the show progressed, we got more and more concerned callers," Scott said.

Jake Fuller
Fuller, who also draws editorial cartoons for The Gainesville Sun, said they were told the last straw came when he responded to a caller who asked if it was a liberal plot by saying, "It's these out-of-state owners that really don't have a feel for the community, so they're changing the format."

"Apparently that didn't sit well with them," Fuller said.

JVC Media of Long Island, N.Y., has an agreement to buy five FM stations in the Gainesville/Ocala market from Asterisk Communications of Fort Lauderdale pending approval by the Federal Communications Commission.

CEO John Caracciolo said he made the decision to end the show immediately after getting a call from station General Manager John Starr about the comments.

The format changes that take effect at midnight Friday are:
  • WBXY The Star 99.5 talk format becomes Party 99.5 FM electronic dance music, which includes artists such as Pharrell, Nicki Minaj, Flo Rida, Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake.
  • WYGC 105 The Game at 104.9 FM changes from sports and talk to a country music simulcast of Ocala-based WTRS Thunder Country 102.3, which is being rebranded My Country.

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