Mark Daniels, the veteran radio morning host and WALK 97.5 FM fixture, has been dropped by the station, ending one of the longest on-air tenures in Long Island radio history.
Daniels, 63, confirmed in an interview Monday that his last day at the Farmingdale-based station was Nov. 15. "It's been a lot of fun but the business is the business," he said, "I sadly certainly wasn't prepared for it."
He joined WALK in 1985, and a few years later became a morning co-host, and there he has remained for 34-years.
Newsday Tuesday, James Condron, the station's senior vice president, called Daniels "a valuable friend and at this point almost like family — I've been at the station 20 years, myself — but it's a living, breathing thing and we have to evolve and change, and make the station as relevant as it's been for over five decades. Mark has certainly contributed to the heritage."
Condron said the station will launch a new morning show Jan. 1. Jamie Morris, co-host of "Mark and Jamie Mornings," who joined the HotAC station in 2016, will be part of the new program, he added.
Daniels — a father of three who lives in East Setauket — said he was told "ratings were not the issue. I think it had to do with internal plans. We are competitive with the other leading stations on Long Island but we weren't as gangbusters as we used to be.
Daniels said, "I'm trying to adjust, and not getting up at 2:45 a.m., I can tell you — it's not too bad, if there's one positive. I've reached out to a lot of people and they couldn't be kinder and more supportive. To continue in radio is my first priority — it is who I am — but I've talked to other people and they've suggested maybe it's time to reinvent myself.
"But at this point, no ill feelings. To spend time in that zone is just not productive. I'm moving forward."