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Local radio shake-up: Clear Channel thins staff; Davey D out at Q97

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National radio conglomerate Clear Channel continued its apparent mission to run as many Fresno radio stations with as few people as possible, thinning its staff once again on Wednesday. It fired Soft Rock 98.9′s longtime morning show co-hosts Mike Brady and Rose Ortega and (again) sending Koyote packing, this time from 103.7 The Wolf .

Then this morning Davey D — the morning host at Clear Channel competitor Q97 — announced it would be his last show. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he’d been fired or quit, but on the air this morning it sounded like a sudden development.

For Clear Channel — also the owner of B95, Alice 96.7 and various others — the move was part of a national “reduction in force” that hit a number of markets Wednesday. Clear Channel gave radio industry news site All Access a statement full of corporate speak:

“We’re launching a new strategy for our regional market radio stations that will improve local programming in smaller markets by using assets and resources in those markets that their competitors don’t have. It reflects new approaches to programming, talent, technology and other valuable resources — based on Clear Channel most effective and efficient stations.

“The new strategy leverages Clear Channel Radio’s unmatched resources to serve our local listeners, advertisers and communities better — there will be more localization, not less. At the same time, it offers new opportunities for our best on-air and programming talent to be heard in more places and grow their careers. This new strategy is about doing things differently to help our company grow faster.

“We looked at all our regional market stations with a fresh eye to determine how we could respond to the challenges of the marketplace and deliver a much better product to listeners than we have in the past — and better than our competitors can provide. With this new strategy, we’ll also generate higher ratings for our advertisers and marketing partners and give our best people bigger roles.”

What this really means is we’re going to get more of what I call “robot radio.” We’re likely to see an influx of DJs piped in from other markets, giving the stations a faux-local feel.

Look at Clear Channel’s Fresno properties and you’ll notice a lack of local personalities. When Clear Channel killed KRZR and turned it into The Beat, with no on-air personalities, it might have been a signal of what was to come.

Koyote, a former popular KRZR DJ lost his gig then, but was brought back as a country DJ. His firing now means The Wolf has only one local DJ. Same with Soft Rock and Alice 96.7. Hip-hop station B95 has a wealth of riches compared to its sister stations, with a five on-air jocks and a handful of mixers.

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DAVEY D OUT AT Q97
Meanwhile at B95′s chief rival, Q97, morning show host Davey D announced today would be his last show at the Visalia-based station. He made it sound like it was his decision — but in the smoke-and-mirrors world of radio, you never really know.

An added wrinkle in the story is that Q97 program director Tommy Del Rio was let go earlier this month, with the PD from sister station Hot 104.7 in Merced now taking on double duties.

Davey D’s announcement evoked teary reactions from listeners and a flood of posts on his Facebook page. He’d been doing the Q97 morning show for about a year and a half after being brought in to do afternoons in 2009, but seemed to really connect with morning listeners.

Davey D did a little more than half of his show this morning before being pulled off the air, with the mid-day jock eventually taking over early. It’ll be interesting to see whether Q97 will add another local morning show or pipe in something from a different market.

Responses to "Local radio shake-up: Clear Channel thins staff; Davey D out at Q97"

gw70 says:

F****ng Robot radio! You know why I listen to Davey D, cause he was funny! He was having fun and connecting with his listeners. I’m way over the age range that Q97 targets to, but I loved listening to his morning show. Nice Clear Channel, why don’t you guys just make all of radio generic and boring!
If Davey D lands another radio job in Fresno, I will tune in!

Carlos Perez says:

I don’t usually listen to the radio much anymore, because I plug my iPod or whatever into my car or listen to CDs (which are starting to become extinct themselves, by the way).

But when I would listen to the radio, I’d find a morning show host that I’d like as I was driving to work or wherever.

A while ago, before the current Alice 96.7 went through all of its changes, I listened to “Laurie West in the morning.” Then she was taken off the air suddenly and replaced with (as you put it) “robots.”

Now this happens ith Davey D on Q97. I wasn’t a frequent listener of his program but I listened occassionally (when I put the radio on in my car).

It’s a shame. It’s one of those things where just as something is getting good (or already IS good), CEOs have to change it and make it… well… suck.

DB says:

That’s too bad. Davey D is a really cool kat. He really knows his reggae. I wish him well.

Angelica says:

I can”t believe Davey D has left the show, well he was the only reason i use to listen to Q97, as Carlos Perez said I use to also listen to Laurie
West on Alice 96.7 than for a while I stopped listening to the radio than i found Davey D, he is Funny, and caring, hate to see him leave God Bless him I wish him well, and good bye Q97.

Rob says:

You know I have been listening to him for years first in sacramento when I lived up there he was great! Very easy person to relate to always happy I remember when he had his son and I listen to him on the radio talk about it and heard the recording of his boy being born was that was just amazing so 10 years later hearing him in the Fresno area,its just like ol times. These other dj’s can learn a thing or two from this guy!!!!
God bless you and Myra!!!

Missin Davey Already says:

I was a long time listener of another radio station until my kids talked me it to listening to Davey D on Q97 in the mornings on the way to school. I fell in love with him and Producer Art and Vanessa J and listen to it every single morning even now that my kids drive themselves to school. While I still like Art and Vanessa, the show cannot be the same without Davey and I will no longer listen to this channel. Huge mistake Clear Channel….HUGE!!

Mike Oz says:

Just to clarify — Q97 is NOT owned by Clear Channel.
Clear Channel owns rival B95 (among others) and fired people at Soft Rock and The Wolf yesterday.
Davey D’s situation is not related to that, just close in time, so it’s all in one post.

jenn says:

i had never been interested in any radio morning show until i happened to catch davey d.’s show one morning. i have been an avid listener ever since. my 11 year old son and i have listened every morning for as long as i can remember. mornings will not be the same. if this was davey’s decision, then all the best to him and he’s gotta do what he’s gotta do. i have a feeling it was not his choice, in which case, q97 has made the biggest mistake they could possibly make. i love producer art and vanessa j., but the show was such a success due mostly to davey. i’ll try to keep listening, but i doubt i’ll last long. he was a positive start to my day every day and i don’t know now how i’m going to be motivated to get up and get going in the mornings. sad, sad day. best wishes to davey, and myra, and hopefully he’ll be back on somewhere very soon!

Raymond ramirez says:

I would check out his show and didn’t care for it at all.

Although davey d’s show wasnt for me, I appreciated his passion for his job. You could hear it.

Miggy Santos says:

Davey is a great person ! One of the nicest people you will ever meet

All the best to ya my Brutha! Raymond good comment about his passion because he indeed has passion and he will be just fine !! Davey Good Luck Boss

Miggy

Vanessa J :) says:

Just want to thank you for the write up, and exposing the truth going on in the radio industry. It doesnt pay much…but it is all about PASSION! One thing Davey has, and that many DJs lack. He was more than just a daily “phone topic,” and “Yo Yo, were at club so & so” during the show. To set the record strait…Art, and Myself…found out it was his choice he was leaving the show, at the same time he announced it to Fresno while we were live on air. It was a surprise to all of us. All the emotions, tears, and things you heard were raw, and real…one thing that sets us apart from MANY morning shows. Who you meet in person, is who you hear on the show. We dont pre-record or put on fake personas, if you truly listen to radio you can distinguish. It waseasy to connect with our listeners and have the chemistry we had with them. We do our show with intent not to beat out ‘the other guys,’ but to just do US and have heart while were doing it. It is sad to see the many people of the radio community who have had lost their jobs, but I’ve learned its very cutthroat. SHOUTS TO ALL our listeners, especially the kids and familys who became like our own little family! You are truly appreciated, and rather than look at this situation as an upset…all we can do is bounce back and keep things moving. Hands down- nobody will EVER do a show like Davey D :)! & like he has told me, “The Show Must Go On!” Thanks Fresno & Mike Oz for that write up! :)

Sergio says:

Clear Channel conducted a similar bloodbath in Modesto. They fired the top rated DJ at Sunny 102 and fired (for the second time) Cruise N Good from B93. I wish for the days of LOCALLY OWNED radio with LOCAL personalities, which WILL NOT happen with Cheap Channel. Now we’ll have DJ’s pretending they know everything about Modesto, and we’ll never ever see them because they’re in some town 3000 miles away!!!!

ben says:

“Its” Not “It’s”

PMoney says:

When Davey D announced the news this morning, it just ruined my day. Davey D, Vanessa J & Art’s voices always put a smile on our faces. They became apart of our family. My kids love them! Vanessa J hit it on the nail, these guys were just real. No fakeness and didn’t have to fake the funk. We laughed at all of Art’s funny comments, I cried when I heard Vanessa J’s peanut being born, and Davey D, finding love again, gave hope to single mother’s like me that love is out there. Davey you will be missed! Our morning drives will not be same without you. I bought a mega million lotto ticket, if I win I’ll buy you a radio station! :-) I LUV ALL YOUR FACES!! Good luck!

Liza Alvarado says:

Vanessa J…I love ure face! I knew me and the kids loved listening to u 3 every morn, but I didn’t know how much we really LOVED u guys until this emotional morning. Every1 in the car was in tears and no one wanted to get out, trying to soak up every minute. U 3 are like local celebs! (It’s even cool to see ure hubby at his job lol. We feel like we know him) It is true that the show must go on…but it will never b the same. U and Art can do it! Be sure 4 Davey, u do it BIG. Bring it Vanessa…WE’LL STILL B LISTENING!

bobbi zippel says:

omfg i cant believe this sh*t!!!! im so pissed off right now!!! and i cant believe that b95 has the upper hand in all this and they get to pretty much do what they want and everything… ugh…. >:\

Evie says:

Then with all of this said. If B95 has money, they should make a wise investment and offer the morning show to Davey D. Loyalty of fans would then change back to B95. I personally do not like the music played on this station to hear Davey D, I would in an instant listen in to hear Davey D.

Eddie C says:

Props to Davey D and his morning show crew. I listened to you guys every morning making my morning commute work good source of natural caffeine without the coffee. It was really nice to get some laughs in before work and have a local host/DJ bring positive vibes to the valley each day. I even have my daughter listening to the show and laughing to “I Love Your Face.” Best of luck and we all know you will be successfull in your next endeavor.

rhino7rk says:

All I can say is radio died today at Q97 due to davey d’s departure. Money shot I just want to let you know to a lot of people you were that older cousin, big brother,or crazy uncle that made us all laugh with your sense of humor and the style with which you dispensed your take on life, and for those of who really need your when will forever be priceless. I love your face!!!!!

Linda Elizondo says:

Reduction in the work force should really be thought through… Since when do you get rid of your cash cow??? I know for a fact that I will be boycotting Q97, for the most idiotic decision they could have ever made!!!

No $ in Radio somebody better tell that to Howard Stern, if you have talent you’ll get paid.

stephie b. says:

I would get to work and as soon as i get clocked in i would turn on the radio to Q97.1 to hear DAVIE D, VANESSA J. AND Fresno’s Art not for the music but for them to hear their stories and love for the people of San Juaquine Valley. We here in Delano,ca say to eachother “I LOVE YOUR FACE”. And know why we say it…i just want to say. For whoever is to blame… U made a BIG mistake for breaking up that tri-o. And if you didnt know it then you know it now… Davie d i wish u all the luck and keep us posted on face book… And come on down to bakersfield.. Because i would much rather hear DAVIE D. than any one else

Robin Q. says:

Yawn. What did Clear Channel do again? And you people are SHOCKED still?

So glad I went Sirius several years ago.

The thing that sucks for me is that I know Koyote is a decent man.

Radio is the worst industry in entertainment though. Everyone thats been fired in radio knows this from day one. Its a cutthroat, savage business.

Good luck to all here. And if youre still involved with “CC”……WHY????? Get out while the gettins good..

Saw it coming says:

Totally agreed. Howard Stern WAS regular terrestrial radio

When he left, he predicted all this would happen, and it did AND THEN SOME..

Regular radio did nothing to develop its own talent after he left. Oh well.

I dont miss listening to 30 minutes of commercials every hour. I wish Clear Channel would still go away even though they dont affect me one ioda to this day….It bothers me reading that they still exist, ruining and dictating peoples lives and entertainment.

They really have never made one decent decision. I see ‘Clear Channel’ and i automatically cringe lol. F ‘em.

Yolie L M says:

I’m going to miss you Davey D, can’t believe, all this B/S my morning are not going to be the same, what i have to say is why dont they take off the s****y ass getto ppl of b95 morning crew they suck..

Vanessa J says:

B95 is Clear Channel, which is a huuuuge market, with stations all over the United States. Q97 is Buckley Broadcasting, we are fairly small and have to compete with them, its a fight everyday- but in reality they have lots of more money for things than we do. For example- streaming online? Clear Channel let go of 3 DJ’s, and Davey ‘made’ the decision to leave Q97- he was not fired. In life we have to make our own decisions and I’m sure he will do well in whatever endevours he pursues. Radio has no money anymore- everything is going to syndicated.

Tracey Scharmann says:

KJWL FM 99.3 has all local talent. I love Bruce and Feleena in the morning. Jimmy Roberts and Dave Holmes are understated and perfect for the station’s sound, but I’m extremely biased having interned at the independently-owned radio station. Mike’s article made me think of the movie ‘Airplane’, “Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit drinking” — or to get into radio.

Ana Dominguez says:

When my mother was still alive she would donate to her favorite radio station to help keep it going. In return as a thank you she would get these little cards in the mail and key chains, and the radio station keep going. Why can’t Q97 start a donation account? Davey D has more than 5000 friends on his Face book page imagine if each fan donated $1.00 a day in one month that would be $150,000 in donations. Imagine how many people in the Central Valley depended on you 3 every morning just to live their life. Q: Why are so many people upset that a DJ is gone from a radio station? A: It’s not just the voice we hear in our speakers that we will miss, it’s the soul within the voice.

cfoshee says:

Funny you should mention Robot Radio. The 70′s series “WKRP in Cincinnati” had an episode 30+ years ago on just this topic i.e. replacing local talent with automated operations.

Ruben C says:

What a horrible day. I gave up sirius to listen to Davey D and the crew. Now what am I gonna do! Any chance of them hiring him back Vanessa? Did enough people complain yet?

Oscar says:

My nephew and I listen to the Morning Crew every morning on our commute. It makes absolutely no sense to remove a show that does more than play music. It offers a personal touch to a very disconnected world. All of the new research shows that we, as humans, desire the aesthetic in our lives – a canned robotic voice will NEVER replace the human soul. We will never listen to Q97 again. In the words of Dr. Phil, “And how is that working out for you?”

Kayla d says:

Definitely won’t be listening to Q97 anymore..such a bummer! I dont even look forward To driving to work in the morning!!!We all miss u Davey D!!

Cheryl says:

It’s sad to think a non human person is running the morning show now. Davey an his crew made it worth driving early in the am knowing there was a super friendly out going person you could relate to. He will truely be missed an I believe I will be looking for another station.

Heidi says:

I can personaly say this makes me sad. Growing up I listened to KRZR. Thats all I would listen to. When that station was canelled I was so heart broken and angry. I loved hearing Skippy & Koyote on the wild hair. Hearing Koyote on a country station was not the same. So I found myself listening to Pandora but Pandora doesnt have a personal connation so it felt odd. Then I started listen to Davey D’s moring show (even tho Im not a big fan of hip-hop & R&B). Just hearing their stories and seeing the personal connation was more then enough to get me hucked. I even got a few of my close friends hucked. Now that Davey D is not on the air anymore, Im back to that funny feeling like im losing the connation with Fresno. Yeah we have facebook and other things but the radio station is what makes it real! I wish Vanessa J & Art the best! & I want to wish Davey D the best aswell. As for the CEO’s of these station…………… do you guys even listen to your listeners?????? seems to me you guys care more about the $$$$$$$ then your listens…….

Anonymous says:

This is just more testimony to the ongoing trend in the USA of selling ourselves out for short-term gain and profit. Davey D’s morning show was a terrific contribution to local radio and a truly eclectic mix of good music (if you like contemporary hip hop), slap-stick humor, jokes, heart felt musings and at times, poignant and personal dedications and advice to his loyal listenership. It’s one of the only shows that actually played music in the am and gets me up with pumping music & sassy attitude, Clarissa Jenkins, Mexican word of the day, etc. This is an absolute shame and I’m in shock, frankly. I was kinda of amazed we had this show in our area and had begun to think Davey would get poached for a “hipper” market somewhere else. I left Fresno about four weeks ago on a trip to the East Coast, got back about a week ago and to my shock he was gone. I’m still in shock and don’t look forward to my morning shifts like I use to. Davey D you are missed and I hope you will do something else in this area. Oh yeah, I love your face!

liz says:

I just want to say Q97.1 is not the same without Davey D…. The show is not a happy show anymore… Davey D completes producer Art and Vanessa J….. We miss u Davey D …. I love your face…

liz says:

I just want to say Q97.1 is not the same without Davey D…. The show is not a happy show anymore… Davey D completes producer Art and Vanessa J….. We miss u Davey D …. I love your face…

sharon says:

Because brady and rose were fired i do not listen to softrock 989 anymore ive tried and just dont like the morning people and the new guy on q97 has a vey annoying high pitches voice i cant stand listening to the radio anymore is a challenge not happy thats for sure

Susan Cavazos says:

Since Davey D has left I havent listen to Q97, He’s what made the radio listening to worth while, it was fresh everyday and my kids 11 and 16 would listen to when I would take them to school. Now my son put satellite radio, beleive me it’s not the same. We even had my husband listening to Davey in the morning and he’s 66 He still has the Braclet I Love Your Face on his wrist. Love and Miss U Davey D.