Wednesday, February 19, 2014

2.19.14 Bee-otch of the Day: Townsquare Media

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Name: Townsquare Media
Age: 18
Occupation: radio giant
Last Seen: Greenwich, CT
Bee-otched For: screwing over their Grand Rapids stations


If there's a theme song playing at Townsquare's Grand Rapids stations, it has to be "Another One Bites the Dust".

It seems that if you have a job there, good luck keeping it. In recent months, the owners of WGRD, Channel 95-7, Classic Hits 98.7, 100.5 The River and 1410 The Touch have been on a firing spree. Just recently, midday jock Matt Hendricks and morning duo Andy O'Reilly and Dave Kaechele were let go from 98.7, leaving Craig Russell as the station's sole local jock.

Now, the guns have been pointed at WGRD, Townsqaure's best-performing station in town.

On Monday, afternooner Shaffee was let go, and told his fans on his Facebook page. Like many experienced jocks, Shaffee has worked in markets big and small; he's worked in Detroit, Lansing and not too long ago, Atlanta, GA.

Apparently, afternoons on 'GRD are now handled by a voicetracker out of El Paso. Aside from the syndicated Free Beer and Hot Wings morning show - which is based at WGRD - Jackie Green's midday show is the only live and local broadcast left on Grand Rapids' second-highest-rated station. However, rumor has it that Shaffee got the shaft because his ratings were far from phenomenal and the station was charging advertisers the same rates as the top-rated FB&HW.

IMHO, GRD has tumbled in quality tremendously since the man who rescued the station a decade ago, Jerry Tarrents left to go to WCSX in Detroit. Since then, both the afternoon and night positions have been voicetracked and the station doesn't have a real programming director. The biggest plus, though is the fact that they've dropped the outdated slogan "Grand Rapids' Rock Alternative" since they're no longer alternative.

But still, this is why I'm not in radio. Townsquare's the lesser of all the radio evils in Grand Rapids, and they're still evil. It's sad that the underperforming 100.5 The River has live jocks but GRD doesn't. They're just another fucked-up radio company that puts money ahead of people in priority. Yes, they need to make a profit, but when radio stations fire top jocks for no-name weasels, the listeners leave.

I just hope that GRD doesn't become another KLQ.


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