Friday, October 19, 2007

Another Liberal Crashes and Burns on the Radio

and good riddance too.

Whoopi whacked, Forman back on Lite FM

Clear Channel sees the Lite, assigns Forman to mornings and afternoons

October 19, 2007

It isn't every day that a big broadcast company admits a mistake.

But that's just what Clear Channel Radio did Thursday in dropping Whoopi Goldberg's syndicated morning show after 14 months on WLIT-FM (93.9), the adult contemporary station.

Starting Monday, mornings again will be hosted by Melissa Forman, who'd held the job for five years before Goldberg started in August 2006.

After six months off, Forman was rehired to host afternoons last February. Under a new two-year deal signed Thursday, she will be heard live in mornings and on recorded voice tracks in afternoons.

"I obviously made a mistake in replacing Melissa a year ago, and the ratings have suffered," said Darren Davis, vice president of programming and operations for Clear Channel in Chicago.

"To be frank, I simply underestimated Chicago's love for Melissa. But Chicago has spoken, and Chicagoland clearly wants to hear Melissa on the Lite every morning. I'm just thrilled to have Melissa back where she belongs."

How badly did Whoopi get walloped? In adults between the ages of 25 and 54 -- the group most coveted by advertisers -- mornings dropped from 11th place with a 3.0 percent share under Forman to 19th place with a 1.8 share under Goldberg, based on comparable Arbitron summer surveys.

The new lineup will feature Forman with newsman Rick Zurick from 5:30 to 8:30 a.m., an hour of commercial-free music from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., Robin Rock from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Forman again from 4 to 7 p.m., and the syndicated Delilah from 7 p.m. to midnight.

The decision to go with just two daytime hosts -- Forman and Rock -- is geared to streamlining the station's product in preparation for Arbitron's new Portable People Meter ratings system, which starts in January.

Saying she "can't wait to dust off that alarm clock," Forman added: "You have no idea how much it means to me to be back on mornings at the Lite. I have missed the listeners and waking up with them every day.

"The statement management has made is a lesson in grace and class. I am so incredibly humbled by the support and outreach of so many amazing listeners."

Forman, who grew up in north suburban Northbrook, hosted mornings at northwest suburban WKIE-FM (92.7) under Big City Radio ownership before joining Lite FM for the first time in 2001.

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