CLARK TAKES OVER ‘AMERICA’
Miami Herald, The (FL)-October 24, 1985
Author: LINDA THORNTON Herald Staff Writer
Keeping busy must be the secret to veteran broadcaster Dick Clark’s
eternally youthful appearance. Beginning in November, Clark, 55, will take over
the hosting duties on yet another show — Countdown America, a weekly Top 40 pop
music program locally broadcast from 6-10 p.m. Sundays on WAXY (105.9 FM).
Clark replaces John Leader on the show, syndicated by the United Stations Radio
Networks (which recently purchased RKO Radio Networks).
But don’t worry about Clark burning out from too many responsibilities.
In order to take on Countdown America, he has dropped one of his other weekly
radio programs, National Music Survey. That show will be re-introduced in
November with a new host, Bill St. James, and will air Sunday mornings on 97 AIA
(WAIA 97.3 FM).
“I feel it’s a positive change,” said WAXY’s music director Kenny Lee
about Countdown America’s switching of hosts. “I’ve had some questions about
running a Top 40 show on an Adult Contemporary station (WAXY’s format), but if
anybody can pull that off and make it relate to adults, it will be Dick Clark.”
Clark must be the busiest person in broadcasting. In addition to
Countdown America, he’ll continue to host the weekly radio show Dick Clark’s
Rock, Roll and Remember (locally aired
from noon-4 p.m. Sundays on 98 Gold (WBSS 980 AM), and at varying times
on Sundays on WIOD (610 AM), as well as TV shows on all three networks: NBC’s
TV’s Bloopers & Practical Jokes, CBS’ $25,000 Pyramid and ABC’s Dick Clark’s
Nitetime, which debuted locally on WPLG-Channel 10 in September.
Changes at I-95
Keith Isley resigned as program director at I-95 (WINZ 94.9 FM) due to
conflicts with station management mostly about his working hours. Isley, 31, is
known as a workaholic of sorts in the local radio market, but he often chose to
work through the night, instead of during the traditional 9 to 5 workday.
“I’m tired of being criticized and nitpicked,” said Isley, who is
seeking another radio programming position. “Stan Cohen (general manager of I-95
and WINZ-AM) said I wasn’t showing proper respect for the office of general
manager because I was skipping (daytime) meetings and things like that. But what
goes on the air and taking care of our audience was my utmost priority.”
Isley was program director at the station for six years.
“Keith is a brilliant guy in regard to the picking of music, but any
other aspect of management was a chore to him,” said Cohen. “He resigned because
I was asking him to keep normal business hours so our on-air and sales staff
could talk to him without having to call him at home during the day.”
Cohen is looking for a new program director, and says he has about 50
candidates in mind, including I-95 music director Mark Shands, who’s been
doubling as acting program director since Isley’s resignation.
There’s also a possibility that I-95 newsman Ace Young may not be with
the station for long. Young says he’s been offered one or more radio news
positions in Los Angeles, where he worked for 12 years. Young, who’s heard on
the I-95 Morning Zoo, is currently mulling over the L.A. offers and discussing
the situation with Cohen.
The merger of news/talk stations WGBS and WNWS officially took place at
noon Wednesday, when Jefferson-Pilot Communications Company (former owners of
WGBS) took over WNWS’ 790 AM frequency. The move was in conjunction with the
sale of the WGBS 710 AM frequency to Mambisa Broadcasting and Jefferson Pilot’s
purchase of WNWS from Rockoff Broadcasting.
Much reminiscing on the part of talk show hosts, both those who’ll
remain with the new WNWS and those who’ve departed, preceded the change-over. Al
Rantel, who’ll continue to host the 9 a.m. to noon weekdays and Saturdays show,
said his goodbyes on the air Tuesday to host/producer Bob Groves, who’ll be
moving to Washington, D.C. Groves in turn bid a teary farewell to listeners on
his show Tuesday night, which included a surprising phone call from his
competitor Neil Rogers of WINZ (940 AM). Mike Thompson, who’ll be heard on WNWS
from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays, devoted his last Sunday
show on WGBS to nostalgia about WGBS’ 46 years in South Florida.
Before the official change-over, Rantel and former WGBS morning host Lee
Fowler (who’ll continue in his operations management capacity at the new WNWS)
simulcast their morning programs. Sometime next week (an exact time hasn’t yet
been set), Fowler and station general manager Dennis Collins will be guests on
one of the WNWS talk shows, when they’ll talk about the future of the station.
To remind listeners that former WGBS hosts Bev Smith and Alan Burke will
now be heard on WNWS, the station is conducting a “New Kids on the Block”
contest. Listeners can enter by writing the following on a postcard: WNWS, Alan
Burke, 6 to 9 p.m.; WNWS, Bev Smith, 9 p.m. to midnight. Postcards should be
addressed to either Burke or Smith at WNWS, 20450 NW Second Ave., Miami, Fla.,
33169. Burke and Smith will each draw one postcard from all correct entries on
Nov. 27. Each winner will be awarded $1,000.
photo: Dick CLARK
Memo: RADIOEdition: FINALSection: COMICS/TVPage: 4D
Record Number: 8503250787Copyright (c) 1985 The Miami Herald