SHE HAS ONE FEWER ‘SHE’
Miami Herald, The (FL) January 15, 1986
Author: LINDA THORNTON Herald Columnist
For male listeners, South Florida radio may never sound the same. Randy
Thomas, Arbitron-rated leading lady with men 18 and older, has resigned from her
weekday show on WSHE (103.5 FM), effective Friday.
But those who may have fantasized about the woman behind the cool,
languid voice during her 10-year career in local radio might be pleased to know
that Thomas’ reasons for leaving are romantic ones. She’s moving to Los Angeles
to join her husband, Arnie Wohl. (Wohl has been in L.A. for several months,
managing Fort Lauderdale musician David Shelley, who got his big break recently
— a recording contract with MCA Records).
Male deejays still outnumber females, and South Florida is no exception.
Still, Thomas’ voice would stand out even in a larger crowd. Through a decade
that has taken her to four local stations, Thomas has arrived at that
comfortable level that, alas, some female disc jockeys never reach. Her voice,
while sensual, is sophisticated and confident — you could never accuse Thomas
of being “bubbly.”
For nearly two years, Thomas, 32, has been the host of SHE’s 10 a.m. to
3 p.m. weekday show, a shift that includes the highly popular psychedelic rock
feature, Electric Lunch. The latest Arbitron radio ratings (for fall 1985)
showed that more adult male listeners listened to WSHE during that time period
than any other station.
But Thomas’ career first reached its peak at WAXY (105.9 FM), where she
hosted middays from 1980-82. Before that, she hosted morning and midday shows at
the former Zeta 4 (now I-95 WINZ 94.9 FM) from 1978-80, and worked briefly at
WQAM (560 AM). When Thomas, born in Detroit, moved to South Florida in 1976, her
first broadcasting position was as weekend hostess of WKID- TV/Channel 51’s late
“Florida has been a great place for me, and I’ll miss it,” said Thomas.
“But it feels good to know that I’m leaving at a time when WSHE, after being
perceived as a really hard rock station that played a lot of unfamiliar music,
has turned around its image and become the No. 1 contemporary music station. I
like to feel that I made a contribution there.”
Rick Peters, vice president of programming for TK Communications, WSHE’s
parent company, said, “We’re sorry to see her leave. Randy added a lot to
Electric Lunch. We gave her a lot of freedom with that show and she must be
given credit for its success. But sometimes you have to put your life before
Thomas hasn’t landed a new job in L.A. yet. In addition to working in
radio, she says she’s extremely interested in entering the music video field as
Nancy G. (Gettle), eight-year veteran of WSHE, will move
from her present 10 p.m.-2 a.m. show to Thomas’ midday slot effective
next week. Overnight deejay Tom Griffiths will take over Nancy’s show, and a new
jock will be hired for overnights.
Contemporary music may dominate the local FM band, but it’s an easy
listening station that boasts the biggest audience. Life (WLYF 101.5 FM) reigned
once again as the No. 1 station in the Arbitron radio ratings for fall 1985,
followed by WQBA (1140 AM), WSHE (103.5 FM), Y-100 (WHYI 100.7 FM) and WAXY
Breakouts of the ratings according to times of day and listeners’ ages
and sex, released late last week, show Life to be a consistent leader at all
times of the day, but particularly strong in midday (its “elevator music” format
is a favorite with offices) and with women. Women ranked Life No. 1 (with an 8.2
share), followed by Spanish stations WQBA-AM and WCMQ-FM, easy listening/Adult
Contemporary (AC) Joy 107 and AC WAXY (105.9 FM).
Men, on the average, preferred rock ‘n’ roll, placing WSHE first (with
an 8.8 share) followed by Life, WQBA-AM, Y-100, WEDR (99.1 FM) and WAXY.
The new winner with teens was 96 X (WCJX 96.3 FM), which debuted its
“continuous countdown” pop/rock hits format last summer. 96 X attracted a
whopping 15.1 share of listeners age 12-17, slicing the teen audiences of Y-100
and I-95 nearly in half.
WQBA-AM had an overall strong book and was particularly high in
mornings, where the Spanish-language station had a leading 8.2 share of total
Y-100’s Sonny Fox had the most popular contemporary music FM morning
show, followed by Jim McBean and Skip Herman at WSHE. Life and WSHE ranked No. 1
and 2, respectively, with total listeners from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and 3-7 p.m.
Urban contemporary Hot 105 (WHQT 105.1 FM) followed Life as the second
most-listened-to station at night (from 7 p.m. to midnight).
Among news/talk stations, nighttime belonged to WINZ’s (940 AM) Neil
Rogers, who had a 5.6 share of total listeners compared to WNWS’ (790 AM) 4.7
and WIOD’s (610 AM) 2.9. But on an overall daily average, WNWS was the news/talk
leader, with a 3.9 share of total listeners.
While Alan Burke is on vacation Jan. 20-24, various local and national
political figures will take his place on his WNWS 6-9 p.m. weeknight shift.
Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo will host Burke’s show Monday, followed by
Metro-Dade judge Ellen Morphonios Tuesday and Jan. 22. Former CIA agent E.
Howard Hunt takes the microphone on Jan. 23 (joined by fellow former CIA officer
Mike Kostiw and former FBI agent Kenneth Whittaker), and Broward Commissioner
Nicki Grossman will host Burke’s show on Jan. 24.
photo: Randy THOMAS
Memo: RADIOEdition: FINALSection: COMICS/TVPage: 3E
Record Number: 8601040684 Copyright (c) 1986 The Miami Herald