WAXY PULLS PLUG ON RICK & SUDS (November 15, 1989)

Rick & Suds, the deejay team that whipped morning airwaves into a frothy lather on WAXY-FM (105.9), broadcast their final show last week.

“We did not renew the contract,” says Rick Shaw, WAXY personality and executive director of programming. “They just have a male kind of appeal, which we have a problem with,
because WAXY is a female-based radio station.”

WAXY wants to keep advertiser-valued women listening. “When you’ve got that thing going for you — whether it’s by design or not — you want to keep it going for you,” Shaw says.

Worse than the female thing, Rick Riley — speaking for Suds, too — says the station “had done a perceptual study and found out that music was what people wanted to hear in the ’90s.

“That’s not what we were hired to do,” Riley says. “We were hired to do a personality oriented morning show.”

David Scott, the station’s production manager and morning backup, is filling in for now. Rick & Suds hope to take their act on the road, preferably to a station in town, Riley says.

The duo had been with WAXY for nearly three years but had dropped about 25 percent in the Arbitron ratings from the first of this year. Still, WAXY had lost even more ground, and Rick & Suds remained one of its most-listened-to shows among audience members 12 and older.

Riley says the show was axed because the station’s programming is already too schizophrenic. From “adult contemporary” ballads to oldies and Top 40, WAXY plays it all, and the station doesn’t seem to have a firm identity.

But Shaw maintains that WAXY plays “great songs from yesterday and today. It is an adult contemporary format that is oldies-based.”

Whatever it is, WAXY wants to fix a ratings problem, and Rick & Suds were seen as part of it.

Garrison Keillor, the Lake Wobegon storyteller who dropped out of the radio business nearly three years ago, has a new show premiering this month — but it won’t be heard in Miami.

Because of rising costs, WLRN (91.3 FM) is no longer an affiliate of American Public Radio, the network carrying the new Garrison Keillor’s American Radio Company of the Air.

“We’re just going to struggle along,” says Roger Kobzina,
WLRN general manager. “We’re going to try as hard as we can to maintain our programming.”

The station dropped the APR service when the annual cost
went up $1,500 to $11,500, Kobzina says. Keillor’s total price for a year of Radio Company and repeats of his old show, Prarie Home Companion (they alternate in four-week intervals), went up to $16,500. Monitor Radio, a service of APR and the Christian Science Monitor newspaper, also upped its price.

The station added National Public Radio’s Blue Stage, an hourly blues program at 8 p.m. every Saturday.

NPR also raised its overall price 12 percent, but don’t worry, fans of Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Kobzina promises those are free from danger.

Talk show hosts Neil Rogers and Bill Calder are going to have a “Great Talk Radio Encounter,” whatever that is. The meeting is a segment of Broward Close-Up, the public affairs show that airs at 6 p.m. Saturday on WPBT-Channel 2.

Rogers hosts a midday show on WIOD (610 AM), and Calder talks up mornings on WQAM (560 AM). The Broward Close-Up episode, hosted by Herald film critic Bill Cosford and WTMI (93.1 FM) entertaiment critic George Capewell, will also feature Rogers’ sidekick Glen “The Bird” Hill and Tom Jicha, radio/TV writer at the Fort Lauderdale News/Sun-Sentinel.

WGTR (97.3 FM), the “rock and roll animal” station, has a new voice for the night. Evann Lee was captured from WDIZ-FM in Orlando, where she occupied the same time slot she’ll have on ‘GTR — weeknights from 7 to midnight.

Ex-First Lady Nancy Reagan appeared on TV’s Larry King Live (CNN, 9 p.m. weeknights) last Wednesday and got a surprise while plugging her book, My Turn.

Tyrone, the stereotypical black character played by Mark Mosley on Power 96 (WPOW-96.5 FM), got through to Larry and the Lady. He told Nancy he liked husband Ronnie’s new half-and-half hairdo (partly shaved for brain surgery), then asked about those phone calls to astronomer Joan Quigley:

“Like who paid for those? Did American taxpayers pay for those phone calls?”

Nancy replied, “I paid for those,” then laughed.

Ha ha.

Miami Herald November 15, 1989 by Juan Carlos Coto
Rick Riley, Suds, Rick Shaw, WAXY