Word on the street is that Lebanon-based WVRR, bought earlier this year by Jeff Shapiro’s Great Eastern Radio group, is switching to all talk soon. Rock 93.9/101.7 PD and drive time DJ Steve Smith got the hook yesterday, coincidentally the same day former WNTK afternoon talker Gardner Goldsmith debuted on Great Eastern’s “The Pulse.”
Over 13 employees have been let go since the buyout, part of Clear Channel’s sell-off of small to medium properties approved by the FCC last November. The format switch is a blow to the local music scene, which could count on a little bit of airplay with Smith at the helm.
Ironically, reports are that Clear Channel was a friendlier environment for both staff and musicians trying for exposure. Hard to imagine the corporate behemoth as a symbol of the good old days, but there you go.
On Goldsmith’s show yesterday, I noticed a lot of ads for businesses in Sunapee, Newport and Claremont – that seemed odd for a Concord station. Now it makes more sense. I would not be surprised if Shapiro, the king of triangulation back in his Q-106 days, simply bulks up his talk empire with the flip of a few switches.