CW Shafts Spangler; No More “Dan Show”

Dan Spangler, the WBKI station manager and host of the local morning show Louisville Live, was dismissed from both positions yesterday by the station’s new ownership group, Fusion Communications.

Spangler said that about 4:30 yesterday, he was told that he was being let go due to budgetary considerations and asked to leave immediately.

Craig Hoffman, a former WAVE-TV on-air reporter who filled in as host when Spangler was on a business trip a few weeks back, is expected to host the morning show today. Hoffman is a full-time staff member and producer at WBKI. We attempted to reach him and Fusion representative Dave McAnally without success last night.

We can’t confirm, at this point, if other station employees have lost their jobs, or tell you anything else about future programming. The station has begun airing CW World Report, a national news program for CW affiliates, at 5:30 p.m.

Fusion won the auction to buy the station and completed the deal in May, and we have reported that the station plans to move to the Kaden Tower in September.

Spangler has hosted the morning show since its inception in March 2008, at last count more than 300 shows. It expanded from 30 minutes to an hour  earlier this year. While it’s never done well ratings-wise, the show’s emphasis on local activities and people made it a staple of morning TV.

On a personal note, it’s sad to see someone who’s become not only a polished and smooth on-air personality, but a close friend, lose his job in such an unceremonious fashion. Dan’s enthusiasm for his guests and all things Louisville is contagious, and no matter what the future of the station, we’ll miss seeing him every week.

In the last few weeks, we’ve been kidding him about renaming the morning program “the Dan Show” — sort of an unofficial honorary title for a guy who’s always been humble and lacking in ego. Yesterday was Dan’s last appearance on the show.

15 thoughts on “CW Shafts Spangler; No More “Dan Show”

  1. I’ve never met Dan, but I enjoyed his on-air schtick. He seems like a genuine guy.

    Sorry to hear another broadcaster got the ax.

    I’m sure the new owner will just air some homogenized syndicated show in his place, just like Clear Channel does on the radio.

    Good luck, Dan!

  2. The days of WBKI having a local presence are numbered. This from their very own website, “Fusion Communications is a leading provider of Master Control and Satellite Uplink Services.” They are already running master control services for other stations. The only thing that is going to be in Kaden Tower is a sales office and a very rudimentary studio setup to satisfy FCC requirement. They will most likely run master control out of Iowa and uplink it back to the tower in Raywick.

  3. I’m sorry to hear of Dan Spangler’s ouster. His talent and charm will be missed. It’s a scandalous shame that Fusion would eliminate such a class act and champion of everything local.

    Dan was a delight to watch, and I’m sure he’ll land on his feet.

  4. Dan made the show. I wish Craig the best, but it’s not the same show.

    If I were 41, I’d hire Dan for a 11am show before the 11:30 news.

    Or maybe, when it’s time, a replacement for Barry Bernson.

  5. Syvy, I hadn’t thought of that. That’s a great idea.

    If I were in charge of 41, I’d be giving him a call. I’d much rather see Dan then more “Judge Judy”

  6. Good luck in getting Bill Lamb to approve that move. For some reason, I can’t see them hiring him because of their obvious political biases. Not sure what his politics are but I can just see the first time they interview a Democrat or liberal and smoke would be coming from station managements ears. They botched the whole Sypher thing with the taping of the interview and creating that whole publicity storm. Of course, Sypher contributed to her own demise anyway. But I just can’t see the open minded leadership at Fox 41 to do that. Of course, sarcasm intended.

  7. TV is brutal. No 2-week notice in TV. Usually your notice is when your cardkey doesn’t work and you can’t log into your newsroom computer.

    It’s very difficult to produce a local TV show with anything resembling decent production values and have it make as much money as an infomercial or something you get from network for free. In many cases you’d be better off just running a rerun of one of your other shows and using it as a make-good/avail dumping ground.

    “never done well ratings-wise” and “staple of morning TV” are contradictory. It can’t really be a morning TV staple if it has poor ratings. The only real reason you do it is if you care about local issues. When you lose local management, ratings become far more important.

  8. In my view that would be why we need more locally produced radio instead of 3 hours of El Rushbo on WHAS. Francene is a good start and I am glad to see Ed Springston is starting his show recently. We need a nice network on some sort of local station that would talk about community issues. Such as this nepotistic mayor and his administration of incompetents.

    Another great thing would be to do pieces on local attractions and events to get more people out and about. We already do that to some point. Its a shame that it takes megabucks to start a broadcasting entity which is why the little people cannot get into it. Its a shame that LPFM has been allowed to take off. I would love to start a station and bring people on board with high level technical abilities and putting a wide variety of viewpoints out there. Could you see, the Magruder hour? That would tick some people off but thats ok because that makes things interesting. So why can’t the community have its own broadcasting for the local city and not have these 50k jukeboxes playing Clear Channel crap produced by Mitt Romneys Bain Capital folks. So much for broadcasting diversity. We severely need it to talk about local issues and focus on our local people.

  9. Correction, getting an LPFM license is very hard and of course requires all kinds of engineering studies and requirements per the FCC.

  10. saying Dan could replace ANYONE in mainstream programming is being a bit too magnanimous. Nice guy? Yes. Groomed and trained for this Market? Only on the CW and that, sadly, was a stretch. But what a horrible way to oust a guy…..are you sure it was Fusion or is that place run by Glenn Haygood? Sounds like something directly out of 32’s playbook. Very bad business judgement and very bad taste. Hope the best for Dan, but likely OUT of t.v. As for Craig? Pompous guy, low talent, don’t see him lasting either. How about getting Paul Moses? Jim Bulliet if you are sticking with male talent to lead the show. better yet, look at the females available. Just one guy’s opinion.

  11. OK, fire away at me for the following comment, but the reason schlock rules around here is that most of the audience can’t handle anything more mentally challenging than Judge Judy. While I think Louisville is a very comfortable city, I would never represent it as an overall well educated city. There is definitely a constituent of very bright and interested people on all sides of the spectrum, but simply not in enough number for local content over commercial media in this market to be successful (Francene exempted).

  12. Actually, there are a few wonderful, locally produced shows on the CW, Secrets of Louisville Chefs, almost always sold out when live. At Home with Cheryl Case. Great shows! And I hear the producers of both shows have another new show in the works.

  13. The CW was growing with its local presence advertising and programming, and nothing quite matched in this market. Dan Spangler is first and foremost a good guy and a consumate professional. I have always admired him for the 3 or so jobs he pulled off smoothly. Dan’s creativity and ability to see the big picture will certainly garner him a better position by owners who can recognize a good good luck Dan. Better days on your horizon for sure!

  14. As a recently fired radio guy (from Michigan) who has moved here 4 months ago, thats the way it is in braodcasting. The only 2 week notices are when YOU move to a better (HA!) gig–when you are canned, its after you have done a show, and they can show you the door. The whole broadcasting industry–radio, tv, print–is heading down a slippery slope. “We have to firm up because of the economy” is what management says, but when the economy rebounds, will they be rehiring all of us who has gotten the shaft? Again, I say HA! “The economy” is a great way to cut positions, and save money, and when everything is rosy again, they can keep things the way they are, and make even more money. I understand the business of the industry, but it used to be about “entertainment”…local stations (radio and tv) used to do local shows like “the DAN show” all the time…now its all canned from Dallas and NYC (shame on you KISS FM and DJX) or its reruns of the Wayans show….the Wayans show???? IMHO, shows that never break 100 in the Nielsens shouldnt get to be syndicated, but thats another story for another time.

    Dan, if you read this, Im sure with your talent and experience, you wil be back in some capacity very soon…he 41 idea above is a good one, as they seem to be the only ones wanting to do more than the typical local content in town.

    BTW, Just found this blog/website…and really like it…If there ever was an opening for a media review position, Id love to be considered…almost 20 year radio vet…and if i ever get back on the air (one more time…HA!) Id love to have the Voice be on a do a segment…local media is always WAY more compelling than canned, out of town crap!


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