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.