The new owners of CW affiliate WBKI-TV, Iowa-based Fusion Communications, fired station manager and Louisville Live morning host Dan Spangler on Tuesday. Yesterday, they notified us, through Craig Hoffman, that they no longer want a ‘Ville Voice/Page One segment on the morning show.
Hoffman gave no specific reason for the change, mumbling something about the way new management always makes changes, that they’re adding some things and taking away some things, that it was nothing personal. That’s not exactly true.
Did it have anything to do with what we’ve been writing about changes at the station, I asked. Of course not, he said. I asked if it wasn’t because the new owners, who are publicity-shy and have refused requests for an interview, were bothered that we wrote about the upcoming cancellation of the morning and late-night locally-produced sports programs?
Maybe it was our affection for Spangler, the dispatched morning show host with whom we’ve been doing our on-air shtick for 15 months, never missing a single week.
The real reason may have been the way we criticized the new on-air talent, Adele Guarino-Sanders, who has been doing segments on the show this week. She has no TV experience, is awful on camera and when Googled brings up a trail of court cases in which she’s the defendant.
On Wednesday, Hoffman called to make sure that I was planning to show up for next Tuesday’s show. He said there might even be an expanded role for us and that he was considering other ways to expand our brand in station programming. 24 hours later, he called to say our segment was being discontinued.
Next week, Hoffman’s on vacation and Guarino-Sanders is scheduled to host the morning show. I told Hoffman on Wednesday that I’d show up, despite reservations about the host. He assured me it was just one week, to get through that, and he’d be back as the regular host the following week. But 24 hours later, Hoffman called to say everything was off.
There are no regrets. The show gave us a video outlet and brought new fans to the ‘Ville Voice and Page One. Spangler was an enthusiastic fan, and the segments just wouldn’t have worked without him. It was fun while it lasted.
The good news: Now we have time to work with other stations that have been angling for months to pull us on-air on a regular basis.