There’s plenty of, to be honest, panic in media circles this week over the announcement of Mandy Connell’s new role at 84WHAS. Connell, a longtime morning show host in Florida, will be taking the helm of our beloved Francene Cucinello’s old home on the radio.
While definitely conservative (she describes herself as “recovering dirty-foot-hippie-liberal”), I’m not quite sure why everybody is freaking out over her new role.
Here’s why: More than 130 applications were reviewed and dozens of talented radio honchos were interviewed for the job. She’s been at this thing for 14 years. She’s a quick study, if you listen to any of her archived programming, and is no stranger to dealing with government buttcramps and people like me with egos the size of Red China. And it doesn’t hurt that she’s got a heart.
According to WHAS Operations Manager Kelly Carls, “Mandy really stood out for her energy, enthusiasm and dedication to giving listeners an interesting, informative and engaging radio program. We believe she will really connect with the 84WHAS audience.” Which is precisely how she should be judged– by how she’s able to connect with her entire audience, not just the right-wing. And we’ve gotta stop comparing her to Francene. Because that’s setting the bar just a little too high, to say the least.
Here’s what Connell had to say about her new job, “To say that I am excited is a massive understatement. Not only do I get to join a heritage radio station like 84WHAS, I get to live in Louisville, which has more amazing restaurants than I dreamed possible. I couldn’t ask for a better new home! I can’t wait to dig in, metaphorically and literally.” Little does she know, she’ll have to REALLY dig in the next time there’s an ice storm, otherwise she’s likely to be trapped in her home for seven or eight months.
So, if I can give her a chance to show her true colors and talent, why can’t the rest of you? Let’s give her a break.
Now for the interesting and unprofessional stuff: I zoomed in on her high-res headshot and it appears that she is a fan of the gays (good mark)… because a gay clearly did her makeup.
And like I mentioned above, she’s got a good heart. She and her husband founded Cigars for Soldiers, an organization that gives back to our military personnel. Aside from the auto-playing music on the charity’s website that caused me indigestion, the organization has done a lot of good by needed relief and comfort to thousands of soliders– and not just by giving them cigars.
Unlike some unethical “journalists” (including those who think no one else knows they’re on the take) who are quick to attack, I’m not tossing her to the wolves just yet. Let’s see how she handles the job before we start throwing stones. There will be plenty of time for that in a few months.