Radio can be a cruel business. There was another reminder of that Thursday, which was the last day of “The Morning Show” on WDNC (Buzz Sports Radio).
Right after host Mike Maniscalco and executive producer Demetri Ravanos got off the air at 10 a.m. following Thursday’s show, they were separately told they were fired and that the show was canceled. The other co-host, Lauren Brownlow, who already was on maternity leave, will stay on in another role that will include appearances on other shows and writing for WRALSportsFan.com when she returns in late August or early September.
“They were both very professional about it,” said Dennis Glasgow, the programming director for sports audio at Capitol Broadcasting Company. “It was a pure business decision, that’s all it was.
“We’re very fond of Mike, Demetri and Lauren, but it just didn’t work out,” Glasgow said. “We gave it every effort on our part, I can tell you that I gave it 100 percent and so did the company and so did they, but it just didn’t work out.”
“The Sports Shop with Reese & Kmac,” which has aired from 10 a.m.–noon on WDNC, will air from 6–9 a.m. beginning Tuesday, July 5.
“We are very excited and humbled to be taking the show to the next level with the move to morning drive,” “Sports Shop” co-host Erroll Reese said. “We are very happy to have the confidence of Capitol Broadcasting behind our show.”
Until July 4, NBC Sports Radio’s “Pro Football Talk Live with Mike Florio” will air from 6-10 a.m. on WDNC with the first hour of the three-hour show repeating from 9-10 a.m. Beginning July 5, Florio’s show will air on tape delay after “Sports Shop” from 9 a.m.-noon.
Maniscalco and Brownlow declined to comment.
“I love Mike and Lauren,” Ravanos said. “I want nothing but the best for them both. I am grateful they trusted me enough to give my ideas a shot even when they didn’t get them right away. As for me, my last words on Raleigh radio were ‘smell you later forever,’ so I can’t really complain.”
Maniscalco, who had been in Triangle sports radio for nearly nine years, also did pregame and postgame coverage for WCMC for Carolina Hurricanes games and broadcasted with play-by-play announcer Chuck Kaiton during the second period of home games.
“The company was working on plans to continue as the market leader in Carolina Hurricanes coverage,” Glasgow said.
Ravanos had been in Triangle radio for a number of years before joining the show. He will continue to host College Football Country, which airs on ESPN 1230 in Columbia, S.C., from 10 a.m.-noon Saturdays beginning at the end of August.
“The Morning Show” debuted with a lot of fanfare last September as a show that would emphasize local content, heavily use social media but also would feature non-sports subjects. There were regular non-sports guests, including comedians. Comedian Rich Vos was on Thursday’s last show.
Management hoped that the ratings would improve over the previous show that Maniscalco hosted with Mark Thomas — “The World’s Strongest Morning Show “— but Glasgow said it actually did worse in the ratings. Thomas was let go last July.
“It did not do well,” Glasgow said. “We talked about that a lot. It’s just unfortunate that it didn’t do well at all in the ratings and make any movement that we were hoping it would when we put the show together. They gave it the college try, they worked very hard with their craft. I worked with them closely but it just didn’t work and that happens in radio sometimes unfortunately.”
Going up against the popular national show “Mike and Mike” on CBC’s sister station, WCMC (99.9 the Fan) certainly didn’t make it any easier to get good ratings.
“We just try to put the best possible local and national programming on the air and make our best guess and hopefully use our instincts and knowledge that we have over the years and hopefully that works out,” Glasgow said. “There are a lot of great programs on air that don’t do well and a lot of other shows that you’re maybe not as fond of that do well. It’s really hard to predict about ratings and what listeners want.”
Brownlow will no longer have a show on a CBC station.
“Lauren, after her leave, will be reassigned to multiple different platforms on radio and on the web,” Glasgow said. “Appearances on shows, hopefully maybe some podcasts and definitely writing with the web.”
Raleigh & Co., Buzz Sports Radio (WDNC) and 99.9 FM The Fan are all divisions of Capitol Broadcasting Company, Inc.