Radio 'Moms' call it quits
Fans of the "Moms in the Morning" radio show felt a loss Monday when they got in their cars for their morning commute and found the program no longer exists.
The brainchild of local radio veteran Janet Walsh, the show aired on 98.9 Chick FM for 20 months before ending Friday.
Listeners had no warning the end was near. On Friday morning, the Facebook status for Moms in the Morning was "V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N!!!!"
"We just said we were going on spring break," Walsh said Tuesday. "Looks like we are going to be on spring break a very long time."
By Monday night, that status was "Sorry y'all ... not a vacation. The Moms in the Morning brand lives on, but the show is kaput for now."
Walsh said she and cohost Lauren Raycroft "cried a lot on the air" on Friday, but listeners were unaware.
The decision to end the show was Walsh's and Raycroft's, said Ted Byrne, operations manager of Kirkman Broadcasting.
"Janet and Lauren decided they no longer wanted to do the show," Byrne said. "They retired, as it was, from the radio game. We've had some people that were really fans of Janet and Lauren and they have voiced displeasure, thinking that we terminated them, but we didn't. This was a decision they made on their own."
Walsh, who owns the copyright to the "Moms in the Morning" name, said, "It was time for Kirkman and us to go in different directions. I have nothing but nice things to say about the Kirkman folks. They are a nice bunch and it was good to work for a local owner."
Walsh said she believes in the show's concept.
"I feel it's such a good idea," she said. "Just because we are not currently on the air doesn't mean it won't come back sometime."
If the show does return, it likely won't be on the same station, which at 6 a.m. Monday flipped its format to become "Fun 98.9," playing classic hits from the '60s, '70s and '80s.
"Armed with the information that they were going to stop doing the show, we decided we needed to make a change in our format," Byrne said. "The music we were playing on Chick was similar to other music being played on other stations."
The new format has a "good-time fun kind of feel to it," he said.
Bill Shannon, who was formerly with WIOP and WXLY and other stations in between, hosts a live local show from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays.
"This market has always liked classic hits," Shannon said. "Nobody had picked up the format since IOP became country. Now classic hits have returned."
On his show, Shannon said he is "basically hanging out and having fun and talking about things going on around town."
Fun 98.9 is the inaugural station for the Tom Kent Radio Network's "24/7 Fun" format.