We told you earlier in the week about Long Island Radio Group’s WMJC making a format flip on November 5.
The station, through consulting by veteran programmer Joel Salkowitz, went from a Hot AC station to playing hits from the 1980s to 2005, or Gen X as they call it. With that in mind, the call letters also were swapped for WIGX (94-X).
For the next few weeks, as is a common tactic when purging a previous format, they are going jockless.
When they do return, one jock that won’t be heard is the hugely popular L.I. jock “Malibu” Sue McCann.
She was tipped off in the final weeks that there would be changes, but not given any specifics about her future with the radio station. When asked if she would have a job, management gave her a resounding “It hasn’t been decided yet.”
It was decided, or made official, shortly thereafter. McCann, who spent seven years doing afternoons at ‘MJC, left the station three days before the changeover.
The difference in format, she asserts, is confusing and somewhat overlapped in content.
But beyond that, McCann has another reason to be disappointed.
“I helped carve a large part of the Gen X format…If you’re a good enough jock, I don’t see how you couldn’t fit the format,” McCann says about herself and morning DJ Phathead, who was also not retained. (Program director Jon Daniels does remain at the Farmingdale, N.Y., station.)
Insiders tell FishbowlNY that McCann and Phathead were cut loose as a cost-cutting measure.
But, the divorce between McCann and the LI Radio Group (a.k.a. Barnstable Broadcasting) was not like most. She is still employed by the company for a Saturday morning food/lifestyle talk show on their AM outlet WHLI.
With more than a quarter-century in radio, McCann, a self-proclaimed “radio brat” and musicologist, is hopeful that this might extend her reach beyond Long Island.
“It’s nice that a lot of people reached out to me, including two [N.Y.] city stations,” McCann tells FishbowlNY.
In 1995, McCann came close to cracking into the city. She trained for part time work at Q104.3/WAXQ. But McCann, who at the time was on the air at WALK-FM, was caught in the crosshairs of a new program director and never got a shift.
McCann was an influential jock at WLIR/WDRE from 1984 to 1995. After stops at WKJY (KJOY) and WALK, she returned to the famous frequency at 92.7 for another seven years.
Despite her dismissal from ‘MJC, McCann is proud to be nominated as Best Radio Personality on Long Island.
“It was exciting to go to work there because of the fact there were more radio stations in the same building. …There was such a great camaraderie and creativity … even in the hallway.”