Tag Archives: Connoisseur Media

WDRC’s Zachary Shown The Door

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As its Dr. Cash was giving away money in Hartford, someone else was going away at Connoisseur Media -owned WDRC-FM.

It was morning show host, Kim Zachary.

kim (2)Zachary said she was fired at the close of her morning show Friday, making her another former WDRC-FM on-air personality shown the door at the station purchased  by Connoisseur Media from Buckley Broadcasting in July.

According to Tuesday’s Courant,  the station’s Dr. Cash scavenger hunt stunt was intended to introduce WDRC-FM’s  new morning show, “Chaz & AJ.”

The “Chaz & AJ” show has been on Connoisseur’s WPLR-FM station for several years and will now be broadcast daily on both stations.

Zachary had worked at WDRC many years ago before going to WHYN-FM in Springfield and  Farmington-based WRCH-FM, joining the  WDRC-FM  morning show with Mike Stevens a little more than a year ago. When Stevens and others, including Grahame Winters, now at WRCH, were let go, Zachary was one of a few on-air personalities  Connoisseur retained.

There were rumors,” said Zachary, about her dismissal. “I enjoyed what I did, I liked having a Hartford morning show and thank those who listened.”

Connoisseur Media head Jeff Warshaw could not be reached for comment.

 

WDRC’s Grahame Winters On To WRCH

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grahameThat didn’t take long.

Former WDRC program director and on-air personality Grahame Winters will be back on the radio again soon.

Part of the employee dump at WDRC when Connossieur Media bought the Buckley Radio stations in Connecticut a few weeks ago, Winters has found a job at the Farmington-based, CBS radio station,  Lite WRCH.

“Just got a wonderful email from Allan Camp welcoming me to the CBS Radio family,” she announced on Facebook Thursday. ” I can officially announce I’ll be doing some part time work for Lite 100.5 WRCH! Yay!!! ”

Winters said the plan is for her to  get involved in everything from station shows including “Pillowtalk” to “The Smooth Jazz Brunch.” 

“With 4 stations in the building there are many possibilities,” said Winters. ” It’s going to be so great! I actually start training off air with Joan Dylan tomorrow! It’s an honor to be a part of the team!”

Buckley Sells WDRC And CT Stations To Connoisseur

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One of state’s oldest and most well-known “oldies” radio stations has a new owner.

The family owned Buckley Broadcasting is selling its 57-year-old Bloomfield-based WDRC AM and FM stations to Westport-based Connoisseur Media.

Staff was notified of the sale Wednesday morning by Buckley president and CEO Joe Bilotta.

Bilotta Joseph Buckley Radio

Joe Bilotta

“For over a half of a century Buckley Broadcasting has been the steward of one of the most recognized and respected call letters in broadcasting,” Bilotta wrote in an email to staff before meeting with them in Bloomfield Wednesday. “After much reflection and discussion, the Board of Trustees has decided that the reality of the evolving competitive landscape, and our sincere desire to see this historic brand continue, are cause for a change in the ownership of our Connecticut properties.” he continued. “With this acquisition, Connoisseur will be the leading radio broadcaster in the State of Connecticut and they are very excited to have the Buckley stations as part of their growing company.”

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Closing of the transaction is subject to FCC consent and other customary closing conditions, Bilotta said.

Other Buckley stations in Connecticut that are part of the sale are WMMW AM, Meriden,  WWC0 AM, Waterbury,  and WSNG AM in Torrington.

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Jeff Warshaw

Connoisseur, founded in 2004 by president/CEO Jeff Warshaw and Mike Driscoll, owns 36 radio stations across the country including WPLR, WYBC, the Fox and Star in Milford, Connecticut.

“We are incredibly gratified and proud to take over these legendary stations,” said Warshaw. “We have no major changes planned in any way right now and are looking forward to getting in there and meeting everyone,” he said. “I think we have demonstrated our commitment to Connecticut and will be there for the long haul.”

Rumors of the sale of Buckley’s Connecticut stations began surfacing shortly after it sold its stellar New York station, WOR Radio, to Clear Channel Media and Entertainment in August, 2012. Buckley also owns several radio stations in California.

“All businesses have lifecycles, and the radio industry certainly has seen its share of change in recent years,” Bilotta said in a press release issued Wednesday. “ Our decision to negotiate with, and eventually sell WDRC to Connoisseur, gives our audience, advertisers and employees access to the considerable resources of this multi-dimensional media and entertainment company.”

“Connoisseur Media is a well-respected and positively positioned radio operator,” said Buckley vice president and general manager Eric Fahnoe after meeting with staff. “Their posture in operating their properties leads the industry and we are looking forward to becoming part of a company that will now cover the New Haven and Hartford markets and become the largest radio operator in Connecticut.”

Programming and staffing is expected to continue as is until the closing is completed in June.

WDRC AM, is considered the oldest radio station in Connecticut, begun in 1920 in New Haven by Franklin Doolittle of Doolittle Radio Corporation (WDRC.) The FM station began broadcasting in the 1930s after Doolittle moved the operation to Hartford.

Buckley Broadcasting became part owners in 1957, eventually taking over the entire station in 1959. WDRC established itself over the years as a primarily “oldies” station featuring songs from the 1950s to 1990s.

At one time, the station also sponsored regular, live “Big D Big Show”  concerts at the Bushnell spotlighting then-trending performers including Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, Bobby Vinton, Three Dog Night, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, The Rascals and Gene Pitney. Its published  “Big D Big Sound Survey” tracked record sales in the Greater Hartford area each week.

WDRC AM, dubbed “The Talk of Connecticut,” features talk shows with local hosts including Brad Davis as well as several  syndicated shows. Current FM personalities include Ron Sedaille, Mike Stevens,  Kim Zachary and Floyd Wright.