The morning lineup has changed at three Grand Strand radio stations, and listeners have a new midday option with “The Dennis Miller Show.”
Two of the five Cumulus stations in Myrtle Beach heralded sunrise this past Monday with new wake-up weekday programs.
WSEA-FM 100.3 – “Sports Radio – The Team” moved “The Drive” afternoon local show – with host Aaron Marks, Lewis Woodard and Justin “J.P.” Padgett – to 6-9 a.m. On sister station WLFF-FM “Nash” 106.5, Night Train has shifted to the 3-7 p.m. slot, to make room for a Cumulus’ national “America’s Morning Show,” from Nashville, Tenn., with longtime show host Blair Garner and singers Chuck Wicks and Terri Clark.
David Lewis, vice president and market manager for Cumulus Myrtle Beach – which also includes WDAI-FM “Kiss” 98.5, WSYN-FM “Sunny” 103.1, and a Fox Sports affiliate simulcast on WHSC-AM 1050/FM 101.9 – said both morning shows got off to a great start this week.
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Moving “The Drive” to mornings – in place of CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki Barber, Brandon Tierney and Dana Jacobson, a show that launched in January 2013 – had been an idea knocked “round for a while,” Lewis said. He said Marks and crew now can jump right in and respond more immediately to “news from the evening before,” instead of waiting until 3 p.m. the next day, by which time “everything is old news.”
Lewis said Marks, who wears “multiple hats” such as for ad sales and local sports play-by-play, also frees him up during the business day for other projects. Going with CBS Radio’s Doug Gottlieb for 3-6 p.m. fit perfectly, with his many years of talking sports nationwide, Lewis said, noting that “South Carolina Sports Talk,” with Phil Kornblut, remains a staple to start the evening, 6-8 p.m. Mondays-Fridays.
On Nash 106.5 this week, Garner’s morning show sprinkled in interviews with Dierks Bentley, Garth Brooks, Taylor Swift, The Band Perry and Brad Paisley.
“Blair has a relationship with all these people,” Lewis said, also liking the banter the show crew has with CNN Headline News’ Robin Meade around her reports, adding to “a solid lineup.”
Lewis said the show will “do well” with a family audience and younger audience.
“Even though it’s a country format,” he said, “it has a contemporary hit radio feel to it.”
As for afternoon drive, Lewis said Night Train, the station’s program director, has returned to his “natural fit,” a shift he had worked in several big cities and also at WLFF originally.
“America’s Morning Show,” being rolled out in various “Nash” stations among Cumulus’ 110 local radio markets nationwide, also had been a work in development, Lewis said, excited to have WLFF in that fold.
A sister Cumulus country station with a strong signal from Charleston, WIWF-FM 96.9, formerly “The Wolf,” also carries the “Nash” identity, and “America’s Morning Show.” Its hit morning drive show, with Jessica Chandler and Jay Shadix, also was shifted to 3-7 p.m. Mondays-Fridays.
North Strand beacon
Listeners of a WNMB-AM “Stereo” 900, will notice some changes in the sounds – in the morning and around the clock – on their hometown station, which serves North Myrtle Beach, Little River and Loris.
Mike Chapman, a disc jockey and its salesman, said the update to its music format entails “moving it up about 10 years,” to serve a wider demographic in the audience, going from just 1950s and ‘60s tunes, to the “ ‘60s, ‘70s and some ‘80s,” for people in their 40s and 50s in age.
“We’re trying to capture some of these younger old people,” said Chapman, in his upper 50s. “And I include myself in that.”
Chapman said he has spent the past three weeks expanding WNMB’s music library, “probably doubling” its size.
This month, Chapman also began as morning drive host 7-9 a.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays, and Matt Smith, the station manager, handles those duties Mondays and Fridays.
Chapman stressed the local presence that he and Smith want WNMB to keep in its identity and history built by its founder, the late Bill Norman, whose family still owns the station.
“This is a very close-knit community,” Chapman said, honored to have been welcomed since arriving in August. “Everybody seems to know everybody here.”
WNMB also airs the “Coaches Show,” 7-7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, covering North Myrtle Beach High School, Chapman said, and a “student of the week” chosen by teachers, which will lead to a “student of the year” tribute.
“Our whole emphasis is local,” Chapman said, also welcoming listeners through an online stream at www.wnmb900.com.
He also said he has enjoyed building partnerships in the community through taking part in such annual events as the Intracoastal Regatta and the North Myrtle Beach Christmas parade.
Chapman, who began on-air work in the 1970s, playing “the old vinyl stuff,” spent time with stations in Mobile, Ala., then got into video production for 20 years, based in Charlotte, before a return to radio, including WNMB. He said he delights in keeping music flowing on an AM station in an industry he called rife with stations that change formats so frequently.
“This is not a drastic change,” he said about WNMB, respecting the “character” woven by Norman into WNMB. “This is just an update. ...
“I’ve unofficially officially named the broadcasting studio as the Bill Norman Studio. The tradition of Bill’s station was serving the local community. Lots of people loved Bill.”
‘Miller Time’ in afternoons
Last month, Joule Radio LLC in St. Simons Island, Ga., the trustee for WJXY-FM 93.9/WXJY-FM 93.7, plugged “The Dennis Miller Show” into the noon-3 p.m. time slot Mondays-Fridays, after former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee ended his nationally syndicated radio show.
Miller, who anchored the “Weekend Update” segments on NBC-TV’s “Saturday Night Live,” won five Emmy Awards for HBO’s “Dennis Miller Live,” and has authored four “Rant”-theme books, also appears in a “Miller Time” segment Wednesdays on Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor.”
On the radio, Miller has various guests, from news analysts and fellow comedians to other stars such as Peter Noone from Herman’s Hermits, this past Tuesday, and author Jackie Collins on Friday.
Waccamaw Broadcasting LLC’s WGTN-AM 1400 (546-1400 or www.wgtnradio.com), a news-talk-sports station in Georgetown, also carries Miller’s show 3-6 p.m. Mondays-Fridays.
Reach Miller’s show at 866-509-7268 (RANT) or www.dennismillerradio.com.
, and for tickets, 800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com.