Various updates are in order across the dial on Grand Strand radio, with the return of John Tesh in the evenings, a Little River couple winning a big wedding in a national contest and community generosity for another local “Kidd’s Kid.”
Tesh’s “Intelligence for Your Life” syndicated show, based in Los Angeles, has welcomed Fidelity Broadcasting’s easy-listening station simulcast on WEZV-FM 105.9 in Myrtle Beach and WGTN-FM 100.7 on the South Strand. The program, loaded with factoids and information read aloud by Tesh and sprinkled between songs, airs 7 p.m. to midnight Mondays through Fridays.
Tesh a former “Entertainment Tonight” co-host, whose radio show was carried on another local station until earlier this year, voiced his pleasure at having Myrtle Beach back in the fold.
“Myrtle Beach is very special to me; that’s where I used to spend spring break,” he said by phone early one morning last week, recounting “very fond memories” from his college studies in Raleigh. “I went to North Carolina State, and we used to always go to Myrtle Beach.”
A composer and keyboardist who’s recorded many new age albums since the late 1980s, Tesh, like other musicians such as Jim Brickman, Kix Brooks and Dave Koz who have added radio shows to their list of careers, talked of the natural flow he has found with the microphone in this broadcast setting.
“It’s a different form of communication,” Tesh said. “Television is a very formatted way to communicate with people. With radio, you can have that personal touch, and you can tell stories.”
Tesh said with radio shows, people aren’t usually engaged in another pastime while listening, but instead are alone, maybe driving a car or working out in an exercise routine, so the communication comes across as one-on-one in a way.
“It’s almost like you’re in the car with somebody,” he said. “It gets much more personal.”
Juggling radio, his newly launched “Intelligence for Your Life” TV show and another upcoming Christmas concert tour, with 15 dates, Tesh said he’s used to multitasking and building up a product. He said those skills date to when he worked in local TV news in New York, before his 10-year “E.T.” era, and they apply in developing the new TV program with his wife, Connie Sellecca, and Gib Gerard. See it from 7-8 a.m. Mondays through Fridays on WWMB-TV 21, an affiliate of The CW network.
“I am completely unbalanced,” he said. “We’re not getting any sleep.”
Asked if he might compete someday on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” Tesh turned humorist on himself but was still impressed by the “six hours a day” or more that participants dedicate for rehearsals in a season.
“Connie and I got asked to do that first season,” he said, referring to 2005. “We actually took dance lessons when we got married. For me, it brings a version of Herman Munster to mind.”
Matt Sedota, general manager of WEZV, said Tesh’s program fits perfectly in the evening time slot.
“He has great appeal and a well-known name,” Sedota said. “We have not had a personality on the air after 7 p.m. before, and we thought this is a great opportunity. … When we first announced the show, the response was very strong and very positive.”
Sedota also appreciated Tesh’s “extremely supportive” production crew.
“When we first started talking, I hung up the phone with my rep and answered the next call,” Sedota said. “It was John Tesh, just letting me know he’d love to be on the station.”
Sedota explained why “Intelligence for Your Life” fits into Easy Radio’s demographics
“The show fits all lifestyles, young and old,” he said. “We stick with our great relaxing favorites and combine it with John Tesh “Intelligence For Your Life,” and it works. The content of the show is useful and timely, which appeals to everyone. It’s positive, upbeat and appropriate.”
Diane DeVaughn Stokes’ “Diane at Six,” which has aired from 6-7 p.m. weekdays for almost five years, leads into Tesh’s show.
“It’s a perfect follow up to ‘Diane at Six,’” Sedota said. “Diane has been on the air for almost five years, and adding the personality of John Tesh just seems to work. Diane is a staple of the station now, and we certainly hope the same will be true of John Tesh.”
Dream wedding through Nash
The staff at WLFF-FM “Nash” 106.5 still are celebrating a Little River couple winning a $100,000 “Dream Wedding Giveaway” through Cumulus’ “America’s Morning Show,” based in Nashville, Tenn., which airs locally from 6-10 a.m. Mondays through Fridays (www.americasmorningshow.com).
The morning show, with hosts Blair Garner, Terri Clark and Chuck Wicks, had a special announcement of the winner in April, with Sumter native Lee Brice handling the honors. Corene Hejl and William Edgeworth III tied the knot in May at East Ivy Mansion in Nashville, where Brice also performed “I Don’t Dance,” his latest No. 1 hit, a real life composition for his own wife, the former Sara Reeveley.
Night Train, program director and afternoon drive host from 3-7 p.m. on Nash 106.5, called Brice singing that first dance for the pair “so appropriate.”
Besides the wedding, the lucky couple’s prize included a catered reception, cake and pictures taken by a photographer from Rolling Stone magazine, said Night Train, who, though not attending the wedding, marveled at the massive memory the whole family shared and has stayed in touch with the newlyweds.
He also commended Edgeworth’s daughter, Reilly, who at age 10 penned a heartfelt letter to “America’s Morning Show” to nominate her parents, also praising a woman who has cared for her “since I was 3.”
Re-reading Reilly’s words last week, Night Train liked how she referred to her family and siblings as “Edgeworth and Co.,” with the second part of that title an abbreviation of her adoptive mother’s first name.
Reilly wrote in her letter, “I dream of seeing my daddy marry the girl who has given me the best life and love of her heart. … I love her so much and want to make sure to keep her always, and I know she is gonna look so pretty and cry her happy cry to have a wedding because her and Daddy are so busy giving us a good life, they don’t have enough to plan a wedding, and we are the best people to have a party, because whenever her and Daddy hear Lee Brice, they turn it up.”
Night Train said “one of the great things” about being part of a group of country stations nationwide carrying “America’s Morning Show,” begun in February, remains the music artists such as Brice, who make guest stops, with someone different “every day.”
“It was a blessing,” Night Train said, “when we got that local winner. It was like, perfect.”
The outcome hit Garner’s heart, too.
“It's funny how things work out,” Garner said. “It was almost by divine intervention that Corene and William were the winners. The outpouring of emotion from their daughter was so heartfelt that there was no denying this should’ve been their day. The heavens were smiling that these two had found each other, and we felt so blessed to play a small role in cementing this family’s love.”
Helping a ‘Kidd’s Kid’
Qantum Radio’s WWXM-FM “Mix” 97.7 ( mix977online.com) helped rally the community Sept. 3 for a Socastee 9-year-old, chosen as one of the “Kidd’s Kids” nationwide for 2014. This cause, coordinated by the “Kidd Kraddick in the Morning” national show, raises money to give children with terminal and chronic illnesses a family trip to Walt Disney World in Florida.
More than $1,100 was raised for Elisabeth O’Brien and her family on that “one day of fundraising” at station events “just at our” live events and canisters placed at four local Murphy Express stations, said Ron Roberts, WWXM’s program director. The sum also exceeded that because of other donations raised online and through texts.
This marked the second time in three years that WWXM, which carries the Dallas-based radio show founded by the late Kidd Kraddick from 6-10 a.m. Mondays through Fridays, has had a local youth chosen as a Kidd’s Kid, Roberts said.
Elisabeth was diagnosed in 2013 with a brain aneurysm, along with Ehlers Danlos, a connective tissue disease. Roberts said the O’Briens will head to Disney World for a five-day paid getaway next month before Thanksgiving.
Details on the Kidd’s Kids foundation can be found at kiddskids.com.
Also, listeners of Qantum’s Grand Strand country station, WGTR-FM “Gator” 107.9, have a new wake-up voice, in the morning drive show anchored by Zac Davis, 5-10 a.m. Mondays through Fridays. He succeeds Jeff Roper, who moved to San Antonio in midsummer to co-host a new show begun earlier this month on KSAT-TV 12, “SA Live.”
Sports news and pinch-hitting
Also in brief, about local stations owned by Digity LLC:
• Fans who miss being able to dial up WKZQ-FM “New Rock” 96.1 to hear ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” show, with hosts Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic on the air from 6-10 a.m. Mondays through Fridays from ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn., still have a local outlet for that program, and around-the-clock ESPN programming, at WRNN-AM 1450 (www.espnmyrtlebeach.com). The station also carried all the Myrtle Beach Pelicans baseball games this year, with play by play by Nathan Barnett.
• Korby Ray, midday host from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays on WMYB-FM “Star” 92.1 (requests at 448-9292, or www.star921.net), pinch hit in the public address booth, introducing players coming to bat, and the like, for two Pelicans baseball games this past season at TicketReturn.com Field, both on “Ladies Nights,” most recently on Aug. 29.
• Pat Taylor, who was among the trio on WRNN-FM 99.5’s “Hot Talk Morning Show,” 6-10 a.m. Mondays through Fridays with Dave Priest and Liz Callaway through last year, has pinch hit as a co-host. Taylor took a turn for each, during respective vacations, for a few days each this past summer. Reach the show at 839-9950 or www.wrnn.net.