By David Zurawik
The Baltimore Sun
6:25 AM EDT, July 8, 2013
WBAL and 98 Rock, Hearst's AM and FM stations in Baltimore, made some changes in their lineups and schedules Monday.
In the wake of Mickey Cucchiella leaving 98 Rock as a result of his battle with depression, the station introduced a re-tooled morning show featuring Justin Schlegel, Scott Reardon and Josh Spiegel.
Schlegel had been doing afternoon drivetime at the station, while Reardon was the executive producer of the morning show. Spiegel has been a co-host on mornings since 2005 at 98 Rock.
Amelia Ryerse, who had been one of Cucchiella's co-hosts, moves into Schlegel's afternoon spot today
"Amelia had been doing afternoons before she joined the morning team, " said David Hill, program director for 98 Rock and WBAL. "So, it's as much a return to afternoons as it is a new time period for her."
In terms of the personnel shifts, Hill described them more as tweaks than major changes, since everyone was on-staff and two members of the new morning trio were already with the show.
"We're not re-inventing the wheel here," he said.
As of the latest Arbitron ratings in May, 98 Rock is the second highest-rated in Baltimore with its target audience of young men behind WERQ-FM (92Q).
The changes that go into effect today at WBAL-AM involve time periods only, Hill said.
The talk shows of Clarence M. Mitchell IV (C4) and Derek Hunter will expand from two hours weekdays to three.
As of today C4 will be on 9 a.m. to noon, with Hunter airing from noon to 3 p.m.
The hours for both shows will come out of the morning and afternoon news programs.
"Both C4 and Derek want to move to three hour shows, because they have a lot to say," Hill explained. "And based on the feedback I've received, our listeners want to hear them more."
Some early risers who tuned into 98 Rock between 6 and 6:30 a.m. Monday might have been confused by what they heard.
Instead of rolling out the new lineup at the top of the show, the morning team aired a 30-minute spoof show titled "Flapjack & The Pickle," which Hill described as "every bad cliche of a bad morning radio show that you could imagine."
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