Gee, Bruce Kelly, (WVRT deejay) we hardly knew you


Less than six months after arriving in Baltimore with some fanfare, morning personality Bruce Kelly has left radio station WVRT-FM (104.3).

"We came to a mutual agreement," said Mr. Kelly, 36, whose final day on the station's morning drive-time show was Monday.

Jim Fox, station general manager, said, "Quite frankly, he's the one who decided to leave, and we let him out of his contract. I think he was pretty unhappy here and wanted to go back to Arizona."

Mr. Kelly came to Baltimore in October after eight years as a top morning voice in Phoenix, replacing the fired Chris Emry.

"What I came in to do was not what I ended up doing," said the disc jockey. He noted the station changed its call letters (from WBSB to WVRT) in January and launched a new promotional campaign as a "continuous soft rock" station.

Playing music took predominance, said Mr. Kelly, adding, "Actually, I agree with their tack on this, for business reasons. They needed to de-personalize the radio station.

"But I'm a high-profile personality. I got to do that here for about three months and then they went to VRT and I wasn't doing that anymore," he said.

He said he plans to return to Phoenix and is negotiating with stations there.

Mr. Fox said Tom Grey is filling in as morning personality with news announcer Schelby Sweeney for an indefinite period.

Both the station manager and Mr. Kelly said his departure is not related to the announcement Wednesday by the Scripps-Howard Broadcasting Co. that WVRT is among a group of radio stations it wants to sell.

"The search for a morning show will go on" regardless of the ownership, said Mr. Fox. He said the station may seek a "down-to-earth" kind of morning deejay, in contrast to the high-energy approach of Mr. Kelly.

The potential sale was announced by Lawrence A. Leser, president and chief executive of Scripps-Howard. He said the PTC company wished to focus attention on its television operations.

Also for sale are Scripps-Howard radio stations in Portland, Ore., and Memphis, Tenn.

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