Veteran DJs Tim Watts and Lorraine "Lolo" Milliner are out at Baltimore's Magic 95.9, as owner Radio One looks to improve ratings at the urban adult contemporary station.
Watts, a fixture on Baltimore radio for decades and at 95.9 for 17 years, and Milliner, a veteran of 22 years at the station, were let go last week.
In an emailed statement, Radio One officials said they had been "challenged with the performance of Magic and we've tried various things in an effort to gain share. We've assessed the music and what our listeners really want in this Urban AC format. The feedback requires us to create a fresh and new approach to Magic to meet the market demand. This refresh unfortunately impacted radio veterans Tim Watts and Lorraine 'Lolo' Milliner."
Milliner, reached at her home Tuesday, said she wasn't totally surprised by Radio One's decision. "There was talk about changes at the station," she said. "I think they're trying to go younger."
Insisting she has "no regrets at all" and felt no ill-will toward her former bosses, Milliner said she was looking forward to concentrating on efforts to improve health care in her native Virgin Islands. "I really want to work for myself and help my country," she said. She said she planned to work through her 10-year-old nonprofit, Healthy Encores, sponsoring health fairs throughout the islands.
Milliner said she plans to remain in Baltimore for now.
Watts wrote on his Facebook page Feb. 10 that "I just got back from vacation only to find that I am now on permanent vacation. No joke, I was called into the conference room and told this was my last day at Radio one."
Reached at home Tuesday, Watts said he, too, wasn't caught totally unawares by Radio One's decision. "I kinda thought it was coming for the past six months or so," he said.
Watts, who first went on the air in Baltimore in 1977, at WCAO-AM, said he was leaning toward retirement but hasn't made a firm decision yet. He could be interested, he said, in having a syndicated radio program.
"If somebody came along with a situation that motivated me ... a situation where I could be on two or three radio stations at the same time, that would get my juices flowing again," he said. But starting fresh, with a new gig at another radio station, "doesn't really make me want to get up out of bed every day."
Milliner's "The Quiet Fire" aired from 7 p.m.-midnight on Magic 95.9, while Watts was on the air daily from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.