Star 94 let go of The Morning Mess morning show this morning, according to General Manager Rick Mack. He said they are now looking for another morning show. He didn’t say whether Cindy and Ray, the successful afternoon show, would take over.
Norm Schrutt, who represents the Mess and Cindy & Ray, said Cindy & Ray could take over but he has no insight whether that will happen.
Schrutt thinks in retrospect that the Morning Mess skewed too young for the station.
“I think I made a mistake,” Schrutt said. “I put them in a place where they shouldn’t have been… We got caught up with the economy and the fit wasn’t right. I think the team really understood it before I did. They figured Star wanted a little older demo and they played a little younger and that was their comfort zone. It’s like a stone in your shoe. The shoe is a little too tight. It was not their fault. They’re still extremely talented. I’m still a huge fan of the show. The radio station was very honorable in the way they severed our relationship.”
Three morning shows launched in early 2008 within weeks of each other: Zakk Tyler on Dave FM, the Morning Mess at Star 94 and Cletus T. Judd at 94.9/The Bull. Proving how difficult it is to launch a new morning show, all three died in short order. Zakk was out by August. Cletus was cut by late fall. And the Mess lasted just over 14 months.
The Mess struggled to compete against the Bert Show on Q100 and their predecessors Steve & Vikki at B98.5. The show’s target demographic was 18 to 34 year olds and in January Arbitron ratings, the Mess ranked 10th in that demo compared to 1st for the Bert Show. Relatively speaking, that was a stronger performance for them than usual, but obviously for Star management, it was too little, too late.
The trio, Shannon Murphy, Superphat Mikey (Michael Dennison) and Marc “Marco” Orem, came from Indianapolis in December 2007. Early on, they offered up “pranks on the 20s,” ridiculous restaurant reviews from Mikey and Shannon grabbing potentially gross items in a box and trying to ID them. The reaction was fairly negative, with listeners complaining that they were juvenile and unsophisticated. They were gearing themselves far younger than Steve & Vikki but had trouble drawing the 18 to 34 females away from the Bert Show on Q100. Recently, the show had been streamlined, with many of the prank-type shenanigans gone and a slightly more mature approach taken.
The Mess’ last big gig was the Miley Cyrus appearance yesterday. Star has already scrubbed evidence of the Morning Mess off the Web site.