640/WGST-AM is now an all-syndicated station with the addition of Michael Smerconish in the mornings starting July 27. He will air from 6 to 9 a.m.
Randy Cook, the local man who hopes to rejoin Spiff Carner over at True Oldies 106.7 once his three-month noncompete clause is up, left WGST on July 10.
Here’s the press release bio of Smerconish, who resides in Philadelphia:
An attorney-turned-political commentator, Michael Smerconish has been recognized by Talkers and Radio and Records magazines as one of the country’s most compelling radio hosts. In addition to his two nationally syndicated radio programs, Michael has been featured on many major television programs including MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, The Colbert Report and The View. He is also the author of four New York Times bestselling books and a weekly columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News and the Philadelphia Inquirer.
And until I get a fresh quote from him, here’s what Smerconish had to say in the press release. Note the attempt at a local reference:
“Atlanta is one of the all-time great cities for citizen involvement and public debate. My program offers a spirited civic roundtable that will give Atlantans a more prominent voice on important issues. We’ve got a lot to talk about and I can’t wait to get started,” says Mr. Smerconish. “I am also hoping that if I play my cards right, my new colleagues at WGST will take me to The Varsity to celebrate, where I once had the best hot dog of my life.”
The fact GST is no longer spending money on local talent during the weekdays says a lot about the economic realities of the station, which used to be competitive with WSB-AM back in the 1990s. The station has seen its spotlight fade throughout this decade and it has never recovered from losing its FM simulcast signal.
Smercnoish “is not a cookie-cutter talk-show guy,” said Tom Taylor, a journalist who writes about radio for radio-info.com. “He’s unpredictable. Last fall, he wound up endorsing Obama which was unusual given where he normally lands on things. He studies the issues. He’s canny and ambitious. He’s worked very hard to get into syndication.”