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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Syndicated Michael Smerconish takes over morning show on WGST-AM from Randy Cook

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.”

11 comments Add your comment

Christopher Cook

July 22nd, 2009
8:19 am

He endorsed Obama? And he’s on WGST? There’s a square peg in a round hole for you.

Atlanta NEEDS Kimmer

July 22nd, 2009
12:20 pm

What is this garbage?

WGST simply NEEDS “The Kimmer” back ASAP if it ever wants its listeners who love him and the way the station used to be to ever return.

DW

July 22nd, 2009
1:29 pm

WGST died when it kept changing hands. The Kimmer used to crack on Jacor, but at least they knew how to run a radio station. Clear Channel destroyed WGST, and now, they’re treating the station like an unwanted stepchild. It truly is a shame. I gave up listening to GST regularly when the Kimmer and Tom Hughes were let go. That was a sad day indeed for Atlanta radio.

marco

July 22nd, 2009
2:28 pm

I’ve pretty much given GST the benefit of the doubt on all of the morning shows they’ve put forth, just because the alternatives have been so dismal. I will not, however, listen to a syndicated morning show — that’s the time that I want banter about local news, sports and politics. If it is not going to be local, I may as well listen to XM — at least that signal will get to me before sunrise. Am I the only person in town that wants a well-produced local news/talk show during drive times? (and don’t try to defend that boring loop of a show on WSB). It is truly amazing that I can go to almost any second-tier market city in the country and find better local radio than Atlanta. It seems that the stations would rather have 1 percent of the prime demographic than 50 percent of us middle-aged white guys.

offkey

July 22nd, 2009
5:05 pm

Pathetic. This hack couldn’t find the Varsity if someone dropped him off across the street. I’m not even sure he could even find Atlanta on a map. Clear Channel seems determined to destroy local radio.

marc

July 22nd, 2009
5:10 pm

Well, marco you speak the facts.If you’re tired of hearing the weather and traffic reports twelve times an hour in the early a.m., you are out of luck for this market. Atlanta radio stinks thanks to the conglomerates who control this market.We don’t need any more country stations or sports talk radio stations and please don’t create another place for the Coldplay records to be heard.Please get Tom Hughes back on in the morning.

The Doofster

July 22nd, 2009
6:22 pm

Bloomquist and Deskins finally killed off the station a few years ago. WGSTis on life support and it’s apparent that Scott Lindy is going to do nothing to revive WGST. His first priority is the FM stations. He seems to be working on WUBL first, then WKLS could be next. Maybe when one or both of those spanish stations are killed off, then maybe work will begin on a new WGST on FM.

Sometimes you just have to wonder if Cox is paying them off to run the Atlanta stations into the ground.

I Worked for Clear Channel

July 23rd, 2009
11:33 am

Those Spanish stations you want to kill off are the only thing profitable about CC Atlanta nowadays.

GST is hopeless, as are 961 ant The Bull. The sooner CC is run out of town, the better.

Dan

July 24th, 2009
6:47 pm

Michael Smerconish is such a loser. He is a “moderate” Repubican and is a RINO. He supported John McCain in the Republican primary and then in the General Election he switched to Obama. He moderated his views gradually over time to get syndication. I stopped listening to him on the local Philly station about a year ago and started listening to Bill Bennett. Even Bill sounds conservative next to Smerconish.

a. witham

August 17th, 2009
9:12 am

Smerconish is an insult to conservatives. His arrogance prevents him from admitting he screwed up in endorsing Obama – and now WGST is exhibiting the same IGNORANCE they showed when they took Glenn Beck off the air when Collins was the manager. Ignorance.

GeauxLSU

August 20th, 2009
1:24 pm

I hadn’t even heard of this idiot until he showed up. I USED TO listen to WGST during my horrendous commute downtown. It took 5 minutes to change the channel, and never go back. I shot an email to the station’s producer letting them know they lost another listerner. Big shocker, no response. “The tower leans to the right.”? What a joke.
Whatever the Kimmer cost, it was half what he was worth.