On Monday, Star 94 dismissed Ray Mariner of the Cindy & Ray morning show.
He has been taken off the Star 94 website. On his personal Facebook page, Mariner has not commented about his departure but has placed his job at Star 94 in the past tense.
Star 94 Program Director Scott Lindy in a text gave the standard, “I cannot comment on personnel matters.” Mariner, in a text, declined to comment as well. Ditto with Mariner’s agent Norm Schrutt on the phone. Radio silence, as they say.
Evening host Tim Orff, who was the ultimate substitute morning guy when he worked at Dave FM, will join Cindy Simmons in the mornings until a replacement is found, I’m told.
Cindy & Ray joined Star 94 in February 2003 as a personality afternoon team, considered an unusual move at the time. They were a hit, giving Star plenty of juice in the afternoon. But with Steve McCoy and Vikki Locke’s audience aging, Star let them go at the end of 2008 and brought in the youthful Indianapolis team called the Morning Mess. It was indeed a mess and the show lasted only a year. With ratings in a freefall, Star convinced Mariner and Simmons to move to mornings in March, 2009, where they have been anchored for three-plus years.
While their ratings aren’t quite as strong in the mornings, given the competition, they have been a solid performer, which makes this departure certainly quixotic with no explanation. In April, the show ranked sixth overall, 18 to 34 and 25 to 54.
Simmons, 40, who is in her second marriage with Eric Cartell, is currently pregnant after surviving breast cancer. Mariner, 48, remarried last year to Jenny Lucas.
I will update this blog entry if or when I find out why Mariner has been cut loose.
His biography on the site, still in “cache” on Google:
Having grown up in Charlotte, Ray graduated from Appalachian State in Boone, NC. His radio career includes gigs in Charlotte, Cleveland and Orlando. Ray took a break from radio in the 90s and joined Columbia Records. He worked with artists like Aerosmith, Train, Mariah Carey, Destiny’s Child, Ricky Martin and Bruce Springsteen.
Falcons football, Braves baseball and NASCAR are his favorite spectator sports.
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk