We managed to dodge the great Mayan apocalypse. We sidestepped the “blizzard of 2012” but it looks as if Fort Wayne is going to suffer a direct hit.
This morning, Allaccess.com, the radio industry’s premier news conduit featured this headline and story:
WOWO Names Kayla Blakeslee News Director
Yes, Fort Wayne, the woman who once used the word “guys” 12 times in a five minute newscast; who believes that Berry Street intersects with Wayne, who's idea of "out there" includes Fairfield Avenue and who once convicted a man of murder even before a jury was selected…..has been named “news director” of WOWO 1190 (and now on 92.3fm).
Back in the day, news directors were powerful people in the radio business. As an equal to the program director, sales manager, office manager, director of engineering, the news director hired and fired talent, prepared budgets, set the tone for on air presentation and was usually a seasoned market veteran. Reading the story from Allaccess.com, you’ll note that Ryan Wrecker, identified as WOWO’s program director, appears to be Kayla’s boss. Mr. Wrecker is quoted as saying:
"KAYLA has emerged as an afternoon leader by generating stories, anchoring newscasts and managing traffic for our television partners at 21 ALIVE," WOWO PD RYAN WRECKER said. "Her dedication to the station and community -- and as a respected member of the FT. WAYNE community -- has already created a solid working foundation on which to build on."
Sounds like that quote came directly from her annual employee review, perhaps written by the last WOWO News Director, Dave Wheaton, who now does something like sort the mail at a TV station, that according to his bartender.
So, before we all get our bowels in an uproar about a giggly, inexperienced market outsider taking over the position once held by the likes of Victor Locke, Jerry Hoffman, Glenn Richards, Dugan Fry, Curt Miller and others, keep in mind that Kayla’s promotion basically means that she gets to open the press releases, organize news feeds and gets to work when other news people are sick, too hung-over, or just don’t feel like coming to work. She will not set station policy, nor will she hire and fire, compile and present budgets to the GM and the Maven is pretty sure this title is in lieu of a pay raise. That’s just how the industry is moving. No word on whether Kayla’s voice will continue to be heard on commercials on other Fed Med stations.
On a related note, Mr. Wrecker, while singing the praises of his new news director might also want to, himself, become familiar with the names of certain outlaying communities, understand that snow plows can not combat high winds, and that in Indiana a road named 400 S is pronounced “400 South”, not “400 S”. Rookie mistake.