02 January 2008

O, Valerie: No More Smaldone On Lite-FM

You probably have no idea who Valerie Smaldone is but you definitely know her voice. She's been the midday host on New York's ratings & revenue behemoth WLTW 106.7 Lite FM for the past, oh, 700 years.

Chances are you, like I, have had many a root canal, cab ride and haircut cozying up to the warm, flickering flame that is/was Valerie Smaldone's voice.

Apparently Clear Channel couldn't reach an agreement on a new contract for the smald one. This was probably done on purpose to force her out of there for whatever reason as CC has been "restructuring" for the past few years.

No one talked up a Michael McDonald record like Valerie Smaldone.

The world of unobtrusive music will never be the same. This is like 9/11 for AC radio lovers.

O, Silly Valerie doing her best Edie Brickell


Anonymous said...

Jim Ryan, VP of Programming at WLTW is doing it again. He's spinning the departure of Valerie Smaldone.

She was #1 in middays for more than a decade, even when the rest of the station dropped last year as Mr. Ryan overreacted to the debut of Fresh-FM. She was with the station for 24 years. In Lite's TV commercials a few years ago, she was the DJ we saw with Terri Garr.

So how does Jim Ryan notify "Radio & Records" of her departure?

"It is with mixed emotions that I tell you all that Valerie Smaldone has decided not to renew her contract with the station..."

Mixed emotions? That means some of the emotion is sad and some is happy? I wouldn't have mixed emotions if I had to cut a 24-year veteran who worked for me. I'd just be unhappy. There's nothing "mixed" about it.

And as for "decided not to renew her contract," c'mon. If we can't be honest that she was offered an embarrassing pay cut, why say anything about it at all? Maybe Mr. Ryan should modify the language of The Godfather... "We made her an offer she HAD to refuse."

Why in the world does he say he has mixed emotions, like on one hand, this is not good news, but on the other hand, hey, what the heck? He did something similar when he got rid of Al Bernstein in November. He told a trade publication that the day of the three-hour airshift was over, as if Al was a slacker who didn't want to do a full air shift. Never mind that Al spent many hours off the air as Production Director, which was the reason he had a three-hour airshift.

Others on this board have said, give Mr. Ryan a pass, since it's Clear Channel corporate that orders him to get rid of these veterans and hire cheaper replacements.

I ask, first, how hard has he fought to keep these people? What kind of manager will preside over the dismantling of his ENTIRE on-air staff? If he truly is against the cuts he's forced to make, why make statements to radio trade publications that he watches Valerie leave "with mixed emotions."

Let's count who he's had to cut over the last 3 years:

--Steve Roy
--Bill Buchner
--J.J. Kennedy
--Al Bernstein
--now Valerie Smaldone

In fact, there's only one weekday DJ from the Lite staff dating back to the 90s that he didn't cut. Robin Taylor. She died a few years ago.

Anonymous said...

This is your typical Clear Channel way of doing business. They simply do not care about how their listening audience feels about these wonderful air personalities that have been part of everyones life over the years. All they care about is how they can save a buck. CMON- A fine example of this is Deliah the snydicated show. They do not have to pay here anything other than air the syndicated commericals and play their own. Clear Channel does not care about their audience.