As a 33 year veteran of Connecticut radio, I hurt when one of our own gets hurt. This was a bad week, I've lost a mentor, and two of my friend's jobs were eliminated.

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I started working in radio in 1991, I attended the Connecticut School of Broadcasting in Farmington. One of my instructors at CSB was Ed Flynn. Ed was a legendary broadcaster for decades, and for years after I met him, he worked at WATR in Waterbury. Ed saw how I worked at getting better, and gave me expert tips and subtle suggestions on how to improve. That attention ultimately led to my first job. I just found out that Mr. Flynn passed away this week at the age of 90. WATR 1320AM is going to broadcast a tribute today, Friday, April 26, from 3-6PM. Thank you sir, I'll always remember your kindness and patience, and I still pronounce W as Double-You, not dubba -u, because dubba-u irked you.

Photo by Large Dave
Photo by Large Dave

Everything we did on air in 1991 was done live and in person. In the mid-to late 1990's, the radio industry shifted from playing music on records, carts, and cd's to files on a pc. In the early 2000's, syndicated radio personalities started taking over non-essential dayparts, like the overnights, and 7-midnight shifts. The 2010's saw the consolidation of most media companies, and with that, syndication for most shifts around the clock. Even though you may not notice the difference, live, local radio is a rarity in Connecticut in 2024, and it just got worse.

Two of my friends had their positions eliminated this week at Audacy Hartford's Lite 100.5 WRCH. On Tuesday, Chuck Johnson found out that his position was eliminated as the afternoon drive host, after almost a decade on air. On Wednesday, WRCH midday personality Joan Dylan's position was eliminated after 24 years of service. Hundreds and hundreds of our friends reacted to their horrible news on personal social media pages, with most of their anger directed at Audacy's financial woes. Audacy declared bankruptcy in January 2024.

Who will take their place? A syndicated personality, most likely. I just did a quick search of the replacements, and I'd bet that they've never eaten a Ted's steamed cheeseburger, or know where Farmington, Connecticut is. Support local.

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