If you tuned into WABD in the mornings, you heard some new voices coming across the airwaves.
On Sept. 26, the station launched “Zazza Mornings with Cheree” to start its programming day. The show replaces John Marty, who has moved to afternoons. “Zazza Mornings” is hosted by Tony Zazza and co-host Cheree and is a syndicated show out of Melbourne, Florida. It also runs in Ft. Walton. The home studios for the show are at WAOA-FM in Melbourne, which is an iHeart sister station for WABD.
WABD Program Director Sid Kelly said the change was primarily an effort to maintain good morning ratings while also allowing Marty to pursue his personal life.
“John Marty’s fiancé lives in New Orleans and John has been commuting back and forth as much as possible to keep his relationship healthy. The move to afternoons would mean John could spend more time with her in New Orleans without waking up ridiculously early, or she can spend more time here visiting. John’s hope is to try and convince her to move here … we’ll see if that happens. Then maybe they can get married,” Kelly joked.
With the changes the new WABD lineup starts with “Zazza and Cheree” at 5 a.m. with Kelly taking the mic at 9 a.m. and Marty following him at 2 p.m. Zach Sang and his gang will continue rounding out the day from 7 p.m. to midnight. Kelly’s time is also new, as he moved from afternoons to midday.
“We’re very excited for Tony Zazza and Cheree to hold down mornings for us,” Kelly said. “Tony is a Southern guy with a ton of experience in mornings. He has been extremely successful and does a tremendous amount for the community.”
Kelly said one of Zazza’s better known charitable endeavors is renting a plane each Christmas and flying children to the “north pole” to visit Santa Claus.
WPMI has been actively searching for a new anchor for its morning show “Local 15 Today,” and has even had some on-air “interviews.”
Last week the station had a week of live, on-air tryouts to see who will get to sit at the table next to Darwin Singleton. Christian Jennings gave it a shot last week, and there have been several interested candidates from outside the market.
The spot was vacated when anchor Kelly Jones decided not to re-up her contract recently.