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Posts Tagged ‘Jeff McKay’

Taking the ‘McKay Way’ to WPLJ, WABC

There are dozens of radio traffic reporters in the New York market. Many of them could be deemed “interchangable” with a cookie cutter sound. Only a select few in the last 20 years have been able to make a career, and be known to a large number of listeners. And then there’s Jeff McKay!

McKay is clearly the most engaging traffic reporter in the business. Therefore, his stock is constantly on the rise. After many years as a full-time gridlock guy on 1010 WINS, mainly nights and weekends, McKay landed as the morning traffic anchor with a managerial role at Merlin Media’s ill-conceived, FM News. But McKay has never been ill-conceived. His reports stay true every 10 minutes, never crossing into gimmicky. He straddles a line effortlessly from entertaining to informing like few in the traffic world have ever done.

Once the writing was on the wall at Merlin last year, and Merlin fired the majority of its staff, McKay began his quest for the next radio home.

“I was looking at a number of scenarios, in radio, television and outside of broadcasting, and had received several offers I liked,” McKay admits. “However, the possibilities with Radiate Media and Cumulus was the best position for me and my family.”

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WEMP/101.9 Debuts News Format, Struggles to Find Sound

There had been plenty of rumor and speculation surrounding 101.9 since Merlin Media took over the former Rock station WRXP last month. After playing an interim mix of 1980s pop music, 101.9 FM “New” finally added the “s” to its name Monday (after a “soft launch” over the  weekend). With its new call letters WEMP, 101.9 is now New York’s only full-time FM news station, a slogan the news anchors are quick to promote.

WEMP does employ some major talent, including those who’ve called WINS and WCBS-AM home.

Reports have indicated that Merlin was gearing 101.9 toward women in the 25 to 54 age bracket, especially the younger end of that group. It doesn’t take long to see that’s definitely the case.

Anchors used the interim format as a trial period to get the kinks out. However, we’d soon learn that would not be the case.   

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Most Popular FishbowlNY Stories for the Week

Here’s a look at what FishbowlNY stories made the most buzz this week.

  1. Gwyneth Paltrow Goes Topless for Vanity Fair, July 1
  2. Longtime WINS Traffic Reporter  Steps Away After 20 YearsJeff McKay, July 1  
  3. The New York Observer Lists “Power Couples,” July 6
  4. One-Time New York Anchor Fired in ChicagoSteve Bartelstein, July 5
  5. Justin Bieber Vanity Fair: On Pace to Be the Worst-Selling Issue in 12 Years, July 5
  6. WNET Takes Over Programming of New Jersey Network, July 1
  7. Ashton Kutcher vs. the Village Voice, July 1
  8. New York Post Fires Reporter Over Leaks, July 1

Keep up-to-date with the latest FishbowlNY news. Click here to sign-up for the FishbowlNY daily newsletter, bringing you our articles each afternoon directly to your inbox.

Traffic Guru Jeff McKay Reportedly Headed to Merlin Media, New 101.9 FM Station

Last week, we told you that longtime traffic reporter Jeff McKay left Metro Networks after nearly 20 years. While McKay has been close to the vest about his next venture, the Daily News may have shed some light.

The paper reports today that McKay, known for his reports on 1010 WINS, will join Merlin Media. In turn, that will further fuel speculation that Randy Michaels upstart media company will flip WRXP/101.9 from a Rock station to News/Talk format.

Broadcasting  consultant Walter Sabo had been brought in to run Merlin. His background includes programming New Jersey 101.5/WKXW, a Metro affiliated station at which McKay also spent many years helping listeners negotiating jams with “The McKay Way.”

The Daily News reports that a timetable for the changeover isn’t known, but it’s not likely to be an extended process.

Longtime WINS Traffic Reporter Jeff McKay Leaves Metro Networks Just Shy of 20 Years

It’s hard to imagine being stuck in traffic without Jeff McKay to guide you along.

But yesterday was final his 1010 WINS traffic shift. McKay left his employer, Metro Networks, one week shy of 20 years.

Crys Quimby, Metro Networks New York VP, Programming and Operations told her staff that where McKay is headed remains a mystery.

“He gave two weeks notice, but is not at liberty to talk about his new position yet, so we agreed to hold off on this announcement,” Quimby said.

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