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WEMP Hires New VP/News Director

While WEMP/FM News 101.9 has enjoyed anything but a steady ride since launching last summer, perhaps this will mark the start of smoother sailing.

The Merlin Media All-Newser has hired veteran Los Angeles news director Mark Austin Thomas, All Access.com reports.  He’ll take on the same management role left vacated when original VP of programming, Liz Aiello who was dropped in February.

Thomas has extensive radio experience in the number two market, serving as news director and anchor at KABC-AM and KFI. He was program director at KLAC.  Also in L.A., Thomas has been anchor/host at KNX and KPCC.

Additionally, Thomas worked as news director and anchor at KSOL in San Francisco, and was host of public radio’s Marketplace Morning Report.

Since Merlin began its news format last August, the ratings have been dreadful. It’s been a consistent .7 in the last several Arbitron books.  Along with Aiello, station COO Walter Sabo exited before the start of the year. Several on-air staffers also were sent packing, as the station sought the right mix.

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