The winds of change are blowing through WPIX. News director Mark Effron was scheduled to leave the station October 31. But insiders say he officially exited Friday. We’re told Effron was primarily a figurehead since management made the decision to let him go, something Tuned In first told you last month.
The plan on paper was to have the new news director in place for a few weeks before Effron left. With his early, albeit, not surprising departure, station brass are forced to expedite their search.
We’re told two big name television programmers were approached to succeed Effron. But they balked. Kenny Plotnik, the longtime Channel 7 news director, ultimately ended his courtship by taking a VP role at New England Cable News in September.
More recently, Dianne Doctor‘s name surfaced as a possible replacement. Doctor is VP of the mythological newsroom at Fox’s WWOR. Insiders tell Tuned In that she also declined the offer.
Speaking of Fox, Emad Asghar is the WNYW assistant news director with ties to PIX. He was another person that was interviewed for the opening, and he was another individual who said no.
While the station has received dozens of resumes, it appears to be a two-horse race.
To millions of Howard Stern fans, Kevin Metheny will forever be “Pig Vomit,” his character
in the 1997 autobiographical film Private Parts, played by Paul Giamatti. (Stern called him “Pig Virus” in real life.)
While Metheny never worked in New York City after being fired from WNBC, he did build a deep resume as a go-to radio programmer in numerous markets.
Metheny died Friday night of a heart attack while on the job as operations manager at Cumulus’ KGO and KSFO in San Francisco.
Stern this week referred to his former boss as a “Nazi vampire.” Although he was sad to learn of Metheny’s death and that he leaves behind two daughters, Stern is not sure he “ever fully recovered” from the way Metheny ran WNBC.
Stern was hired as afternoon personality in 1982. Private Parts documents Stern’s journey to becoming New York’s top rated DJ.
In 2012, marking the 30th anniversary of Stern’s arrival, Metheny told me that the movie and book were not gospel.
“I think [there’s] a fair and appropriate amount of artists’ liberties taken with factual elasticity in order to make a more interesting project,” Metheny said.
Veteran morning personality Jim Douglas is on the radio sidelines after his exit from WWFS/Fresh 102.7 this week. Douglas had been teamed with Kim Berk for nearly 20 years, including the last five at the CBS-owned FM.
“I wish my partner, Kim, well,” Douglas tells Tuned In. “She’s an amazing talent so whomever they put in that chair, she’ll make them better than they thought they could be.”
But for now, sources indicate Berk will fly solo on the morning show.
Douglas and Berk, a.k.a. “Jim and Kim” started waking up Long Island listeners in the mid-1990s at KJOY/WKJY (now branded K 98.3). The native New Yorker was born in Bellerose, Queens, and grew up on Long Island.
WWFS is housed on Hudson Street with the entire stable of CBS New York radio stations.
“I got to know lots of the people at WINS AND WCBS AM. I’ll miss watching the amazing work they do,” Douglas adds.
No word on Douglas’ next venture, but “I[‘ve] got lots of golfing to get in!”