In the aftermath of the WPLY/Philadelphia format flip at midnight, veteran Philly morning hosts Preston Elliot and Steve Morrison, who announced their departure from Y100 before the station blew-up, will make their first appearance on their new radio home, Greater Media Mainstream Rocker WMMR.... sort of.
The duo will be announced as the newest members of the WMMR team in a live, on-air interview with midday staple Pierre Robert at 10 a.m. on Monday (2/28). Preston and Steve will honor their non-compete agreement by answering questions through an interpreter.
During his midday shift at WMMR, Robert paid homage to his radio "brothers in arms" at Y100 several times, taking calls and sympathizing with the suddenly displaced Y100 audience, inviting them to give 'MMR a listen. He then subtly clued in listeners to tune in Monday morning for a press conference that may be of interest to them.
In an extremely classy move by Robert and WMMR PD Bill Weston, Robert welcomed Y100 PD Jim McGuinn on to the 'MMR airwaves at the end of his shift so he could explain to listeners what had happened to Y100 the day before and bid them a proper farewell.
Truly the City of (Radio) Brotherly Love, staffers at Y100 and WMMR remained friendly and cordial off the air. "Life is too short to fight over commercial radio," said Robert.
Of the sudden switch without a farewell sign-off, Robert said, "In your particular situation, when WDRE switched many years ago, you got a chance to explain to the audience what was happening, which helps prepare listeners. It's sort of like a death in the family. When you know someone is ailing, at least you might get a chance to say goodbye. In this particular case, that wasn't the case."
"Every company has different ways of doing things," McGuinn explained. "But it's nice to have a chance to say thanks to the listeners here, cause we've had great listeners, as 'MMR has for the last 35 years. Radio is my companion, so I know what it's like for listeners. I thank you for the opportunity to say thanks to them for listening."
Robert then played a call from a 21-year-old listener that listened to both stations and will be handing out fliers at the Tweeter Center tonight in the hopes of keeping Y100 alive ala WHFS. He also read an e-mail from a 20-year-old girl that listened to both stations and wanted to know why Y100 disappeared off the dial.
"It's so great to be in a radio studio again," McGuinn commented."I feel like it was just... yesterday."
Reflecting on his time at Y100, McGuinn recalled his mission statement when he first came to the station from WDRE. "When I started at Y100, my goal was to try and create the kind of community that you were a part of creating years ago when WMMR first started to grow in the market. You guys had a certain kind of energy and spirit and our goal was always to be that for the next generation; the younger cousin."
"As much of a bummer as it was to go through what happened yesterday, it's amazing how your cell phone rings and someone you haven't talked to or worked with for three years will call and you'll share that process together," said McGuinn. "And the listeners are doing it as well."
WMMR also posted this classy message to the Y100 staff on its Web site: WMMR sends its best wishes to the programming and on-air staff of WPLY-FM, as station management has decided to drop their modern rock format. In any business, good competition makes everyone better at what they do. Y100 and its staff will be missed by all of us here at 93.3 WMMR and all music fans in Philadelphia. - The staff at WMMR.