Bob Smizik: The Fan announces new lineup

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Following the firings this week of Paul Alexander and Vinnie Richichi, The Fan (KDKA-FM, 93.7) has reset its programming lineup:

• Josh Miller moves from afternoon drivetime, ‘Starkey, Miller and Mueller,’ to ‘The Fan Morning Show,’ to replace Alexander and where he will join Gregg Giannotti and Jim Colony.

• Andrew Fillipponi moves from his show at 6 to 10 p.m. to join Ron Cook at 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in what had been ‘Vinnie and Cook.’

• Colin Dunlap moves from his show at 10 pm. to 2 a.m. to take over Fillipponi’s slot.

• Miller will not be replaced in afternoon drivetime in what, presumably, will become ‘(Joe) Starkey and (Chris) Mueller.’

The most intriguing new show will be Fillipponi and Cook, two well-informed, highly opinionated hosts. The Cook-Richichi partnership went downhill almost from the beginning of their show. The two men did not like each other and had a hard time concealing it. On occasion, that made for good theater. Most of the time it did not.

How the relationship of these two strong personalities develops will be an intriguing sideshow to the actual show itself. It will be good to hear Fillipponi with both an audience and a co-host with which to spar.

Fillipponi had been a bit lost in the 6 to 10 p.m. slot since he was so often pre-empted by the Pirates or Pitt basketball. He could go long stretches with barely being on the air. Since program director Ryan Maguire did not name a replacement for Dunlap at 10 p.m., that probably means this new format will allow for more flexibility.

Instead of Dunlap sitting out when the Pirates and Pitt play, expect to see him jump in after those broadcasts are concluded and take that show until 2 a.m.

Maguire has made significant changes with these moves and also, it would seem, major payroll savings. The Fan has fired two on-air talents and replaced neither.

The Fan will celebrate its fourth year in business in February. Despite enormous success both in ratings and advertising almost since the start, change in people and assignments has been frequent. This is The Fan’s original lineup:

6 - 10 a.m.: Alexander, Colony, Jon Burton

10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Cook, Richichi

2 to 6 p.m.: Jon Seibel, Starkey

6 to 10 p.m.: Giannotti

10 p.m. to 2 a.m: Fillipponi

2 to 6 a.m.: Mueller

The first major change was bumping Burton down to doing 4 to 12 news reports and replacing Kalena Bell, who was fired. Burton’s spot in the morning was taken by Giannotti, who also replaced Alexander as the lead host. Fillipponi moved into Giannotti’s spot and Mueller into Filipponi’s. The 2 to 6 a.m. spot was filled by 'The Best of The Fan.’

The next major change was the departure of Seibel. Mueller, Fillipponi and Dunlap so much as auditioned for the spot. Mueller won and Dunlap, who had been working part-time, took over the 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. slot.

When Burton left to accept a TV anchor job in Nashville, Eric Hagman replaced him.

With the firing of Alexander and Richichi, only Colony, Cook and Starkey remain in their original roles, along with news director Jeff Hathhorn.


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