Tim Wenger has taken on a new leadership role in the company that owns three of the city’s premier AM radio channels, 97 Rock has a new daytime host, and the local FM channel has a new format.
It’s been a busy few weeks for local radio.
Let’s start with news about Wenger from West New York.
Wenger, a recent Buffalo Broadcaster Hall of Fame inductee, has been promoted to senior vice president and market manager for Ordersy Buffalo, which owns news and talk station WBEN-AM, sports station WGR-AM, The Bet Buffalo (WWKB-AM), FM stations 107.7 & 104.7 The Wolf (WLKK-FM), and Classic R&B 107.3FM (also broadcast on WWS). -AM) and Kiss 98.5 (WKSE-FM).
Wenger will oversee the Odasee’s local station portfolio, replacing Tim Holley, who recently announced his retirement.
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“Tim has been our building spearhead for nearly 40 years, and it seems only natural that he will now take over the reins of the market,” Mark Hannon, regional president of Ordersy, said in a release. “He knows our hometown brand inside and out and could not be better suited to lead us into the future as the successor to Tim Holly.”
“As a lifelong Buffalonian, it is not realistic to assume a leadership role in the Odasee Buffalo Broadcasting Group,” Wenger said in the same release. “The brand’s unique content and personality, combined with strong partnerships between our clients and sports commentators, will propel Ordersy to growth and success in Buffalo.”
Wenger began his radio career in 1986 as a news reporter and anchor for WBEN. Since then, he has served as News He Director, Program He Director, and Operations Manager at three He AM stations. Most recently, he has served as Brand He Manager for WBEN, Operations Manager for AM 3 Stations, and News/Talk He Format Vice President for Audacy.
One of Audacy’s main competitors Cumulus Media on the market recently launched a new contemporary hit radio format, Hot 98.9, Buffalo’s Hit Music on WBBF-AM. This format involves playing 10 songs in a row.
The station was previously shown as classic hip-hop station 98.9 The Vibe. The new format can be streamed through https://www/hot989buffalo.com and the upcoming Hot 98.9 app, and on smart speakers.
Cumulus Buffalo Operations Manager Joe Siragusa is the new Program Director. He is also the Program Director for Cumulus and Buffalo’s sister stations Alternative He Rockers 103.3 The Edge (WEDG-FM) and Classic Hits 104.1 (WHTT-FM).
Inquisitive minds want to know: Tell us more about smooth-voiced John Matthews, who recently replaced John Piscillo (JP) as daytime host of Cumulus’ classic rock station 97 Rock (WGRF-FM).
Matthews is also the Assistant Program Director for 97 Rock and its sister station Z102.3 in Erie, Pennsylvania. He previously served as an afternoon host for the Erie station, Baltimore and Outer North Carolina.He has held multiple roles with Banks.
Speaking on the Cumulus release, Matthews said, “We have always believed 97 Rock to be one of the best classic rock stations in the world and it would be a dream to be part of their team.”
He attends community events and loves what he finds.
“I quickly understood why they called Buffalo the ‘city of good neighbors’. We were welcomed with open arms by 97 rock listeners and now proud to call Buffalo home,” he said.
In the same release, Cumulus Buffalo-Erie vice president and market manager Jim Riley said it has been working with Mathews near Baltimore and Erie.
“He’s an encyclopedia when it comes to the music of 97 Rock and the people who made it,” Riley said. “John has an amazing ability to weave intriguing stories about music and artists.
In the same release, 97 Rock’s program director Joe Russo called Matthews “the perfect choice to continue 97 Rock’s tradition of extraordinary storytelling and passion for music.” He has a deep respect for music, and despite being a 30-year radio veteran, he approaches each day with the youthful vigor of playing these songs for the first time. “
I’ve heard Matthews a few times on 97 Rock, and while I’m impressed with his voice, I’ve yet to hear his “extraordinary” storytelling or “passion” for music. Maybe it was the wrong time to ask. He should take more time to impress, and I’m going to give it to him.
Piscillo left 97 Rock in April to join WECK (12:30am, 100.1pm, 100.5pm, 102.9pm). He has been with 97 Rock since 1995 and has been the daytime host since 1998.
He quit the Cumulus station after being told he couldn’t keep working remotely to care for his parents in their 90s. He has been able to do that for over two years at 97 Rock during the COVID-19 pandemic.