We have the official word straight from Clear Channel's Louisville HQ, courtesy of our colleague Tom Taylor at Radio-Info.com.
As we tweeted this morning, an announcement was expected around 3 PM this afternoon from 840 WHAS-AM/Louisville, naming the replacement for Francene Cucinello. Cucinello died January 15 from a heart attack and brain aneurysm, leaving the 9 AM-Noon slot open.
That's until the end of this month. Mandy Connell(seen at right, photo courtesy Clear Channel) will be the replacement.
She's coming here from Fort Myers, Florida, leaving the FOX News Radio station there, where she has done mornings for a trimulcast out of 1240 WINK-AM/Fort Myers, 1270 WNOG-AM/Naples and 92.5 WFSX-FM/Estero. (Yes, that's a city; it's south of Fort Myers.)
Here's the press release:
Louisville, KY, March 4, 2010 – NewsRadio 84WHAS (840 AM) today announced the appointment of Mandy Connell as its new 9AM-12Noon talk show host.
A 14 year radio veteran, Connell has entertained and informed audiences in several Florida cities, including Gainesville and Orlando. For the last five years, she has served Southwest Florida listeners as morning show host on 1240/1270 WINK/WNOG and 92.5 Fox News Radio in Ft. Myers/Naples.
84WHAS Operations Manager Kelly Carls had this to say: “We reviewed over 130 applications, and talked to many talented people. Mandy really stood out for her energy, enthusiasm, and dedication to giving listeners an interesting, informative, and engaging radio program. We believe she will really connect with the 84WHAS audience.”
Clear Channel Louisville Market President Bill Gentry added, “Mandy is personable, friendly, and well-read. We’re confident she will uphold the tradition of exceptional performance our listeners have come to expect.”
Commenting on her new appointment, Mandy Connell said, “To say that I am excited is a
massive understatement. Not only do I get to join a heritage radio station like 84WHAS, I get to live in Louisville, which has more amazing restaurants than I dreamed possible. I couldn’t ask for a better new home! I can’t wait to dig in, metaphorically and literally.”
Mandy Connell will join the 84WHAS program line-up during the week of March 29th. Listeners can join her on the air at 840 AM, online at www.whas.com, or using their iPhones or Blackberries with the iHeartradio app.
Our Take: This, on paper, seems like a good hire for WHAS. We've not heard Connell's show, since a) we're not usually awake at 5:30 AM and b) we're not based in Fort Myers. (We know it's online also, and we'll try to listen in to her current show before she leaves that station.)
We've said it before, and we'll state this again: WHAS needs to keep the 9-noon slot local. We believe that will continue but, again, since we haven't heard Connell on air, we can't say for sure. Connell seems to be a good fit, however and we look forward to being able to hear her on her new show.
One thing's for sure: At least she's not having to endure a 3 AM wakeup in Louisville...we'll have to see if she can produce the ratings in the 9 AM to noon slot that she has been in Fort Myers 5:30 AM-9 AM.
And we really hope she was kidding about not knowing who the current coach of University of Kentucky basketball is...
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