Morning Sickness

A blogger named GMike is not happy with Z90. The station's morning DJ, "Chino," was replaced last month by the Big Boy's Neighborhood show, a syndicated program out of L.A. "They need to keep the L.A. cats in L.A.," GMike complained on Chino's MySpace page.

According to a Z90 employee, Chino moved back to the Phoenix area and is not working in radio right now. He'd been on Z90 since February 2006.

Radio stations continue to reduce their expenses by relying on syndicated music shows or out-of-town personalities. (Z90's major urban/hip-hop competitor "Blazin 98.9" uses the L.A.-based Baka Boyz for its morning show.)

Big Boy's Neighborhood is syndicated to 13 cities. Insiders estimate Z90 paid the staff of Chino's show between $150,000 and $200,000 annually. A spokesman for ABC Radio, which distributes Big Boy's Neighborhood, would not be specific about how much Z90 pays for the program but says that it may be nothing at all: some stations carry the show in exchange for airing commercials.

According to one insider, the next local morning DJ to be replaced by a syndicated show is Chris Cantore, who has anchored the 91X morning show for 11 years. On November 14, his on-air partner Jennifer White announced that she was leaving 91X after 2 years. She is set to get her own morning show on Sophie 103.7.

It is rumored that Cantore in the Morning will be replaced by the L.A.-based Adam Carolla Show in January. Carolla's all-talk show replaced the syndicated Howard Stern Show in many cities when Stern switched to Sirius almost two years ago. Locally, the Carolla show was carried on Free FM, the now-defunct all-talk station at 103.7 FM. Weak ratings prompted 103.7 to switch to the female-friendly "Sophie" music format.

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