And so it is now official: Chuck Gaidica and Bobby Mitchell are replacing the legendary Dick Purtan on WOMC. You can read Crain’s Detroit Business reporter Bill Shea’s story here.
The decision by CBS radio is a surprise although not entirely surprising. Chuck Gaidica, in particular, is well-known and well-liked not only for his longtime and ongoing stint as chief meteorologist at WDIV-TV Channel 4 but also for his past Morning Show work on Clear Channel A/C WNIC-FM. He is joined by the much lesser known Bobby Mitchell (last in this market in the 80s on WHYT-FM) as well as former WJR/Mitch Albom sidekick Rachel Nevada and talented newsman Bob Schuman.
I would be lying to say I didn’t find the decision shocking (and I’m not alone). I had thought that the chair would be filled by still on-the-beach talent with even richer radio lineages, such as former WCSX-er Jim (JJ) Johnson, Chris Edmonds, Stacey Duford, Lynn Woodison and/or Ann Delisi. To be sure, the “buzz” would have been greater, despite the fact that Chuck and company are very capable and talented broadcasters.
It is interesting that the incoming team of four is actually of comparable size to Purtan’s outgoing “people”; especially considering the station’s moving to more music and less talk. Based on the evolution of the music mix and new choice of talent, WOMC would seem to sense an opportunity in the Adult Contemporary world that WNIC and Magic currently play in.
The new WOMC morning show is sure to cash in, at least initially, on curiosity seekers so expect a ratings spike. You also have to give Chuck credit. It takes some big cajones to step into a legend’s shoes (remember Rick Rizzs/Bob Rathbun and the Harwell debacle)? It is a clear demonstration of his passion for the work and love for the medium.