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Vince Coakley takes afternoon spot at WBT

By Mark Washburn
TV/Radio Writer

Former WSOC (Channel 9) anchor Vince Coakley has been named the new afternoon host at WBT-AM (1110).

Coakley will take over the 3 to 6 p.m. shift beginning Monday.

He said Wednesday he plans to cover local and national topics on the program, but wants to discuss issues without the provocative, confrontational tone that marks many radio talk shows today.

"There has been a lot of talk and research about what's going on even with nationally syndicated shows, and there's some fatigue with the content," he said.

"I want to bring a sense of empowerment to people as opposed to just giving information. I want to encourage people to get involved, and talk about what they can do with their lives."

Coakley, 46, considers himself a conservative and says he has concerns about the direction of the country under President Barack Obama.

Coakley fills the spot vacated in May by Tara Servatius, whose contract wasn't renewed by WBT's parent company, Massachusetts-based Greater Media. Servatius joined WBT as a late-night host in June 2007 and replaced Jeff Katz in the afternoon slot when he left in December 2008.

Coakley, a native of Cincinnati, is best known for his 18 years at WSOC (Channel 9), where he succeeded Bill Walker as a prime anchor in 2005. In August 2010, he parted ways with Channel 9.

Coakley started his broadcast career in radio at a small station in Newark, Del., 30 years ago. He has been a fill-in host on WBT since December and is scheduled to be on WBT at 9 p.m. Wednesday to discuss Obama's speech about troop withdrawals.

For the last year, Coakley has been active in rebuilding efforts for earthquake-stricken Haiti.

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