Expect a new direction in the afternoon commute, says Brad Krantz, who returns to 3-6 p.m. shift on WBT-AM (1110) on July 2.
Wall-to-wall liberal-bashing is out and a more panoramic conversation is coming, says Krantz, who was teamed with Richard Spires in the time slot at WBT from 1999 to 2003.
“It’s going to be a much more broadly based show,” says Krantz.
“People’s lives are not lived 24 hours a day on politics. If we can get a laugh out of something, that’s as important or more important than converting someone to our point of view. Our game plan is to always be of the moment, a place you can come to find out what’s going on, what’s our take on it, what’s everyone else’s take on it.”
Krantz’s partner will be Britt Whitmire, a Transylvania County native who has been teamed with Krantz for eight years, first at WZTK-FM in Greensboro and then WPTF-AM in Raleigh.
“Britt may be the best writer I’ve ever worked with,” he says. “I’ve always thought the people who write well and have good verbal skills are a dangerous combination. He’s definitely the funniest person I’ve ever worked with.”
When Krantz was teamed with Spires, an outspoken Libertarian who now works in radio in Florida, it was often difficult to pin their political beliefs to the right or left, which Krantz thought was good because they were offering views from unpredictable points on the spectrum.
“My favorite kind of calls are the ones that come from people who say, ‘I don’t agree with you, but you’re fair,’” Krantz says.
One thing that will help the show, he says, is that WBT has its own news staff – most radio stations have long since abandoned local coverage – and that will bolster the variety of topics they can work with. Because the show airs during the workday, there are opportunities to just go to the news of the moment.
“I’ve gone eight years without a strong local news department,” Krantz says. “WBT is one of the last stations left in America that thinks it’s still important to cover local news on a constant basis.”
Since “Spires & Krantz” went off the air, WBT has had a series of afternoon hosts including Jason Lewis, whose syndicated show is now aired in the evenings, Jeff Katz, Tara Servatius and most recently former WSOC (Channel 9) anchor Vince Coakley.
“I make the joke that I leave there in 2003 and they can’t find a replacement for me,” says Krantz. “Most people don’t get a second chance. It almost never happens. It’ll be good to reacquaint with people who remember me from the first time and lots of new people.”
WFAE-FM (90.7) reporter Julie Rose wins another prestigious national Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association for her documentary on the eugenics program in Mecklenburg County. In 2010, Rose won for her report on Sudanese refugees working at Presbyterian Hospital. … Trent Faris, who covered upstate South Carolina for WBTV (Channel 3), leaves to join the York County Sheriff’s Office as spokesman. …
Hosting this weekend’s Uptown Charlotte Jazz Fest is Ramona Holloway of WLNK-FM (“Link” 107.9). … Time Warner Cable’s News 14 Carolina marks its 10th anniversary this month. On-air personalities who have been there since the launch are chief meteorologist Jeff Crum, forecaster Tara Lane and sports director Mike Solarte. …
NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon has been drafted into the movement to reach out to new audiences. This month he shot a piece at Concord Speedway for Nickelodeon’s animated preschool math show “Team Umizoomi.” In the spot, targeted at parents, Gordon comes out to find the wheels on his car are triangles, and the Umizoomi team demonstrates how circles work better. It will air this summer on Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. …
Greg Wood and Chris Wilcox, the morning team on WEND-FM (“End” 106.5), can toast themselves now with their own ale. NoDa Brewing Co. on North Davidson Street has added a “Woody and Wilcox” microbrew. … When G. Gordon Liddy retires from his syndicated show in July, Salisbury’s WSTP-AM (1490) plans to extend Laura Ingraham’s show into the 11 a.m. hour to take his place, says general manager Mike Mangan. … UNC-TV will launch a three-part series 10 p.m. July 5 on “Biographical Conversations” focusing on former Wachovia CEO John Medlin, who died this month in Charlotte.