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A new radio generation at CBS

By Mark Washburn
Mark Washburn
Mark Washburn writes television and radio commentary for The Charlotte Observer.

That sound you hear coming from CBS Radio’s studios in Charlotte is a baby boom.

This spring, four personalities have welcomed babies, and another is on the way.

We gathered the new parents, first-timers all, and their offspring for a photo shoot this week at the South Boulevard studios for the seven-station cluster. All the babies behaved perfectly.

Not the DJs, of course.

P.J. “Drex” Rener of the “Drex & Maney” morning show on WNKS (“Kiss” 95.1) and his wife, April, welcomed daughter Avery June on Feb. 24. They decided to start a family after moving here from Memphis about a year ago. He describes their non-contraceptive baby-making strategy: “We decided to pull the goalie. We were blessed pretty quickly.”

Next to deliver was Guenn Peterson of “Tanner in the Morning” on WSOC-FM (103.7). She and husband Kent welcomed “Brently” Brian Kent III April 2. She got pregnant last summer while her book group was reading “50 Shades of Grey.”

“I think it was Chapter 12 that did it,” she says. There are 14 women in the group. Three got pregnant around the same time.

Steve Maney of “Drex and Maney,” and his wife, Amanda, welcomed their son, Dean Phillips, April 24. He already keeps radio hours – for Maney, there’s morning feeding, a predawn shower, and it’s off to work.

Jeremy “Otis” Maher, of the afternoon “O Show” on Kiss, and fiancé Brittney had son Camdyn James on May 14, the first boy born to his family this generation. He has six nieces.

“I was the worst baby ever,” he says. “I cried and cried and cried. I got kicked out of the baby nursery. But he’s a dream, a chill baby.”

Brandon Chase, who does afternoons on WKQC-FM (“K” 104.7), doesn’t get to celebrate Father’s Day until next year. He and wife Lauren are expecting at the end of August.

“Let’s just say my favorite song is ‘Afternoon Delight,’” Chase says. “Sorry, father-in-law.”

Cautiously observing the baby bounty is Brittney Cason, “Flash Girl” from WFNZ-AM (“Fan” 610). “I don’t drink the water around here anymore,” she says. “Only bottled water for me.”

Media Movers

Morgan Fogarty, prime anchor at WCCB (Channel 18), said this week that she’s leaving the station at the end of July to pursue an undisclosed national TV opportunity. Fogarty most recently has been co-anchoring the 10 p.m. newscast with Kirk Hawkins after the departure of Israel Balderas last month. Station manager Jim White says the station hasn’t settled yet on a permanent lineup for the newscast. ... After a year on sister station WMYT (Channel 55), the 10 p.m. newscast is returning to WJZY (Channel 46) in preparation for the July switch to Fox programming. WJZY was acquired by Fox and will launch its own news department next year. Until then, the 10 p.m. newscast with Molly Grantham and Delano Little will continue to be provided by WBTV (Channel 3). ...

Davidson College’s classical voice WDAV-FM (89.9) names Frank Dominguez its new general manager and content director. Dominguez, who has been at WDAV since 1994, has been interim general manager since the departure of Scott Nolan in November. Dominguez takes on the new title just as repairs are finished at the station’s antenna, damaged by lightning last August. Reception should be stronger now from Winston-Salem to Lancaster, S.C. ...

“Palmetto Mornings,” the drive-time show on WRHI (1340 AM, 94.3 FM) with Chuck Boozer and Freddi Hammer is being simulcast on Comporium Cable in the Rock Hill area on CN2 Xtra channels 103 and 1103. Station co-owner Manning Kimmel says the three-hour weekday broadcast will have a camera showing the hosts and guests. ... Anniversary of note: WRCM-FM (“New Life” 91.9) turns 20 years old this week. “We don’t do pledge drives or sharathons like most contemporary Christian stations do, either,” says Joe Paulo, station manager for the non-commercial station that is underwritten by listener donations. ...

Viewers of the new “King & Maxwell” series, 10 p.m. Mondays on TNT, may recognize Chris Butler as FBI agent Darius Carter. Butler is his stage name – he graduated from West Mecklenburg High School as Christopher Johnson and got a dramatic arts degree at UNC Chapel Hill. He has had recurring roles in “The Good Wife” and “True Blood.”

Washburn: 704-358-5007
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