Even as a kid, he knew he was headed to radio or TV. I was a media sponge, says Phil Harris, who starts Monday as the morning host on WKQC-FM (K 104.7).
In high school, he landed a part-time job working for a Philadelphia radio station in promotions. In college at Duquesne, he worked on the campus radio station. Then he started following the jobs to Seattle, Austin and Pittsburgh.
Harris hit Charlotte in 2000 as midday host on the old Lite, a job he held for 12 years until owner Clear Channel turned the station last summer into the expect-to-hear-anything WLKO-FM (Lake 102.9). Music became the star and the hosts departed.
Harris didnt want to leave Charlotte, where his wife has a fitness business and where their two boys have grown up. He did some voice work from a home studio, took a course in digital development at UNC Charlotte and did some sales for a station in Raleigh.
When Todd Baker left K after two years to return to his home state for a job in Sacramento, Harris landed his spot. It shouldnt be a tough adjustment.
K and Lite battled for more than a decade for the same target audience: women in the 25-54 age demographic that advertisers like. Lite was the longtime leader but faded in recent years, using more syndicated shows and losing local connections.
When its format changed last summer to classic hits, ratings surged for the new Lake. It wasnt bad for K, either its prime competitor had vanished and many Lite listeners came its way.
Over the last year, the audience has shifted, and we picked up a lot of those strays, says K program director John Reynolds. K specializes in at-work listening. Middays, hosted by Brenda Matthews, is its strongest block in the ratings. Its wall-to-wall Christmas music in the late fall always means a ratings surge.
Harris, 39, says pacing is a key part of a morning show. People are busy getting their kids off to school and getting ready for work. They want their service information weather, traffic, events of the day in a speedy fashion. And the music needs to fit the rhythm, too.
You need to match the pace of the day, Harris says. Keep it moving, keep it positive. Music is like a fuel for a lot of people in the mornings.
He expects many of his old Lite listeners to find him on K, and he hopes the reunion is good for both parties.
I would like to continue the relationship with the audience here, and hopefully get another 12 years.
Geoff Roth, a news executive with the Fox-owned station in Houston, has been named to lead development of a news operation for WJZY (Channel 46), which begins carrying Fox programming Monday. WJZY will continue to air a 10 p.m. newscast produced by WBTV (Channel 3) and anchored by Molly Grantham through the end of the year and is expected to launch its own news department in January. ...
At the N.C. Association of Broadcasters meeting this week, Bob Lacey of Bob & Sheri on WLNK-FM (Link 107.9) was admitted to the groups Hall of Fame. Lacy made his debut in Charlotte radio in 1972 at age 22 with an evening show on WBT-AM (1110), Lacey Listens. ... At the same gathering, WSOCs (Channel 9) Blair Miller was named Anchor of the Year. Miller has had a strong year, breaking the news of Mayor Anthony Foxx deciding not to run for re-election and interviewing President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. ... Also honored by the NCAB were WCNC (Channel 36) for outstanding newscast, and WBT as Radio Station of the Year. ...
Jeff Sonier has resigned from WBTs news department, saying hes restless for other opportunities. I love WBT. Its a great place to work. It was just time to go.
In his four years there, working part time, Sonier has racked up an impressive number of awards for investigative reporting, including a national Edward R. Murrow award, a National Headliners and a Green Eyeshade. Hes also been named radio reporter of the year for the Carolinas from the Radio Television Digital News Association three times. Sonier got his start in Charlotte 33 years ago at the old Big WAYS radio. ...
Also looking for new challenges is Yankee Pete Herrick, who left the Ace & T.J. morning team this week after 15 years as executive producer. Herrick wants to branch out into consulting, coaching, project management and possibly some voice work while continuing to live in Troutman. Herricks been in the radio business for 24 years, since he was 16. Beats real work, he says. ... Don Shaw, WBTVs (Channel 3) operations and engineering director and an employee of Raycom and its predecessor in Charlotte, Jefferson Pilot, for more than 30 years, moves on to Seattle as engineering director at the Cox-owned TV station. ...
WPEG-FMs (Power 98 97.9) Morning Maddhouse team with No Limit Larry, Church Boy, Yasmin Young and A-Dot will be reporting Saturday from Los Angeles for the 2013 BET Awards. ... United Way of Central Carolinas is changing the name of its monthly show on WTVI (Channel 42) to Living United airing 12:30 p.m. Sunday and updating its format. Anne McNeill, a United Way volunteer and manager of corporate affairs for IBM, will continue as host.
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email firstname.lastname@example.org to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less