Fifteen years after leaving Charlotte for New Orleans, Gerry Vaillancourt will return to radio in the Queen City on July 17.
Vaillancourt, who moved with the original Hornets to Louisiana in 2002, will fill the 3-7 p.m. shift on ESPN730. Bobby Rosinski, who has that time slot, will start a new show called “Wake Up Call” from 6-10 a.m., working with Molly Cotten and Walker Mehl.
Vaillancourt, known widely as “Gerry V,” was one of the first sports-talk radio hosts in Charlotte, starting in 1990. He worked for WFNZ-AM 610 and WBT-AM 1110. Those entities recently became sister stations under the management of Entercom Communications.
Marty Hurney, owner of ESPN730 and formerly general manager of the Carolina Panthers, approached Vaillancourt after hearing him do a one-week fill-in appearance on WBT. Vaillancourt said he was attracted to the opportunity in part to be closer to his daughters in Charleston and Arlington, Va.
“The girls are thrilled about this,” said Vaillancourt, who did television and radio color analysis on Hornets games in Charlotte and New Orleans. “I spent most of my adult life in North Carolina (in coaching or media). Marty and the others at the station are very committed to this.”
Vaillancourt, a New York City native, played college basketball at Gardner-Webb and was a former assistant coach at Appalachian State, Davidson and James Madison.
In New Orleans, Vaillancourt hosted sports and news-talk programs. He said his radio style is issues-oriented.
“Of course, we’ll look at the games, too: Panthers, Hornets, UNC,” Vaillancourt said in a telephone interview. “I like a quick-paced show and a lot of opinions. You’ll know how I feel about any topic.
“And obviously, there will be a bit of humor. That’s always been part of my personality.”
Bonnell: 704-358-5129: @rick_bonnell