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Published: Monday, 10/10/2005

WVKS signs new host for morning show

WVKS-FM (92.5), which has been without a permanent morning-show host since late August, has hired Andrew Zepeda for the high-profile position.

His first day on the air will be Oct. 31, said Bill Michaels, operations director for the local Clear Channel stations.

Zepeda spent the past 10 months at KZPT-FM in Tucson. Prior to that, the Los Angeles native worked for two stations in Michigan, Saginaw s WIOG-FM and Flint s WWCK-FM.

At WVKS, he will succeed Johny D., who was fired on Aug. 24 and has since taken over as host of the morning show on Cumulus-owned WTWR-FM (98.3). Kramer, who normally covers the 7 p.m.-to-midnight shift, has been filling in as the WVKS morning host on an interim basis.

Zepeda who goes by Big Z on the air will be joined by Micki Morgret, a holdover from the show hosted by Johny D.

Among listeners age 12-plus, the WVKS morning show was No. 6 in Arbitron s spring survey. Two years ago, when Johny D. replaced Denny Schaffer as host, it was No. 3.

Andy is a very talented guy [who] will bring fun back to the morning show, Michaels said.

By the time Zepeda joins WVKS, it will be at the halfway point of Arbitron s 12-week fall survey. Therefore, Arbitron s winter survey, which starts in January, will be the first full ratings period in which WVKS and Zepeda go head-to-head against WTWR and Johny D.

An interesting twist to the sure-to-be-intense competition: WTWR s new program director, Brent Carey, was the program director at WIOG when Zepeda was there.

CALLING IT A CAREER: WTOL-TV, Channel 11, has announced that weathercaster Dave Carlson, who has worked in the Toledo market for 32 years, will retire at the end of the year.

Carlson, a climatologist, did the weather segments on WTOL s morning and noon newscasts from 1988 through the end of 2004. In January, his primary role was switched to weekend evenings, although he continues to do the weekday noon newscast three days a week. He has been on AM Saturday since its launch more than a dozen years ago.

Carlson worked at WNWO-TV, Channel 24, from 1973 to 1988.

NEW RADIO SHOW: WWWM-FM (105.5) unveiled Star After Dark last week. It airs Monday through Thursday from 8 to 10 p.m. and is hosted by Ben Coburn and Kimmie, who will discuss relationship topics and offer advice. Love songs from the late 1970s and early 80s or, as program director Steve Marshall said, music that s a little bit out of the norm for us will be featured.

STAYING PUT: Morning anchor Jeff Smith and news reporter Alexis Means recently signed contracts and will remain at WTVG-TV, Channel 13. Smith signed a three-year deal and Means agreed to a one-year extension.

Meanwhile, Norm Van Ness, the meteorologist on WNWO s morning newscast, has signed a three-year contract.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Former WTVG weekend sports anchor Ryan Burr is working for ESPN. He can be seen anchoring on both ESPN and ESPN News. Burr, 33, left WTVG two years ago for a job with Fox Sports Network Pittsburgh.

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