As first reported by Radio Insight, Hubbard-owned WDRV-FM, “The Drive” announced Tuesday the hiring of Brian Sherman and Steve Tingle for mornings. Though the site stated “Monday, October 21” (actually a Friday), the actual start date is October 31.
The move reunites the duo at the Classic Rock outlet – the duo were at the original WKQX-FM (Q101 as it was branded at the time) between 2007 and 2011, with the two moving from afternoon drive to morning drive in August 2008 to replace the ailing Morning Fix, which staggered on Q101 for two years. Despite respectable ratings, the two were bounced from the Alternative station after WKQX flipped to a short-lived all-news format. The alternative format returned to the 101.1 frequency in 2013.
Sherman joins The Drive from WFXF “The Fox” a suburban rimshot station at 103.9 FM, while Tingle comes over from WSTR-FM in Atlanta.
As a result, Pete McMurray’s morning show is being canceled. Also exiting is producer Scott Miller, while news reader Kathy Voltmer is expected to remain at the station in another capacity.
Originally, McMurray was paired with Dan McNeil with the unofficial name “McMornings”(leading to a lot of fast-food jokes from yours truly), officially launching as The Morning Drive in March 2015. The program never really resonated in the ratings – a rare miss for industry programming veteran Greg Solk, who created the show. McNeil was angered when Solk was bounced from his position as Senior Vice President of Programming at Hubbard last May, leading to a reported workplace incident with upper management. After being suspended and his on-air duties being reduced, McNeil was later released from his contract, leaving McMurray to host the program with Miller and Voltmer as the program became more music-intensive with less talk.
Also impacting ratings was the near simultaneous launch of Mancow Mueller’s morning show on rival Classic Rock station WLUP-FM. The Morning Fix replaced Mancow on Q101 in 2006.
Is Sherman and Tingle the answer for The Drive? The station has had only one morning host in its first fifteen years: the recently retired Steve Downes. Now, WDRV is on their third morning show in nineteen months.