Friday, March 16, 2007

The Mason Has Landed

With much fanfare, WAKS/96.5 "Kiss FM" programmer Dan Mason left the Clear Channel Cleveland top 40 outlet for the warmth of South Florida.

He left Northeast Ohio to take the program director's chair at sister top 40 station WHYI/100.7 "Y100" in Miami.

It seemed like the perfect match for one of America's fastest rising top 40 PDs, and one of the country's iconic stations in that format.

And it lasted, well, not very long.

Before you could say "Miami Vice", Mason was out at "Y100".

We're not very well tapped into the South Florida radio gossip mill, but whatever floated back up to Ohio gave us the impression that Mason and the station's upper management were not exactly on the same page. In fact, they didn't even appear to be reading the same book.

As we're proud of radio folks with Northeast Ohio ties, we're pleased to announce that Dan Mason has landed.

AllAccess reports that Mason has officially been named program director at Entercom top 40 KDND/107.9 Sacramento "The End".

Yes, THAT station...the one in some major hot, or maybe cold, water for a morning show water drinking contest which ended up in the death of listener Jennifer Strange, a story which gained worldwide attention.

Mason has been interim PD at "The End" since not long after former station manager Steven Weed was bounced, along with 9 other station employees with even the remotest connection to the "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" contest. Strange's family has filed a lawsuit against the station and the company.

So, it's an odd situation for the former "Kiss FM" programmer.

"The End" has been pretty successful. "The Morning Rave", the show now excised from the KDND lineup, was in the top 5 in Sacramento's morning drive race.

So Mason has to craft a way to hang onto success, at a station which has been a flashpoint of worldwide controversy - and all without a large chunk of the people who helped get that success.

The Prevaling Wisdom in radio-online-pundit land has been that KDND would scrub the top 40 format entirely, or move it to another Entercom frequency in that market under another name.

The hiring of Dan Mason signals one thing - Entercom wants to do top 40 in Sacramento in whatever form it takes. You don't hire a Dan Mason to flip to country.

Best of luck to you, Mr. Mason, former Clevelander...and a man with one of the more challenging jobs in radio right now...

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

wow....two NE Ohio Masons leaving as PD and getting hosed in another market.

Anonymous said...

It's not hard to believe that someone would run screaming from Clear Channel management.

Anonymous said...

'Mason and management were not only on the same page...they weren't reading the same book.'

What??????

How does one accept a job and get hired without programming philosophies
being nailed down during the job interview process?

Radio...gotta love it.

Anonymous said...

From what I understand, Mason was given no freedom to implement the changes he would have liked to at WHYI, unlike at WAKS, which he built into what it is today.

If anyone can right the sinking ship in Sacramento, Dan is the guy.

dan mason said...

Gang-- The CC South Florida cluster is on it's third GM in less than a year a year, it's third OM, and now it's third PD at Y100. The people who hired me were all gone within 90 days of my arrival and the new regime had a different vision for the radio station than I did. It's not the first time that has happened in radio and will not be the last. However, I cannot sit here and bash CC as a company because I had a very positive experience with them during my 6 1/2 years in Cleveland.

All that being said, I am very excited to be a part of Entercom and look forward to the many challenges that lie ahead. This is an outstanding company and the best enviornment that I've had the pleasure of being in.

If any of my old Ohio radio friends want to reach me, drop me a line at danmasonradio@yahoo.com

Ohio Media Watch said...

Mr. Mason, assuming that is you (and it passes our "smell test"), thanks for checking in!

As we said in the item, you have a big challenge ahead of you...it's a situation that very few PDs have ever walked into.

From what you did up here with "Kiss", it would appear that if any PD is going to "right the ship" after what happened at KDND, you'd certainly be high on the list.

Best of luck to you!

--The Management

Anonymous said...

Worked the St. Patty's parade coverage today and thought of Dan. He did some streetside interviews for that gig awhile back. It's good to see that he's landed on his feet. He'll straighten those guys out in the Big Sac.

~Waving to Dan~
J.B.

Anonymous said...

To the people talking about WKNR in the comments for a Dan Mason entry, there's something called a MESSAGE BOARD at radio-info.com or radioinsight.com where you can post about anything related to NEOH radio as you please.

Talking about the Saturday morning sports show on an AM station on the comments page for a posting about a CHR PD is as off-topic and irrelevant as one can possibly imagine.

Back to the topic. Congrats Dan!