By RODNEY HO/ firstname.lastname@example.org, originally filed Friday, October 16, 2015
Steve McCoy was let go from NewsRadio 106.7 Friday following his admittance that he "recycled" an old Donald Trump interview and advertised it as new on Tuesday.
Program director Greg Tantum released this statement this morning:
“For obvious reasons Steve McCoy no longer works at the station. Cheryl White, Drew Nelson and Randy Wyles will continue to provide Atlanta with a high energy news product that accentuates breaking news as well as in depth coverage on the top stories.”
McCoy, who couldn't comment after his departure, told Buzzfeed Thursday that he had an interview set up with the presidential candidate on this past Monday but it fell through.
He decided to use the old one. But instead of just saying it was an interview from many years ago when he was working at Star 94, he made a few changes to make it sound current. He then told a Buzzfeed reporter who tracks Trump and heard the interview that Trump's handlers had prevented him from asking policy questions, which is why there were no questions or answers related to his presidential bid.
But Trump's people caught wind and said McCoy did not talk to Trump on Tuesday. The truth eventually came out and it ultimately cost McCoy his job.
Yesterday, after the station suspended him as they investigated the situation, McCoy's former co-host Vikki Locke revealed to my colleague Jennifer Brett that he has Parkinson's Disease.
My original story about McCoy's Trump interview, which evolved Wednesday as new information seeped out.
McCoy, as noted in previous stories, is not a journalist. He's an entertainer.
Atlanta-based Cumulus Media hired McCoy in March. He had been a long-time morning host on pop stations in Atlanta, a Georgia Radio Hall of Fame inductee, but he hadn't been on air in the city for five years.
By coincidence, I was having lunch with McCoy earlier this year when he got a call from the radio station. A few weeks later, he was on NewsRadio 106.7 doing something different from what he's ever done before: hosting a news program.
The station has been struggling to build ratings since it debuted in May, 2012 first as a full-time news station. It has since become a hybrid, with a mix of news and talk with a few infomercials thrown in on weekends. It remains far behind News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB and 90.1/WABE-FM in listenership.
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