"This feels like a whole new thing and I've been in the business for 54 years," said the Kimmer, who will keep his core staff of sidekick Pete Davis, voice guy and comedy relief Jim Gossett and producer Brent "Flounder" Dundon.
Mike Brooks, a host and former law enforcement officer who was also on Talk 106.7, will join in at 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., said he "hopes the listeners like it and it really takes hold with the audience." He thinks there is still a hole in the market for a station like this.
He said he already has one endorsement locked down and is working on two more. “We’ll see how it goes,” he said. “I’ll give it a shot.”
Regan, who grew up loving Neal Boortz, has no experience in radio but was a huge fan of Talk 106.7. He attended the Shannon Burke going-away party at Oxygen Financial last May and was astounded by the turn-out and the loyalty to the show hosts. "It floored me," he said.
He watched as no other radio station group was willing to resurrect the station format.
So in August, Regan decided to do it himself. He began hunting for a signal to buy, going up and down the dial. The 1010/102.1 combo was the best deal he could find. In the interim, Burke and Brooks did a few pay-for-play shows on 1100AM.
Regan, a former airline pilot and police officer who also used to own an emergency equipment company, is still seeking morning and mid-day hosts. He would love to have Burke back but Burke has a full-time gig in Orlando so that may be a challenge. (Burke's former Talk 106.7 co-host Kara Stockton will likely be in the mix as well.)
He hopes to have local, on-air hosts from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the start. He has also hired a couple of former 106.7 sales staff. And he plans to put up billboards as well as run a digital ad campaign.
The 102.1 signal is very much an in-town one though it can reach OTP. He hopes to improve the signal or move it closer to the core audience in the Northern Arc. The 50,000-watt daytime AM signal is strong but hardly anybody ventures over to that part of the dial anymore.
The station will be on TuneIn and the iHeart apps and Regan is building a specific app for the station, along with access at www.wtza.net
“It’s been a fantastic situation so far,” Regan said. “Everyone sees the vision. They know what we’re trying to do. This is real. It’s going to be a pay cut for a minute. Like I told the guys, you’ll know when the pay raise is coming when I start drawing a check.”
Here is the coverage map for 102.1:
And this is the 1010AM daytime coverage map:
“I’ve been very impressed with the support we’ve gotten from the listener base, the advertisers and the air personalities,” Regan said. “It’s mind-boggling how well this is being received from my perspective.”