Published on Monday, 20 February 2012 20:57
Despite good news in the January ratings, with the station slowly growing its audience organically and without the use of promotion just yet, there was some bad news for a few staffers at WIQI-FM/FM News 101.1 today. At least three people lost their positions due to restructuring earlier Monday.
The biggest shock of the sudden exits today was that of industry veteran Scott Miller, who was a news anchor and reporter for the radio station. One of the very first hires by Merlin Media for the new station on 101.1 FM, Scott Miller was no stranger to start-ups. He was one of the original eight people hired by Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Studios to create and run Oprah Radio for XM satellite radio. He was a producer there since its start in 2006, most known for producing XM's "Gayle King Show." Miller was one of three hires to come from Oprah Radio to Merlin Media. He will also be remembered as the producer and co-host of Pete McMurray's show on WCKG-FM in 2000 & 2001, where he picked up the nickname of "Pinto." In between WCKG-FM & Oprah Radio, he worked at WTAO-FM in downstate Marion-Carbondale, where he hosted a top rated rock & roll morning show.
The release of Miller is probably the most shocking departure from WIQI-FM since that of news anchor Dave Williams in early October
(when the station used the call letters of WWWN-FM).
Another exit from the station today is that of Annie Kelly, reporter and northwest suburbs bureau chief for FM News 101.1. Kelly was one of the younger new hires for the station when it launched in July. She most recently had been working as a reporter for WCIA-TV in downstate Illinois for almost two years before accepting the new Chicago radio position. Prior to that, she worked for KFYR-TV in Bismark, ND for over two years. The Columbia College graduate was a news intern at WGN-AM to begin her career.
Also said to be departing is news writer Karen Gollrad. Prior to her work with WIQI-FM, Gollrad worked as a freelance Social Media Coordinator with Matrix Media, did production and marketing with WCRX-FM and traffic operations at WTTW-TV. Additionally, she is an actor, musician and voiceover artist.
The cuts are said to not be performance based, but have more to do with changes in the operating structure of the station, including new technologies and programming directions.