VOCM’s ‘Night­line’ goes quiet

Sta­tion promis­ing ‘new fea­tures’ in the fall

Northern Pen - - Front page - BY ASH­LEY FITZ­PATRICK THE TELE­GRAM ash­ley.fitz­patrick@thetele­gram.com

Dur­ing his show on Mon­day, July 23 VOCM “Open Line” host Paddy Daly spoke about the news cir­cu­lat­ing on so­cial me­dia, of the can­cel­la­tion of another of the VOCM call-in ra­dio shows, “Night­line.”

“Many of you have heard by now that ‘Night­line’ has gone away. It was on a sum­mer break, but now I guess the de­ci­sion has been made that it won’t be re­turn­ing in the fall,” Daly said, call­ing the end of that show “un­for­tu­nate,” not­ing his own time in the chair host­ing the pro­gram.

“I just want to say con­grat­u­la­tions, thank you, to Jonathan (Rich­ler) for the fine work he did on that pro­gram. I think it was a real ben­e­fit to the com­mu­nity. A lot of good dis­cus­sions took place on that show,” he said.

Daly said he didn’t know the rea­son for the de­ci­sion. He de­clined any fur­ther com­ment when con­tacted by The Tele­gram. Rich­ler sim­i­larly de­clined com­ment, say­ing he is sat­is­fied with his com­ment in a so­cial me­dia post last week, on July 20.

“This week I heard VOCM ‘Night­line’ has been can­celled,” he wrote in a Twit­ter post from his per­sonal ac­count (@jonathanrich­ler). “A gi­ant thank you to all of our lis­ten­ers over the years. I’m grate­ful for the op­por­tu­nity and tremen­dous fun pro­vided to me from the stel­lar fam­ily at 590 VOCM. Lila tov. -J”

VOCM is part of the col­lec­tion of New­cap Ra­dio as­sets in­cluded in the sale an­nounced in May, be­ing sold to Stingray Dig­i­tal Me­dia Group. The deal fu­eled spec­u­la­tion of the lat­est pro­gram­ming change be­ing forced from above.

But in an email to The Tele­gram, VOCM man­ager Mike Mur­phy said the can­cel­la­tion of “Night­line” was not some­thing handed down.

This de­ci­sion was 100 per cent a lo­cal de­ci­sion as we tweak pro­gram­ming in ad­vance of the fall ra­dio pe­riod. We are also work­ing on adding new fea­tures,” Mur­phy stated, while not re­veal­ing any­thing fur­ther at this point on what might be ahead for lo­cal lis­ten­ers.

Pete Soucy was the last host of VOCM’s “Back­talk,” another of the big three ra­dio talk shows, can­celled in 2017. He was asked what he made of the lat­est callin cut.

“I’d just say that it’s al­ways sad, and some­what con­cern­ing, when such a long-en­joyed, and sup­ported, pro­gram like ‘Night­line’ comes to an end,” Soucy wrote. “The call-in shows are still im­por­tant win­dows for pub­lic dis­course on all is­sues, and their value is con­firmed by their con­tin­ued pop­u­lar­ity.”

ASH­LEY FITZ­PATRICK/THE TELE­GRAM

The VOCM ra­dio sta­tion on Ken­mount Road in St. John’s.

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