The Minnesota Mad Man is a long, long way from home and he couldn't be happier.
After stints at a couple of stations in Minneapolis, Zannie K (Zannie Glover) has landed in Austin, where he's helming the first-ever morning show on Beat 102.3. Catch him weekdays from 6 a.m. to noon.
"The city's just pulled me in," he says after about a month on the air. "I'm falling in love."
Though the station intends to remain music-intensive in the mornings, playing 12 to 15 songs an hour, listeners will still get a chance to get to know Glover, who hopes to "be your best friend" and make you laugh each morning.
"We're going to try to keep it as local as possible," he says. "Call me up and talk to me. Give a shout-out if you want."
Jay Shannon, operations manager for Clear Channel's Austin stations, says Glover was the obvious choice for the job.
"His personality cut through all of the other candidates," Shannon says. "He's funny, creative and very entertaining to listen to. Zannie has the experience and brings a lot to the table for the Beat, not only on air but also with music. Far and away, he's the best CHR/rhythmic talent Austin's had in quite some time."
In addition to his on-air duties, Glover also serves as assistant program director and music director for the Beat and sister station KISS-FM — the kind of position he's wanted for some time.
"I decide which songs fit on each station, negotiate with record labels, and make sure there's a separation between what we play on the Beat and KISS-FM," Glover says.
The Beat, which is just over a year old, has been in Austin's Top 10 pretty much since it launched — no pressure or anything, right, Zannie? — and there's a very good reason for that, according to Shannon.
"We're striving to provide rhythmic music specifically for Austin," he says. "There's no doubt Austin isn't Dallas, Houston or San Antonio. We are fortunate to live in a very diverse city, and the Beat reflects that diversity with the music programmed locally for Austin."
Stormy weather at KASE, KVET
Troy Kimmel's weather forecasts are gone from Clear Channel-owned country cousins KASE and KVET.
The well-known meteorologist, a fixture on both stations for 13 years, was let go in a round of budget cuts.
"To me, they handled it very professionally," Kimmel says. "I can certainly understand their need to cut costs with the times we're in."
Kimmel remains chief meteorologist at KEYE, Austin's CBS station. Catch him at 4, 6 and 10 weeknights. You can also find him online at troykimmelweather.com.
New shows and new times at KUT2
Austin's NPR station has done some schedule shuffling on its all-news HD subchannel.
The changes at KUT2:"Snap Judgment" with Glynn Washington moves to 9 p.m. Thursdays."The Sound of Young America" with Jesse Thorn relocates to 9 p.m. Fridays, followed by a fifth night of CBC's "Q" at 10 p.m.New times for Saturday shows include "Travel with Rick Steves" at 10 a.m.; environmental news mag "Living on Earth," 1 p.m.; "The State We're In," a look at human rights around the world, 2 p.m.; KUT's indie radio sampler "O'Dark 30," 4 p.m.; "Bookworm," 9 p.m.; and "The Treatment" with former New York Times film critic Elvis Mitchell, 9:30 p.m.Sundays, "The Tavis Smiley Show" settles into its new home at 5 p.m.; KUT2 newcomer "This American Life," 9 p.m.; and Jonathan Goldstein's "WireTap," 10 p.m.
Folks without HD radios can listen to KUT, KUT2 and jazz-heavy KUT3 at kut.org. That's also where you'll find full schedules.
2011 radio wishes revealed
My radio wish list, published in this space just before Christmas, prompted many readers to share their own wishes for 2011. Here's a quick sampling:Brenda W.: "I would love to have a good soft jazz station. Given the music scene in Austin, I can't believe there isn't one."Pete V.: "For 2011, I wish for the old KGSR to reappear ... Sometimes, I don't know if I'm in Austin or Des Moines."Ken W.: "I wish Austin had an Americana station playing Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como and others from the crooner era."Rick M.: "I moved to Austin in early 2010 from Philadelphia, and I sorely miss the all-day news/traffic/weather format of CBS-owned KYW 1060. Philadelphia may be one of the Top 10 markets in the country, but I believe Austin is big enough to support a similar radio endeavor."
Thanks to everyone who wrote in. I really enjoyed hearing from you, and I encourage you to keep the e-mails coming.
Around the dial ...
Yes, that is indeed KGSR alum Jody Denberg you're hearing on KUT. He's signed on to do some occasional fill-in work there. ... Congrats to Mix 94.7 morning hosts JB Hager and Sandy McIlree, whose annual Bikes for Kids fundraiser brought in enough cash to provide more than 800 bikes for needy Central Texas youngsters. ... Mac Daniels, ex-operations manager and program director at KASE and KVET, is the new program director at KSKS in Fresno, Calif. ... Former KISS-FM deejay Brotha Fred (Christopher Frederick) has hit the big time. After four years at a station in Charlotte, N.C., he's been tapped to host mornings at WKSC in Chicago, the nation's third-largest radio market. (Charlotte is ranked No. 24; Austin is 37th.) The new gig starts Jan. 17, according to the Chicago Tribune. ... Don't forget about the KOOP Radio Sweet 16 Party at Antone's on Jan. 13. Performers include Slaid Cleaves, Sara Hickman and Kelly Willis. Advance tickets are $20 ($60 for VIPs) at antones.net.