WDVD drops Allyson Martinek from morning show

Susan Whitall
The Detroit News

After a long spell of no changes, there’s a Detroit morning show shakeup.

WDVD-FM (96.3) is shuffling its “Blaine & Allyson” morning show lineup, keeping Blaine Fowler but jettisoning Allyson Martinek, The Detroit News has learned.

The move comes despite the fact that the “Blaine & Allyson” show ranked No. 3 among morning shows in the June Nielsen ratings for adults 25-54.

Producers Matt Laurinec and Joe Santos will stay on, and a fourth talent will be hired to complete the team, according to an internal memo issued by Cumulus Media, which owns the station.

The show’s website and social media sites had been scrubbed as of Tuesday morning.

Martinek confirmed her dismissal in a Facebook posting Monday night, writing: “i just want to say how much i will truly miss talking to you every morning. it has been my pleasure and i thank you for all the support and friendship. i hope its not long before we talk again. BIG hugs and kisses from the bottom of my heart........:)”

Don Tanner, a former air personality who blogs about media for his Tanner Friedman PR/marketing firm, blames cost-cutting for the move. In the past, when radio stations wanted to cut salaries and expenses, they wouldn’t touch the drivetime personalities, he asserts.

“Now, however, if you look at what’s currently taking place at CBS and now WDVD, the high-profile drive times, even when successful, are evidently fair game, too,” Tanner wrote in an email. “Allyson was well-known and well-liked by ‘DVD listeners and was as integral a part of her Morning Show as any woman in town; especially valuable for a radio station that leans heavily toward a female audience. Economics continue to push talented, long-time — and thus, it might follow to bean counters, expensive — personalities out of the business. It’s far from an ideal trend when you are trying to combat MP3 players and satellite radio.”

Fowler and producers, minus Martinek, were on the air as usual Tuesday morning. Program director Mike Wheeler did not immediately return a reporter’s call.