Rizzo and Jeff, the popular radio duo who hosted afternoons on iHeartMedia talk WAIO Rochester, have left the station due to budget cuts. The pair had been on the air since March 2022, after moving from a morning show at WKHQ Traverse City. Their departure has left many fans disappointed and wondering about their future plans.
The Departure of Rizzo and Jeff from WAIO Rochester
Rich “Rizzo” Deaver and Jeff Daly, known as Rizzo and Jeff, exited iHeartMedia talk WAIO Rochester in March 2023. They had been hosting afternoons on the station since March 2022, bringing their unique blend of humor, entertainment, and commentary to the listeners.
They replaced the “Earl David Reed Show”, which had been on the station since August 2020. Rizzo and Jeff had previously hosted mornings at MacDonald Garber Broadcasting CHR WKHQ Traverse City until they left in early 2020.
In a statement, Deaver said: “This is hard. Budget cuts are a sad reality of this business, and while budget cuts are never easy it was an honor to work with and be entrusted to carry on the legacy of people like Brother Wease. We want to thank [Market President] Bob [Morgan], [SVP] Tias [Schuster], [PD] Zakk [Dominic Zaccagnini], and [EVP/Programming]Jeff Hurley for supporting us. We worked every day because we love it and we know this is the kind of show that is the future of radio.”
The Reasons Behind Rizzo and Jeff’s Departure
No official reason was given for Rizzo and Jeff’s departure from WAIO Rochester, other than budget cuts. However, some speculation has emerged on potential factors that may have led to their exit.
One possible factor is the rating performance of the station. According to Nielsen Audio ratings, WAIO ranked 12th in the market with a 2.9 share in the fall 2022 book. This was a slight increase from the previous book, but still behind competitors such as WCMF (5.8), WBEE (5.4) and WHAM (4.7).
Another possible factor is the format of the station. WAIO is branded as “Radio 95.1”, a hybrid of talk and rock music. The station features personalities such as Brother Wease, Kimberly & Beck, Rover’s Morning Glory, Rizzo & Jeff (until recently), and syndicated shows such as The Glenn Beck Program and The Mark Levin Show. The station also plays rock songs from artists such as AC/DC, Foo Fighters, Metallica, and Nirvana. This format may have appealed to some listeners but also alienated others who preferred more music or more talk.
A third possible factor is the competition in the market. Rochester has several other stations that offer talk or rock programming, such as WCMF (classic rock), WBZA (alternative rock), WROC (news/talk), WHAM (news/talk), and WXXI (public radio). These stations may have attracted some of the listeners who were looking for more variety or quality in their radio choices.
Impact on the Rizzo and Jeff Show
The departure of Rizzo and Jeff from WAIO Rochester has had a significant impact on their show and their fans. Many listeners have expressed their disappointment and confusion on social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Some of the comments from fans include:
- “I’m so sad to hear this news. You guys were my favorite part of the day. I hope you find another station soon.”
- “This sucks! You guys were hilarious and smart. I don’t know what I’m going to listen to now.”
- “Why did they do this? You guys were awesome! I loved your segments and your interviews. Please come back!”
- “This is a huge mistake by iHeartMedia. You guys were the best thing on that station. I’m not listening to them anymore.”
Rizzo and Jeff have also shared some updates and projects on their social media accounts. They have thanked their fans for their support and loyalty and hinted at some new developments in the works.
Some of their posts include:
- “We are overwhelmed by the love you guys have shown us. Thank you for being with us through this journey. We are not done yet. Stay tuned for some big news coming soon.”
- “We miss you guys so much. We are working hard to get back on the air as soon as possible. We have some exciting things in the pipeline. You won’t believe what we have planned.”
- “We are grateful for the opportunity we had at WAIO. We learned a lot and had a blast. We are also excited for the future. We have some amazing things to share with you soon. You won’t want to miss it.”
Future Plans and Speculations
As of now, Rizzo and Jeff have not announced their next career moves or where they will be broadcasting next. However, there are some possibilities and predictions for their future in the radio industry.
One possibility is that they will join another station in the Rochester market, either in a similar format or a different one. They may have some loyal fans who will follow them to their new destination, and they may also attract some new listeners who are curious about their show.
Another possibility is that they will move to a different market, either in New York or another state. They may have some connections or offers from other stations that are looking for fresh talent and content. They may also have some personal or professional reasons to relocate to a new area.
A third possibility is that they will start their own podcast or online platform, where they can have more creative freedom and control over their show. They may have some sponsors or partners who are willing to support their venture, and they may also have some loyal fans who will subscribe or donate to their content.
Whatever their future plans are, Rizzo and Jeff have proven themselves to be talented and entertaining radio personalities who have a lot to offer to the industry and the listeners. They have a loyal fan base who will support them wherever they go, and they have a bright future ahead of them.