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KMOX's John Carney Moving to "Fresh" 102.5 FM Monday

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John Carney Picture.jpg
John Carney
For twelve years, John Carney has been the weeknight talk show host at KMOX 1120 AM.

But come Monday, Carney will have a completely new schedule to get used to, and a new station -- he'll be on-air weekday mornings from 5 to 9 a.m. at Fresh 102.5 FM (KEZK).

As Carney, one of the city's best-known radio talkers, explains in a phone interview with Daily RFT, that means getting up at the ungodly time of 3:30 a.m. -- and getting used to speaking pithily.

"It's completely different," he acknowledges, "and you have to get in a completely different mindset. I'm used to talking on for 30 minutes. Now I've got to say it in 90 seconds to two minutes."

And, Carney adds, "I'm already having nightmares about oversleeping."

Carney's roots at KMOX go back even further than his recent twelve-year stint. His father, legendary St. Louis broadcaster Jack Carney, was on KMOX when he was a pre-teen. When son would visit the station to bum money, his dad let him read the weather report.

But Carney's move to KEZK comes without bitterness, or even much in the way of drama: Both stations are owned by CBS Radio, and Carney says he started seeing the writing on the wall after KMOX landed the rights to broadcast St. Louis Blues' games.

Now that the Cardinals are returning to the station, there simply wasn't room for his show.

"I was having two to three preemptions every week," he says. "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize, 'Why are we paying this guy?'" And Carney admits to chafing at being bumped: "It became a question of, 'How many times am I going to turn on the radio to listen to this guy and not find him before I stop checking to see if he's on air?'"

That said, Carney cops to feeling territorial about his old time slot: "If they decide to put on another entertainment show, I'm going to be pissed."

That issue, like a lot about this move, seems to be still up in the air. Both Carney and a spokeswoman for CBS Radio say they don't know yet who's slated for Carney's old slot at KMOX. And Carney is still not sure who'll be on air with him in the mornings. He does know that as KEZK continues to rebrand itself as Fresh 102.5, he's supposed be playing a fair amount of music. He suspects there will also be ancillary people to do the weather and news. ("No one's going to believe me if I go into a newscast," he says. ) But he doesn't know, yet, who they'll be.

He's looking at all the unknowns as a good thing. A challenge.

"In any job where you spend a decade doing it, you get complacent," he says. "You can't help it. Because if you can do it with your eyes closed, you do do it with your eyes closed. Now I'm going to be doing something I don't have that level of confidence about. It's going to take a lot of preparation, a lot of thinking stuff through -- really a lot of stuff I should have been doing all along!"

And as Carney braces for that early-morning wake-up call on Monday -- he's actually planned a practice run for this morning, to see just how long it takes him to get to work -- he takes some satisfaction in the fact that he didn't get "all Dick Vermeil-y" on his final KMOX show Wednesday.

"I didn't want to get all choked up and sappy," he says. "And I surprisingly didn't. It's probably because I'm still working with a lot of the same people. I'm still with CBS. I'm not going over to the enemy or leaving the market. I'm even going to do an afternoon show on KMOX on Sundays on occasion, an interview show.

"But Fresh 102.5 is going to be my focus."


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11 comments
Gomezaddams
Gomezaddams

His voice is irritating to my ears, sounds like he is being choked

Anonymous-2you
Anonymous-2you

I LOVE John Carney and sure wish CBS would have put him in the Overnight America timeslot. Jon Grayson is a boring, idiot and I am getting tired of changing the station.

John Carney has a great sense of humor and does a wonderful job of interacting with his guests and his audiences.

Sunspot
Sunspot

How about a weekend night show.  Weekends on KMOX are awful.   

Cboyerda
Cboyerda

Is John Carney still doing the morning FM program? I live in GA and can't get the show.Plus it is a waste of his time and talent.

KMOX had the best nighttime show in the country......there are sports shows on every other radio station at night but only one John Carney,.

Jenny
Jenny

Will he still do the KMOX Christmas show? It wouldn't be one, in my humble opinion without him, John Carniato (and his mama or his accent changing like several times was funny). Oh well, that's the way things go. The marketers think the big bucks are in angry, screaming, cursing, polarized political commentators...and some sports....Although I DID like hearing Hank Aaron tonight being interviewed concerning the gentleman from St. Louis who was honored today...how they served in Vietnam, and how color-blind the guy was. That was cool, I'm in Georgia, and didn't even expect to hear Hank on the radio! Cool! Oh well though to the angry, screaming banshees that is coordinated-choreographed-annoyingly-OVERLY FAUX opinionated--political-talking-points-sent down and spit out modern talk radio/tv news GUNGK media...all that exists today...that and other foul mouthed, or lust-laden entertainment. No more humor, or actually, organized plot-driven, non gimmicky stuff. I guess old-school library books are the only solution for entertainment now if you want to be entertained.

gkscas
gkscas

KMOX you blew it! What a waste of talent using John Carney as a morning DJ when his night time show was the most entertaining show on radio. Can you please find an evening slot for his show on 102.5. Don't waste his talent, he is a great entertainer. We miss his interviews, his restaurant Tuesdays, the Friday night shows and all the hours we have spent listening to KMOX and The Carney Show.

53model
53model

John, I miss your show nightly on KMOX!!! I like sports just fine, but don't want 6 hrs. every night!!! I enjoyed your humor, guests and the variety of your show! I also appreciate the fact your dad worked there. In my humble opinion, KMOX messed up when they canceled your show!!!!

Emily
Emily

john i loved your show going to miss you i will follow you to 102.5. kmox has too many sport shows b dobrinich

Tracy Wynkoop
Tracy Wynkoop

As far as I can tell, Mr. Carney is one of the last broadcasters of his kind and talent. The move represents more to me that a simple station change. His was a show about entertainment. Period. He is one of the very few broadcasters left that after listening to his show, you have no idea what his political views are because he never cramed em down your throat. This to me is one of the signs of a good broadcaster especially in this day and age. Take this test. Scroll through your AM dial or FM dial for that matter and try to find a show that isn't either playground humor (he said tit heh heh heh) mindless musical pablum or someone telling you loudly what you're supposed to think ("Christian" right, left). Other than NPR, (and its not rocket science to suss out their leanings either) you'll be hard pressed. The mighty Mox made a mistake, it's their loss and ours.

Phyllis Goodwin
Phyllis Goodwin

I sure am going to miss you in the evening. Please try to make a deal with KTRS. I listen to them also because I love McGraw Milhaven.

P. Goodwin

Jenny
Jenny

yeah this sucks! I just found out where he went to...at least. I live down in Georgia, USA, and I could/can pick up KMOX on my old clock radios. I enjoyed listening to Mr. Carney, even emailed him once (his George Jefferson (aka Sherman Hemsley) interview and really the post interview gold was SO ENJOYABLE...and CLEAN...I had a hoot, and even Mr. Carney's email response made me smile. He totally respected Mr. Hemsley in the email, that was so cool, for me to read. I KNOW Mr. Carney had different views on things as me, but I REALLY GENUNINELY LIKED HIM. I even heard the KMOX Christmas show and post show live too, on my radio, ENJOYED the interviews and everything! Oh well, I am SOOOOO sick of angry leftwingers and angry rightwingers and faux "Christians" (THANK YOU Tracy for putting that in quotes!), uh, so sick of the rhetoric of both. I guess they think we're stupid and need them to think for us. I liked Carney, and also Old Time Radio, because like, they're nice to the listeners, and the listeners are still the focus, not the dumb sheep who buy the dumb product. Oh well :-) He's got class, I like how he answered the questions, and was nice, I know that nice is so passe now, right!

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