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Posted at 3:50 PM ET, 04/26/2010

Andy Park leaves WMAL radio

By Washington Post editors


WMAL radio released a statement Monday saying that its longtime morning host and traffic reporter Andy Parks is no longer with the station, Politically Illustrated reports.

Andy Parks, a name synonymous with 630 WMAL for nearly 25 years as morning host and airborne traffic reporter, is no longer with us. Andy is an extraordinary talent, consummate professional and friend. Andy, we salute you and thank you for your immeasurable contributions to WMAL.”

FishbowlDC and DCRTV are reporting that Parks and his Fred Grandy -- Gopher to those of a certain age -- have been fired. WMAL is promoting, however, the Chris Plante and Fred Grandy show on its website.

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By Washington Post editors  | April 26, 2010; 3:50 PM ET
Categories:  DC  | Tags:  Andy Parks, Radio, Traffic reporting, WMAL  
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Comments


Does it really matter? WMAL went to hell years ago. Mormon news, on WTOP, is better than WMAL and its ilk.


Posted by: mortified469 | April 26, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I will definitely miss Andy Parks. He was always funny, compassionate, smart, and in charge of the show. I've listened to him for over 20 years, and particularly enjoyed his banter from the helicopter. He's had to work with so many types of talent, and he was always the professional. Best wishes, Andy.

Posted by: Skiritae | April 26, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

I was very disappointed about Andy Parks leaving WMAL. Didn't always agree with him but his humor was 110% priceless. Better than the master card moment. the combination of Parks, Grany and Nehman was the best....especially early in the morning. I loved the serious AND the joking on the issues of the day. It was obvious this group had chemistry...so sorry to see it go.

I do like Chris Plante but I hope the humor/lightness won't be forgotten. At 6 am in the morning, need a little of that with the issues of the day to get started.

Please let Andy Parks know he will be missed. WMAL...why????

Posted by: debmat511 | April 26, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Been listening to Andy Parks for more than 26 years. Have stayed with WMAL morning through previous "programing revamps" but sent General Manager an email yesterday saying good luck because I have removed WMAL from my preselects and for the moment will be listening to WTOP when not listening to SIRIUS. Thanks Andy you were the glue that kept WMAL mornings together.

Posted by: jimbob2 | April 27, 2010 7:05 AM | Report abuse

WMAL has no consistency. The morning format seems to change almost every month. Although I thought Andy was intolerable, he had a good level of control over the program delivery. This new format with Plante is more of the other 9 hours of programming on WMAL. In the morning I need news and analysis. WMAL has lost me.

Posted by: froberts2 | April 27, 2010 7:28 AM | Report abuse

an example of how things change, sometimes slow, sometimes everything all at once...
watch as obama's America changes...

Posted by: DwightCollins | April 27, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse

I've been listening to WMAL in the morning going back to Hardin and Weaver. I've listened to the Plante and Grandy show the past two mornings. It has a much more strident edge to it, and it lacks the warmth and humor of the Andy and Grandy show. I won't be back.

Posted by: nonot | April 27, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

I totally agree the combination of Parks, Grany and Nehman was the best early morning show with serious AND jocular takes on the issues of the day. It was obvious this group had chemistry, can it be brought back?? Don't let Andy go?? This trio was very special and just seemed to know when to back off from too heavy or go from federal to local issues at just the right time......

Posted by: cherokeewoman | April 27, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

I was very surprised when I turned on the radio yesterday morning for my 5:30 am ride to work to hear a format change. Later in the day I learned that Andy Parks was no longer with WMAL. I am disappointed in the changes thus far. Though I liked Bryan Nehman as a third voice to the Andy and Grnady banter, his stand alone show does not hold up – hopefully in time he can refine this. Grandy and Plante do not have the magic that Andy Parks brought to the show – I doubt this will improve over time. Andy and Grandy were a good team. Andy Parks deserves better than this treatment! If he goes on the air somewhere else I will follow him. If I were a stock holder I would sell my stock in WMAL due to this dumb decision. Since I do not own stock, I will just change the station. You would have thought the station would have learned its lesson with the Chris Core episode?

Posted by: sonofdeseret | April 27, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Without Andy Parks, the show is not the same. The humor between Andy and Fred made the show. I miss Andy. Will consider listening to another station.

Posted by: dlp11 | April 27, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I've listened to Andy Parks ever since Frank Hardin and Jackson Weaver had their Hardin & Weaver morning program, Andy Parks with traffic and Ken Beatrice doing sports.

Those were the good ole days of Washington radio. Every one of those individuals is now gone from WMAL and the DC airwaves, and Tony Kornheiser has become a charicature.

I'm really saddened by this news.

Posted by: CJMARTIN04 | April 27, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

For crying out loud WMAL, do you have to wreck everything?

You ditch Chris Core, who ran what was probably the last serious talk show not on NPR. You ditch Plante only to bring him back and then pair him with Grandy because you have fired Andy Parks.

I have had enough. Sayonara WMAL.

Posted by: boog44 | April 27, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Well, WMAL has finally lost me for good - after 40 years of listening. I was disappointed when WMAL fired Chris Core (loved his focus on local issues - and usually without the rants of most talk show hosts), but at least I knew I could still wake up to Andy & Grandy. They were the perfect blend of serious issue talk and humorous banter. Most of the time I actually looked forward to the alarm going off and hearing Andy, Fred and Bryan kibitzing about some topic. So all good things must end. But really WMAL, do you believe that people want to wake up to Chris Plante railing on and on. Big mistake.

Posted by: Pitt70 | April 27, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

WMAL has lost me as a listener after 25+ years. The decision to remove Andy Parks was an unbelievably poor one. Will also remove WMAL from my car preselects.

Posted by: Bichonbtbjs | April 27, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I'll miss Andy Parks. He had a good run at WMAL, and I thought he and Fred Grandy had great on-air chemistry.

Andy Parks is yet another casualty of Citadel's ill-advised decision to buy ABC's radio stations a few years ago. How many more station employees will join Parks, Chris Core, and others who had nothing to do with Citadel's practices? When will Citadel's corporate management pay for this decision?

Posted by: austinrl | April 27, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I hope wmal management reads these posts, and others that I have seen about this stupid and insulting change! They like to call their audience "loyal listeners," but loyalty is a two way street!
I'm finished w/this station (except for the fun - but creepy - am coast-to coast, which they dorked up by ending it at 3am and running that terrible "truckers" show from 3 to 5).

Posted by: bgsu1973 | April 27, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe WMAL's bonehead decision to fire Andy Parks. Listening to Andy and Grandy each morning made my commute into DC barely tolerable. I loved the hilarious reparte between the two, while still getting a good reality check on the issues of the day. Now, all I hear is Chris Plante shouting and Fred Grandy feebly trying to keep up. The humour is gone, the friendly banter is gone, the chemistry is gone...and I am gone. Real smart, WMAL!!!

Posted by: Takingmybusinesselsewhere | April 27, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I started listening to the show about a year ago and listen to it every day while traveling to work. I even got my wife to listen to show while she is going to work. She is also a fan. I can't believe they would make this change, I'm disappointed. I respect Chris Plante and like to listen to him, but having him take the place of Andy Parks is like having Shemp take the place of Curly. Yes Nehman, you are Larry.
Andy will be missed.

Posted by: AndyFan | April 27, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Parks was such a master bringing out Nehman and foiling with Grandy that I set my alarm an hour early (at 5) just to enjoy being informed. Finally, I can go back to classical music and sleep another hour.

Posted by: slapham | April 27, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

They've lost me this time. I like Grandy, and Chris Plante is strong in the later morning slot, but the combination doesn't come close to what WMAL had with Grandy & Andy. Easing into the day with Andy's warmth and humor was perfect, especially for those of us with long, early commutes. I miss his presence already, and it's not an exaggeration to say that I feel as though a good friend or neighbor has left in the middle of the night, with no chance for us to say goodbye.

Best of luck to you, Andy. You have many fans who are hoping that we'll get to hear you again soon.

I also wish Grandy and Nehman well. WMAL has done Nehman a disservice by inserting him in a solo slot, which is not his strength, at least not yet. (Not to mention that WMAL's core audience is almost certainly more conservative than moderate Nehman, and likely won't take to his solo commentary on politics without the balance of Andy.) I love Grandy's quick wit, but even that isn't enough to hold me. Music used to de-stress my commute, but I gave that up for laughter with Grandy & Andy. Now that most of the warmth and a good bit of the humor are gone, so am I.

Posted by: skater67 | April 27, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Bye bye, WMAL!

Posted by: MAiles | April 27, 2010 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Fred and Andy are the best team WMAL ever had. They should join up on XM and go nationwide.

Posted by: cgs51 | April 28, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

I received the shock Mon morning too.

I used to commute 90 mins each way every day, and loved listening to WMAL each morning and afternoon.

I dumped WMAL in the afternoons when they dropped Chris Core. I enjoyed his focus on local issues and the fact that he could disagree w/ someone without shouting, ranting, and generally acting like an a$$.

I stayed w/ the morning program because it could be both informative and silly.

After the last few days, looks like it will be WTOP for me too.

Posted by: BEEPEE | April 28, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

WMAL has lost another good man. I have enjoyed andy parks ever since I moved to the Washingto DC area (over 20 years ago).

I like to get up slowly in the mornings. The Plante Rant before 9:00 am is too much.

Posted by: rich_in_alexandria | April 28, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Clearly WMAL doesn't care about quality broadcasting or what we post here, but I'm in line with those dumping WMAL from my preset. First Chris Core, now Andy Parks (and replacing him with that babbling, mumbling, hyperbole spewing, uh uh uh Chris Plante); it's just too much. Driving to work with Grandy and Andy was like sitting around the breakfast table discussing the events of the day. You brought back the wrong Chris.

Posted by: leadvocal2001 | April 28, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

The Program Director at WMAL is an imbecile.

Posted by: urallimbeciles | April 28, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Bye-bye WMAL. I am extremely disappointed that you got rid of Andy Parks, who was the glue that held everything together and kept it entertaining.

Posted by: GHHeppaolcom | April 28, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

WMAL - are you guys nuts? You had the best thing going in the morning and you let it go?!?

Andy, I am sending a heartfelt "thank you" your way. Despite the unpleasantness of the morning drive, I always looked forward to hearing from you. Your mixture of news and laughter was exactly what I needed to start the day.

You will be sorely missed my friend.

Posted by: pquotes | April 28, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I cannot believe that Andy Parks will not be a part of the morning lineup at WMAL. I loved the chemistry Andy/Grandy/Nehman had and now I have to listen to even more rantings of Chris Plante.

It's time to find another morning radio station.

Posted by: teislas | April 28, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

I have been a loyal listener to MAL for nearly 25 years. Long commute for 18 years (Arlington to Chantilly) and remember Andy Parks in the air. Was very impressed when Andy joined the morning show full time and have been a fan ever since. I do enjoy Fred, and listened to Plante and was glad they brought him back. BUT! Plante overtalks Fred way too much and without Andy the show is so very lacking. Not having the professional, experienced, veteran broadcasting skills and persona of Andy Parks with his take on everything from politics to trivia it just doesn't tick. I understood the move from two-for-the-road with Bill & Chris to Chris solo and then gone. Miss him a lot. But without the award winning team of Grandy & Andy I am so gone. I now have to renew a subscription to Sirius (free for six months with new Ford) and was not going to but you have forced me out of the AM market. I will get Rush on the web, Hannity on TV and I'll have give up on Squeaky voice in the evenings. This stinks! I will also boycott any advertisers (my assistant will track and list for me) and will insist my employees/partners and suppliers consider doing the same.

What a shot to the gut!

Posted by: wafer446 | April 28, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Wow! I was annoyed Monday that Chris Plante was "sitting in" for Andy (or so I thought), then worried yesterday when he was there again and no mention of Andy being on vacation or whatever. After hearing them this morning yet again and then hearing the "Plante and Grandy" promo this afternoon, I am SICK!! Chris Plante is OK unless he's screaming like a lunatic on his own show but he completely dominates and is not a bit witty on this show with Fred. Fred has lost his personality and where the heck is Nehman? I don't even hear his voice. Heck, this morning Plante even insulted Patrice by not knowing her name and the usual banter between her and the guys was totally missing. I guess it's back to audio books for me. Stupid decision, WMAL!

Posted by: spartanmama | April 28, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

I will miss Andy-- he's been a constant throughout all the turmoil at WMAL. I can't listen to the new line-up. Fred Grandy has always been annoying-- Andy made him tolerable. Teamed up with Chris Plante is too much to bear-- it's "over the top". I wish I could communicate directly with Andy to tell him how much my wife and I love him and will miss him very much. I know he will land on his feet.

Posted by: jfmcom2 | April 29, 2010 6:18 AM | Report abuse

WMAL gets it wrong again. If it ain't broke, break it. The magic is gone from the morning commute. Andy is gone, and so am I. See ya at noon, wmal.

Posted by: Steve10987 | April 29, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Wow! I am hugely disappointed and think WMAL management is screwing up for several reasons:
1) Andy was a pleasant and talented voice in the morning who had excellent rapport with Fred and Nehman. His laugh alone was worth tuning in for.
2) Even though I agree with Chris Plante on 95% of the issues, I find him difficult to listen to, manichean in his world views and lacking in humor. Definitely tough to deal with in the early morning, even if you agree with him.
3) God, I miss Chris Core--nobody did it better!
4) What is the deal with the 9oclock guy? Austin Hill, huh? Why not bring Laura Ingraham over to WMAL--she is much better.

Is it too late to change this? Are you trying to screw this iconic station up beyond recognition?!?

Posted by: wreyes4514 | April 29, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

I am shocked that Andy Parks was let go. Andy and Grandy need to hook up somewhere else. They were the best thing on morning radio. What a bunch of morons who made that decision. Radio is tuned elsewhere in the mornings now. Whoever made that decision should be fired! What is happening to this country? Obummer!

Posted by: pattievans | April 29, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

I started listening to WMAL in 1962 as a child. I have seen the bedrock radio station of Washington change formats from middle of the road music, comedy and chat to all local talk - remember Trumbell & Core, Bill Mayhugh, Felix Grant, Harden & Weaver, et.al? And don't forget the Washington Redskin games!

As many writers here have noted, everything changes and profits drive decisions. But this last move was for me the final straw. I've washed my hands of WMAL except for Rush (maybe)I can listen on the internet.

I am a staunch conservative, but talkers like Chris Plante are nothing more than "rent-a-ranters". He is of the same cookie cutter ilk of Hannity and Levin.

So, I will listen to WABC AM770 out of NYC on the internet.

Posted by: vafop43 | April 29, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

I've lived and worked in many parts of the country and can tell you that drive-time radio programs with the quality, chemistry and humor of a Harden and Weaver, Trumble and Core or Grandy and Andy are very, very rare. I always thought that WMAL management knew how lucky they were to have had such talent. The only thing holding WMAL back was its weak, undependable AM signal that many of us lost just a few miles beyond of the beltway. I can assure you that the only reason my carpool mates and I would fathfully strain and struggle trying to decipher that weak-ass WMAL signal was because ANDY AND GRANDY WERE WORTH IT!!! Our struggle is over. Good luck, Andy. Good luck, Fred. Goodbye WMAL. Your faithful, listeners are speaking now - - You're done.

Posted by: Rickbud | April 30, 2010 2:52 AM | Report abuse

I've been listening all week,it's not working. What for, was this a canning? Is ridiculous. Don't think I can keep listening. Andy had his issues he may have beat to death, but the 3 were a great combo. Don't think the management can make up for this

Posted by: suebreal | April 30, 2010 7:02 AM | Report abuse

What a foolish decision. The chemistry between Andy, Grandy and Nehman was a rare and special treat for us morning listeners. You can already tell that Grandy is struggling to tolerate Plante's overbearing personality. Nehman is a non-factor. Looks like the new 1580 talker will be my default station. Too bad, WMAL, you blew it this time.

Posted by: scorekeeper | April 30, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

The crown jewels for any radio station are the morning team. Many times they determine whether someone continues to listen to that radio station or not during the day. Citadel broadcasting may be the worst run media company ever and they are the reason for this change. I've listened to the WMAL morning show for over 50 years, and the new format is misguided and doesn't work. I gave it one morning, but that was enough. I got a WMAL Insider email yesterday and they didn't even mention the new format. I sent back a blistering email letting them know what I thought of their "improvements". The only way I will go back is if they reinstate Andy and put Chris Plante back in his normal time slot. Talk about killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

Posted by: SilenceDogoodII1 | April 30, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

One of the worst decisions ever made in radio broadcasting took place with the removal of Andy Parks. I cannot believe whoever is responsible for this still has a job. Andy is one of those guys who is funny without even trying to be. I also enjoyed his banter with Grandy, Neiman, and all of the callers that express their views on the show. Andy, thank you for your years on WMAL. I hope you will return on another Washington station.

Posted by: magilla | April 30, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

What a stupid decision. Adieu WMAL

Posted by: iiotoko | May 1, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

I am not one to write comments; however, I feel compelled to say something about the morning show. I truly enjoyed the combination of Andy and Grandy. Not only was their bantering enjoyable to hear - good mix of serious news, educational information and jokes at 5:30 in the morning on my way to school (I'm a teacher); but Andy's style, easy laughter and soothing voice were very comforting to hear. We obviously don't know the whole story of what happened between Andy and WMAL; but I think a huge mistake was made in not considering how this would affect the loyal listeners. It's difficult for me to hear the combination and lack of friendship between Plante and Grandy. It just doesn't match. Sorry, wrong decision.

Posted by: mdlewis5 | May 1, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Andy we love ya. Good luck, God speed.

Posted by: danthemason | May 1, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

At first I thought Andy might have been on vacation. When it hit me that he was gone, was very surprised. Andy Parks was very entertaining and loved the banter between him Grandy and Brian. Plante is annoying. Adios WMAL. American Morning News on TNT here I come.

Posted by: paytonart | May 3, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

What a stupid move if WMAL made this decision and not Andy. The chemistry between these three guys will never be duplicated. They all brought something to the table and made my 1 hour commute in the morning bearable. I often caught myself laughing saying to myself "these guys have way too much fun together"
Stupid. I will not be back. Good luck to you Andy.

Posted by: Nim4ever | May 3, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

I hope that Andy's departure was on his own accord. However I sense that it wasn't....otherwise there would be some kind of explanation on WMAL's website.
Assuming that this was a decision on the part of the station, it has to be the single most erroneous move in the station's history regarding morning programming. My guess is that the decision-maker behind this move not only didn't really listen to Grandy & Andy, but likely isn't in touch with the listeners' opinions...or doesn't really care.
Chris Plante is a good fit for the station format, but a poor match when paired with Fred Grandy - and a totally ineffective replacement for Andy Parks. There is no chemistry between Plante and Grandy - at least like there was between Andy & Grandy. Unfortunately Plante lacks the witiness and humor that Andy had, and actually gets my ire up. I like Plante and agree with much of what he says, however his intensity is something that I don't want in the morning.
As I tune out WMAL after 35 years of loyal listening, I'll reluctantly tune in WTOP for the continuous news loop.
At least I won't feel a sense of loss and a bit of resentment as I listen to WTOP.

Posted by: jptl | May 3, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I gave it a week, but I just can't take Plante any more. He continually drowns out Grandy. As an earlier commenter noted, the signal stinks and the only reason I strained to listen to the staion on my commute from Frederick was Grandy and Andy. WTOP should be happy with this move.

Posted by: whataboutfreedom | May 3, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I used to listen from 0500-0530 every morning. Informative and funny. Not anymore. Guess I'll listen to WTOP if all I want is news. Andy...will miss you.

Posted by: pettod | May 3, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I agree with all of the previous posts. Grandy and Andy were unique. They were like family. The chemistry is gone! Plante is fine by himself later, but not first thing in the morning. I am looking for another station. WTOP is fine for a short time. WTNT's morning show is pretty good. WCBM has great talent but a poor signal before going to 50,000 watts after daylight. SiriusXM has some good talk such as Brian and the Judge. As you can tell, I am giving up on WMAL in the early morning after many years - going back to Hardin and Weaver.

Posted by: radioman41 | May 3, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

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