Jamie Morris — Mark Daniels' morning partner the past three years at WALK/97.5 FM before his departure last November — has joined WKJY/98.3 FM ("K-JOY") as its new morning host, the station's Connecticut-based owner announced Monday. She replaces Kara Reifert, the morning show host there for the past two years.
By WALK standards anyway, Morris was something of a newcomer. She joined in October 2016, where she replaced Daniels' longtime co-host, Cindy Clifford, who had wrapped a 16-year run. When Daniels was dropped after his own 33-year run last fall, her future at the station was then also in doubt.
As always in radio, Monday's change was both abrupt and unexpected. In a phone interview, Reifert, 42, said, "Friday after the show, I was brought in for a meeting and they" — Westport, Connecticut-based Connoisseur Media, which owns the cluster of stations that operate out of Airport Plaza in Farmingdale — "told me about the changes that would take place this Monday [and] presented me with an offer which I have yet to decide on."
Reifert — who like Morris is a Long Island native (West Islip) said the offer to become a fill-in host was presented "as a lateral offer."
In an interview Monday, Connoisseur Senior Vice President James Condron said "with the changes that went on at WALK we had great talent in Jamie and we wanted to find a home for her, We feel like K-JOY is a great place for her."
Of Reifert, he said "we love Kara and we're hoping she stays on but I'm not getting into detail on that."
Like Morris, Reifert is a Hofstra graduate — Morris from the Class of 2007 and Reifert from the Class of 1999 — and both have spent their careers in radio. (Beside hosting, Reifert has also been a promotions director.) On her host bio page at K-JOY she wrote, "If I didn’t work in radio, my dream job would be a singer. But I’m not very talented in that department, so I’ll have to settle for bad karaoke."
Like WALK, K-JOY is a historic Long Island station, launching in 1947 as WHNY before changing its call letters two years later to WHLI-FM.
No program change is expected with the Morris change at K-JOY, which has long been an adult contemporary station.