WALK/97.5 FM will launch a new morning show that originates from Connecticut, ceding local control of a time period that's been Long Island-based for most if not all of the station's history. The change is effective Jan. 2.
The new morning program, "The Anna & Raven Show" — described as a guide "through the wild world of parenting, relationships and pop culture," according to the launch notice posted on WALK's website — has aired on Bridgeport-based WEZN/99.9 FM (Star 99) since 2015. The hosts are Anna Zap, a former stand-up with a long career in Connecticut radio, and Jay Raven, a veteran morning host with various New England radio stations.
WALK senior vice president James Condron confirmed the change in a brief phone interview Thursday, saying both hosts "have great recognizability" in Connecticut and have been "highly successful super-engaging [with listeners] in the market." He said that while the show will originate in Milford, Connecticut, both Zap and Raven will "spend a lot of time" on Long Island. "It's not like syndicating a show from California," he added. Both WALK and Star 99 are owned by Westport, Connecticut-based Connoisseur Media.
"The Anna & Raven Show" will replace early-morning shows that have been anchored by Long Islanders for decades, most recently Mark Daniels, who joined the station in 1985 and was dropped by Connoisseur in November. Daniels' co-host, Jamie Morris, will not have a role in the new program, Condron said, but will remain with the company, although he declined to say in what capacity.
Daniels' firing sparked a backlash among longtime listeners, one of whom launched a Change.org petition to get him back on the air. To date, the initiative has 1,364 petitioners.
Condron — who said other Long Island-based correspondents, like WALK meteorologist Pat Pagano, will continue to offer local drop-ins — said details about the new show will be officially announced next week. But the website posting indicated "Anna & Raven" will be heavy on opinions, comedy and self-help, describing the hosts respectively "as a frenzied mother of two girls [who] loves Zumba but also secretly Outback Steakhouse" and "a married forty-something with way too many pets for his house [who] can fix stuff but didn’t he break it to begin with?"