It’s a new morning at WBLI/106.1 FM, Long Island’s most popular Top 40 radio station.
After four years together, the saucy and sometimes controversial “ ’BLI in the Morning” team — Dana DiDonato, Drew Applebaum and Randy Spears — is no more. Instead, starting tomorrow at 5:30 a.m. the show will be renamed “The New ’BLI in the Morning”; the sharp-tongued DiDonato remains, but now she’ll be paired with a new sidekick named Jeffrey.
That’s just Jeffrey, no surname, please. “It’s on his resume, but I don’t even know what it is,” program director Jeremy Rice says. “It’s like being Madonna.” He’s a city-based actor who’s appeared on “Gossip Girl,” “30 Rock” and “Ugly Betty,” Rice adds.
Jeffrey, like Spears, is “sassy and openly gay.” “We thought about ‘Will & Grace,’ and how great that came off,” Rice says.
The duo will still do the “To Catch a Cheater” segment, which sets out to catch cheating spouses — it’s the most popular part of the show. WBLI ranked highest among Long Island radio stations for the fall quarter, according to Arbitron.
Listeners started calling the West Babylon station and posting queries on its Facebook page when the “old” “ ’BLI in the Morning” crew seemingly went into hibernation in mid-December. All mention of the show was removed from the station’s website.
The change in personalities came about through market research and listener surveys, according to Rice. “We had a really good show,” he says. “But we want a great show.”
Spears was in the news in early 2008 when, on the air, he likened Mastic to a trailer park; he was suspended with pay and a few days later apologized to residents at a news conference.
He could not be reached for comment; an e-mail to Applebaum was not returned.