After only two months on the air, the "Pete and Sarah in the Morning" show on WVMT (620 AM) has come to an end. Cohosts Pete Belair and Sarah Mitiguy were informed after their Friday broadcast that they were being fired, Belair said. A new local talk show featuring Burlington City Council President Kurt Wright and DJ/podcaster Marcus Certa will take over the 6 to 9 a.m. broadcast on Monday.
Belair and Mitiguy had been cohosts of a morning music show on WXXX-FM (95 Triple X) until late last year. They moved to WVMT at the beginning of January, taking the place of longtime morning hosts Charlie Papillo and Ernie Farrar, who both retired. Now, with their new show coming to an abrupt end and their Triple X time slot filled by a nationally syndicated show, Belair and Mitiguy are looking for work.
"They told me how good I was at music but [that] I didn't have the chops for political talk," Belair said. Perhaps, but what did WVMT management expect? Belair is a veteran music host who'd never done talk radio before, and Mitiguy's radio experience was all music, as well. If they were going to make a successful transition, two months was hardly enough time.
WVMT general manager JoAnn Cyr did not immediately return calls for comment.
WVMT and WXXX were sold in October by Paul Goldman to Burlington-based Vox AM/FM, which already owned WEZF-FM (Star 92.9), WCPV-FM (101.3 The Game), WXZO-FM (96.7 MeTV FM) and two other stations. Vox owner Ken Barlow wanted to keep "Charlie + Ernie in the Morning," but the two men decided it was time to step away. Barlow then shifted Belair and Mitiguy from the FM station to the AM.
Certa confirmed that the new show would be called "The Morning Drive with Marcus and Kurt."
"The show's not going to change," Certa said. "It's about local politics and local news." Wright, a former state representative who lost his seat last November, is known as a moderate Republican; Certa describes himself as "left of center." But Certa said the tone of the program would be conversational, not confrontational.
"I'm not a radio person, but I'm excited about this opportunity," Wright said. "I will be continuing to offer my opinions, but I relish the new aspect of the job: getting to ask questions of other people."