Posted at: 03/01/2013 5:37 PM
Updated at: 03/02/2013 10:12 PM
By: Nikki Ibarra, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Photo: Jim Villanucci
You might have noticed someone missing on KKOB News Radio Friday afternoon.
It was announced Friday that longtime radio host Jim Villanucci will not be returning to the station. In fact, Thursday was his last day.
Over the past couple of years, many hosts have left the Albuquerque airwaves. So what is the future of local radio?
Some said the loss of a long time personality is a big one and could definitely affect how many people tune in, but not permanently.
“It’s just change and change is, it’s hard at times. You know, it’s hard not to hear your familiar voices but, you know, it’s change,” said Paula Maes of the New Mexico Broadcasters Association.
In a statement released to KOB, Villanucci wrote that his contract was not renewed, nor was he offered an extension.
“People keep moving on and people adapt to what’s happening,” added Maes.
Maes doesn’t know the specifics of why Villanucci’s contract wasn’t renewed, but she believes the economy, internet and syndicated radio could be to blame for the recent changes in the industry.
Albuquerque has lost some big names from the airwaves; some forced out, like Tony Lynn from the Big-I 107.9 and John Forsythe from KOB-FM.
“It used to be all local programming. Just the evolution, the technology, everything has changed,” said Maes.
Despite the changes, Maes said local radio isn’t going away yet. “In local communities, it is the life blood, and the only place they’re going to find out anything local about their community is on their local radio station,” said Maes.
No word yet on who will replace Villanucci.