Quinn & Rose out as morning talk show hosts

| Monday, Nov. 18, 2013, 2:30 p.m.

Syndicated conservative broadcasters Jim Quinn and Rose Somma-Tennent, two of WPGB-104.7's original hosts, are off the air.

Clear Channel Media + Entertainment Pittsburgh confirmed on Monday that the duo no longer works there. Their 6-9 a.m. show, “The War Room with Quinn and Rose,” was replaced with David Bloomquist, known on WWVA-1170 in Wheeling, W.Va., as “Bloom­daddy.” He declined to comment.

“WPGB tried to reach new terms with Jim Quinn and Rose Tennent, but as that was unsuccessful, they will be moving on,” spokeswoman Kathryn Ferri said. “We support and thank them for the contributions they have made.”

Neither Quinn, 70, of Bridgeville nor Tennent, 55, of Venetia could be reached for comment. On their website, they assured fans they would return to the air.

“We want our listeners to know how much we have enjoyed bringing you the news every morning. We feel like we are all part of one big family,” they wrote, telling people to check for updates at www.warroom.com. “... Our commitment has been, and will always be, to conservative values and to this great country of ours.”

The sudden change surprised affiliates and angered loyal listeners.

Listener Gary Stewart of North Versailles suggested politics factored into the decision, noting Clear Channel's hiring of Democratic Governors Association executive director Nathan Daschle, son of former U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle, as executive vice president for political strategy.

“It is no secret that the left targets advertisers of conservative talk shows,” Stewart emailed. “Once they get all the conservative talk shows, they will start after the Christian radio and television shows.”

Clear Channel officials would not comment on his assertion.

“Many of our members listen to them every day and are concerned about this,” said Don Thomson of North Huntingdon, chairman of the Westmoreland County Conservative Coalition. He said losing their reporting “would be a major loss to the Pittsburgh area.”

Some affiliates said Clear Channel gave little notice.

“WYSL received email notice of this termination literally 10 minutes before their scheduled Monday morning broadcast,” Radio Livingston Ltd.'s WYSL-1040 in Rochester, N.Y., posted on its website.

“We had something different on the air this morning and made frantic phone calls saying you're feeding the wrong thing,” said Tim Martin, assistant general manager of WFRB-560 in Frostburg, Md.

Tennent accompanied WPGB listeners on two trips through Conservative Tours. Asked whether her leaving the station would affect her tie with Conservative Tours, company founder Ken Chase responded by email: “Do not know yet. A bit of a surprise.”

Quinn and Rose originally aired on Steel City Media's WRRK-96.9 but moved to WPGB in 2004 when Clear Channel instituted its FM news-talk format.

Quinn worked at stations in several cities as a music disc jockey, including Pittsburgh's KQV-1410 in its ABC Top 40 days, WKTQ-1320 and WTAE-1250. At the former WBZZ-93.7, news reader Liz Randolph in 1988 sued him and co-host “Banana Don” Jefferson for referring to her with risque jokes. She won an out-of-court settlement.

Tennent worked as a producer at WPCB-40 in Wall, where she was involved in the late Tom Green's “LightMusic” show. She is a substitute host for Sean Hannity on his syndicated talk show and has been a panelist on his Fox News Channel show.

Patrick Cloonan is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or pcloonan@tribweb.com.

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