It turns out that former Gov. John Rowland—irrespective of what you may think of him getting a radio gig in the first place—is pretty much a natural as a morning show host. That’s opposed to predictable, conservative, let’s-holdover-Rush’s-audience nonsense that he spews in the afternoon with his equally nonsensical partner, Pastor Will Marotti.
Rowland filled in for morning man Ray Dunaway Friday and again Monday morning. And he impressed this listener who was a morning radio host for 10 years (WINE-AM / WRKI-FM, “I-95” in Danbury). Morning radio is laden with “the elements”—traffic, weather, time checks, news. Getting in and out of the elements smoothly while adding some entertaining interviews or tidbits of fun is no small task. Other than losing the weather early Monday and trying to wing it (her got it completely wrong telling us it was going to be a great day weather-wise), he did quite well.
Make no mistake, Rowland can’t come close to replacing Dunaway—no one I have heard in the Hartford / Springfield market can. Dunaway is the king, plain and simple (although even Dunaway’s show misses the personality and completion that was supplied by the affable, smart, fun, but take-no-nonsense Diane Smith who is among the best interviewers around—just check out CPTV or CT-N).
However, Rowland did a good job in the morning. I’ve been tough on him and his co-host in this space for their afternoon, conservative-fest which they will not allow to be challenged by anyone who can seriously and respectfully call them on the half-truths or flat-out inaccuracies. But while doing the morning show, Rowland had informative, entertaining, guests (with the exception of whack-job state Sen. Michael McLachlan, R-Danbury) as opposed to the sycophantic guests and callers in the afternoon. Simply put, he was fun to listen to in the morning.