FORMER GOV. ROWLAND STARTS RADIO GIG THIS AFTERNOON; PLANS TO KEEP WATERBURY JOB AS WELL

When former Connecticut Governor John Rowland starts his new WTIC-AM radio show this afternoon with his religious mentor, the Rev. Will Marotti , he will essentially have two full-time jobs. In a friendly email exchange with Rowland yesterday, he told me he is keeping his position as Waterbury’s economic development director.

Although it seems unlikely he could do both jobs effectively, there are some scenarios in which it could be done. As someone who has done radio shows for years at the beginning of my career, I can tell you that a host can’t simply show up at air time—in this case, 3 p.m.—and be properly prepared for the show. WTIC-AM may have hired a quality producer that would do much of the prep work. Or alternatively, the city of Waterbury may be more flexible with Rowland’s hours; weekend work may be a necessity. As a former guest host in that same time slot, at the same station, I can tell you show prep is crucial, particularly when the show plans to features matters of “Church and State”—the new show’s title.

As The Hanging Shad was first to report yesterday morning, the new “Church and State” show will run from 3 to 6 p.m. and will replace the current news block, “Total News.”

Ironically, afternoon drive at the station was once the stomping grounds of talented, entertaining and left-leaning host Colin McEnroe who is now on WNPR-FM, weekdays at 1 p.m. McEnroe weighed-in on WTIC-AM’s new hire.

I agree with McEnroe. Leaving aside for the moment the ethical question of WTIC-AM hiring the convicted and jailed Rowland and Marotti, a staunch Rowland supporter even in the face of mounting evidence of corruption against the former governor, they will be good on the radio and get fine numbers for the ever-important fall Arbitron ratings book.

I also agree that Rowland and Marotti will hate (and find hard to follow) the format clock for the show. Just when you think you’re on a roll with a guest or caller, it’s time to break for traffic or weather or sports or commercials. It can be frustrating but that’s why a good producer is so important. As I told the former governor yesterday, I’ll be listening.