Orlando Morning Radio Icon Jim Turner Announces Retirement; New Morning Host Named

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ORLANDO – Oct 29, 2012 – After 40 years as a NewsTalk WDBO’s Morning News host, Jim Turner has announced his retirement from Cox Media Group (CMG) Orlando. 

On May 28, 1972, Turner joined the staff of then AM 580 WDBO by responding to an ad in a broadcast trade magazine.  Over 8,000 shows later, Jim Turner has celebrated a rare milestone in the broadcast business.  “It wasn’t something planned.  The years just sort of piled up on me,” Turner said.  In 2004, Turner was honored with a coveted Marconi Award for “Personality of the Year” by the National Association of Broadcasters.

After 12 years as WDBO’s afternoon host, Turner took over the morning drive time slot, and in 1985, (then) Program Director David Bernstein decided that Jim was the personality who should lead the station’s move away from music and into the information and talk format.

“Jim is a broadcast icon,” said Drew Anderssen, WDBO Program Director.  “He has been revered as one of the premier morning hosts in America for many years, a true professional, and a great man.  We stand by Jim in celebration of his 40 years of community service and dedication to Central Florida as he begins to write a new page in his life.  He will truly be missed as the daily voice of morning news in Orlando radio.” 

“Jim has been WDBO’s anchor to our listeners and community,” added Susan Larkin, Cox Media Group Orlando Vice President and Market Manager.  “His talent, engagement, and sheer love of radio is to be admired.  We will miss Jim and cannot thank him enough for his part in building this brand.”

Upon Turner’s retirement, fellow CMG News Talk host, Joe Kelley, will be at the helm of Central Florida’s Morning News on NewsTalk 96.5 WDBO.  Kelley joins WDBO from KRMG in Tulsa, Okla., where he and Anderssen achieved consecutive #No. 1 market ratings in coveted demographics and a number of prestigious awards for broadcast excellence.

Moving to CMG Orlando’s news/talk station, NewsTalk 96.5 WDBO, has been a long-time goal of mine,” said Kelley. “Jim Turner has been there for 40 years. So this is, indeed, a rare opportunity.”

Kelley has been the host of the KRMG Morning News since 2005 and News Director since 2010. “Although we can never replace Jim Turner, we are fortunate to be able to pull from within our existing resources to find his successor,” added Anderssen.  “And, as we continue to build a better WDBO, I know listeners will love Joe’s attention to the community and the content that matters most to Central Floridians.”

“Joe’s been a great believer and advocate of KRMG and the Tulsa community, most notably with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, where he has led the efforts to raise nearly $1 million to help make Wishes come true for children with life-threatening illnesses,” said CMG Tulsa VP and Market Manager Gene Vidler.

CMG Tulsa will begin an immediate search for Kelley’s replacement as morning news host and news director. 

KRMG’s Program Director, Levi May, is eager to find the best talent in America to lead KRMG’s news department and KRMG’s morning news program.  “We are very excited about the opportunity to bring new, outstanding talent to KRMG, and further grow our listening audience,” said May.  “KRMG is dedicated to being Tulsa’s number one station for news, weather, and traffic and we will always remain committed to that pledge.”

Jim Turner has not yet announced the date of his final broadcast in Orlando.  Joe Kelley is set to join the WDBO Team on Nov. 19, 2012; he will be hosting Central Florida’s Morning and Afternoon News on a fill-in basis as needed until after Jim Turner’s final broadcast.

About Cox Media Group
Cox Media Group  is an integrated broadcasting, publishing, direct marketing and digital media company that includes the national advertising rep firms of Cox Reps. Additionally, CMG owns and operates Valpak, one of North America’s leading direct marketing companies.   With $1.7 billion in revenue, the company operations include 15 broadcast television stations and one local cable channel, 86 radio stations, eight daily newspapers and more than a dozen non-daily publications, and more than 100 digital services.   CMG operates in more than 30 media markets and reaches approximately 52 million Americans weekly, including 30 million TV viewers, more than 4 million print and online newspaper readers, and 18 million radio listeners.  For more information about Cox Media Group, please check us out online at www.coxmediagroup.com.