Wednesday, January 31st, 2018 will be the final episode WDW News Tonight show, WDWNT’s last radio program after 4 and a half years on WBZW in Orlando.
WDW News Tonight was not a failure. The “radio experiment” taught us a lot about what works and what doesn’t, showed that advertisers aren’t necessarily impressed by a show being on the radio in 2018, and brought a lot of great new segments and staff members to the WDWNT family. The lack of growth in the show’s audience, some broken promises by our radio station partners, and the inability to sell advertising for the show are the main factors for its cancellation. As great of a story as it would be (and you know how much I love controversy), there are no behind-the-scenes politics behind our decision to end News Tonight. Nick LoCicero and Michelle Wargo will continue to be a part of WDWNT.com in the capacities, as will any of the panelists who appeared on a weekly basis.
With this gap in programming every week, we will reinvest our time producing and performing News Tonight into several existing and new programs, as well as additional website content and improvements.
This month, WDWNT hired 8 new on-air talents to fill out our roster. Utilizing the larger team now on-board (combining new panelists with all of the previous staff you know and love), the WDW News Today Podcast will return to weekly releases for the first time in over 5 years. Despite being a mostly irregular release schedule for some time, the WDWNT Podcast has seen enormous growth in listenership, so we feel the time has come to “revive” the show. Many podcast segments will also be recorded live on WDWNTunes.com and YouTube to fill the weekly programming gap.
Despite WDW News Tonight coming to an end, most of the show’s signature segments will go on:
- The comedy monologue, parody commercials, the Wonderful World of Psychotic Comments, and WDWNT: The Match Game are heading to “See Ya’ Real Late with Tom Corless”, a monthly program exclusive to the WDWNT Inner Globe Society which can be joined at the starting price of $2 a month. The next episode of this show is Monday, January 29th at 11PM ET.
- Jeopardy will become its own YouTube series that will also air in audio form on the WDWNT Podcast.
- Other games (WDWNT: The Price is Right, Disney Parks Pursuit, WDWNT: The Pyramid, etc.) will become a new series called WDWNT: The Game Night on WDWNTunes and YouTube.
- Weird World Showcase Food Item of the Week will become a YouTube series.
- For WDWNT Inner Globe Society members only, two 30 minute shows a month called “WIGS Live!” will fill the gap of the promised WDW News Tonight post shows.
- WDWNT March Madness will return annually as a standalone audio and video series on WDWNTunes and YouTube
Following trends, a new weekly YouTube show called “A Walk in the Park” will debut soon, following myself and the WDWNT staff around on a normal day of adventures walking around the Disney Parks in Florida and California. These shows will be live-streamed and will begin sometime in February 2018.
Ending WDW News Tonight is the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make in running WDWNT.com, simply because I really love doing this show every week. I love interacting with the audience who shows up live and calls in, I love getting to do a terrible comedy monologue, and I even love watching Nick still not know how to use a soundboard after all these years. The sad truth is the show felt like it wasn’t going anywhere and many of you know I don’t like to stand still for long if something isn’t growing. It isn’t really anyone’s fault, but being the highest rated local show on the AM and FM radio stations we called home and not seeing any return for it was getting harder and harder to justify. Regardless of the many broken promises made, we would like to thank WBZW and everyone at the Salem Media Group who made the show happen, from its early start as WDWNT: The Radio Show back in August 2013.
I’d like to thank everyone who made News Tonight (and the Radio Show) so special, staff and listeners alike, and I’m looking forward to continuing many of the great pieces of that show elsewhere and continuing the over 10 year tradition of the WDWNT Podcast.