After nearly five years as an on-air morning radio show duo, Mark Manuel and Steve Ketelaar are moving from FM to AM and adding a regional audience.
On Feb. 20, the two will switch from oldies station KUUL (101.3 FM) to news-talk WOC (1420 AM), both based in Davenport and both owned by Clear Channel Media & Entertainment.
The following week, they will be heard as well on WMT (600 AM), a Cedar Rapids radio station also owned by Clear Channel.
The WOC show will be 5:30-9 a.m. weekdays. A Cedar Rapids-centric half-hour will start at 5 a.m. on WMT.
Clear Channel Davenport operations manager Jim O'Hara said the change will shore up the lineup for the heritage station, WOC, which celebrates its 90th anniversary of full-time broadcasting later this month.
"A big thing with us over the past year with Clear Channel in general has been making the best use of our strongest people, our strongest programs," he said. "As I've thought about that over the last several months, it dawned on me that WOC is one radio station that needs more help, more people."
O'Hara commended Dan Kennedy, the WOC program director who has also hosted the station's "Morning Report" for more than four years.
"He has been so, so full of jobs the last couple of years," O'Hara said. "More and more has been thrown on his plate."
Kennedy will anchor local cut-ins during the morning show, as will his counterpart at WMT.
Todd Alan, formerly with sister station KMXG ("Mix 96," 96.1 FM) will take over the morning show on KUUL. Kirk Marske, who has produced both the KUUL and WOC morning shows, will continue with the new duo at WOC.
Ketelaar, 48, and Manuel, 44, are Davenport natives and both worked in several markets before teaming up and returning to the Quad-Cities.
Ketelaar calls the WOC-WMT show a "natural evolution" of what the two have been doing at KUUL.
"It's become more of a talk show in many instances and it just fits better," he said.
Politics will play a part in the show, both said, but the two will serve as moderators more than they will express opinions.
"I don't want to add to the vitriol conversation that goes on out there. I want people to be entertained, informed and come away from the show with a positive feeling rather than their blood pressure going through the roof," Ketelaar said.
Manuel said he's proud to be working for the station that also employed a young Ronald Reagan.
"If I want to be president of the United States, this is a logical progression," he said.