Jim Mantel Out At WGAR

Veteran Clear Channel country WGAR/99.5 morning star Jim Mantel is now officially a man without a station.

Sources at Oak Tree confirm that Mantel is out as morning drive host at WGAR, as is morning show producer “Captain Tony” McGinty.

As usual, the “Soviet-style purge” has removed the “Mantel in the Morning” page from WGAR’s website, and Mantel’s name from the station’s air personality list.

Mantel’s Twitter account is still around, though it hasn’t been updated since Sunday.

McGinty’s Twitter account is no longer accessible as of this writing, and the Google cache for the account shows it was updated recently. McGinty’s Facebook account is also missing.

UPDATE: An OMW reader tells us that McGinty is available on Twitter under a new account name.

UPDATE: We’re also told McGinty has a new Facebook page address, too.

From a memo announcing Mantel and McGinty’s departure from Oak Tree:

(WGAR program director) Charlie (Connolly) begins the search begins today for WGAR’s next morning show. On the interim, he and Lori Hovater will handle morning duties.

We don’t know why Mantel is gone from WGAR, along with his producer, but the best educated guesses involve ratings – remember, Cleveland is now firmly in PPM land – and what we’d have to assume is his more-than-decent compensation package, earned by hosting a top-rated morning drive show for many years…

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49 Responses to Jim Mantel Out At WGAR

  1. Adam Michaels says:

    Tony just changed his username since it was @TonyWGAR It’s now: http://twitter.com/tonymcginty

  2. Tim says:

    Mantel has been a pleasant morning host on the station for many years. With country music going younger, the station is probably seeking a different direction. This might be the time for another bid company to try the country format.

    • Donna says:

      Younger not always better…..look at old music styles and see what comes back arround

    • Barb says:

      Absolute worst decision that they could make!!!!!!!!!!!! If they wanted to go younger why didn’t they keep Captain tony? You can’t get much younger! I am so done with WGAR

  3. Steve says:

    You should check the ratings and get back to us. So far it reads.. older guy fired. That would be illegal. PPM does not mean ratings go down..for many they go up..see if Mantels did. Music going younger, means host must go younger… grievance and lawsuit.. That severance package better be very good or I say go get em Jim. This is still America isn’t it?

    • We don’t know for sure why Jim is no longer at WGAR, and don’t know how he’s done in the PPM era. Our gut tells us it is a money/contract issue (i.e. cost cutting, not any holdout), but we do not know yet for sure.

  4. Patty says:

    no its’ all about what he thought and said. the format didn’t like that he got me started listening to country… captain tony, michelle what happened to you. typica
    lly big business… BUT JIM you said what the little people couldn’t… let me know where you’re at.. i’ll def. move

  5. Tim says:

    At least Jim Mantel is a class act. I saw his interview on Channel 43 at 10pm. Mantel said he doesn’t want to take his talents to South Beach like LeBron. He also said WGAR and the country format will go on and do well without him. I think Cleveland could handle a 2nd country station. WGAR has been the only country station too long. WQMX, WKKY and other rimshots don’t cover the entire area. Hope they don’t mess with Chuck Collier.

    • Trish says:

      I also saw his interview last night. I always listen in the morning, and it was as if he had never existed this morning. Very sad. I hope they start another country station in Cleveland.

  6. yekimi says:

    Lori Hovater seemed to be an integral part of the Lanigan & Malone show [as the producer and on air]. With her moving over to WGAR I wonder what the means for L&M in the long run….a new producer maybe or they just go it alone?

    • Tristan says:

      Laurie Hovater is not the Lanigan and Malone producer. That role belongs to Tracey Carroll, who has been their producer for years. Laurie does news for WGAR and WMJI. I’m sure she probably also does news for other CC stations. She is still on the WGAR morning show as co-host.

      • yekimi says:

        ahh, crap! I knew that! I just got them confused. It’s hell getting old! Now, where’s my Metamucil?

  7. Leticia Milam says:

    Sorry to hear about you leaving the radio you will be missed slot. God bless you in your journey in life.

  8. Linda says:

    WGAR has lost a 30 yr listener. It’s really a shame, Jim does so much for this city and for Charity Motorcycle rides.

  9. Shannon says:

    Jim tweeted last night about 10:00: “@jim995: Probably heard that I’m no longer on the air at wgar. Was lucky to do morning in my hometown for 18 1/2 yrs. On the other hand shot 78 today”

    He will be missed! I protested and listened to a different station this morning!

  10. Laurel says:

    I find this reprehensible. He was the only reason I listened to WGAR. You can’t even get a hold of the station to tell them what you think – not that they would care anyway. I know he will be successful wherever he goes and I wish him well. Same with Tony. Now what am going to wake up to in the morning?

  11. Jean says:

    What a shame! I to was let go from my job,but in 2009. I listened to him in the morning on my way to work.
    I wish him the best, and maybe we’ll here him on another station.

  12. Carolyn says:

    I did not see the evening news last night so had no idea that Jim Mantel was gone until I signed in to listen to WGAR this morning and noticed there was no Morning Show Page. I had noticed that there was someone else on the radio with Lorrie this morning but just figured Jim was on vacation. What a shock to hear both him and Captain Tony were both gone. I have listened to WGAR since I moved to Cleveland 12 years ago and always listened to the Morning Show, it would keep me laughing in the mornings. Jim was a great host and I always enjoyed listening to him. Just like with Michelle Maloney, Gone with no explanation. The only reason I would continue to listen to the Morning Show now is for Lorrie and Chuck Collier later in the day. Once they are gone I AM GONE. Apparently Clear Channell is just like any other big business, all about the money. Ratings? I think they are really going to go down now. If it is to get the younger generation, I say who were the original fans of Country Music! The now older, apparently not needed, generation. Thanks for ruining my morning.

  13. Cathy BUrnstine says:

    Now I have to reprogram my alarm clock, car radio and the sound system at work. Thanks alot WGAR! I will find another station…..I hope you can find all new listeners and sponsors!

  14. Neil P says:

    Radio DJ’s, like baseball managers, are hired to be fired. The surprise is not that Mantel was let go, but that he survived so many years.

    I agree with other commentators that we need another country music station in Cleveland. But if we get one, I hope it won’t play the same kind of music that WGAR and WQMX play. Most of what calls itself “country” these days is junk. We need something that would try to resemble the archetype of good country music radio, the great WSM in Nashville.

    • Nathan says:

      WOBL/1320 still is going strong with their “classic country” format; heck, they even have a six-hour block of bluegrass music on Sundays! Unfortunately, the station’s signal is aimed at Lorain County and away from the Cleveland metro (by default, to protect WELW/1330 and WJMO/1300).

  15. Nancy says:

    I did not see the evening new either….. I was fooled at first, I thought he was on vacation and there was someone filling in…… Jim Mantel was the reason I listened to WGAR. I am sad to hear that he is gone.
    I guess I need to go to my Sirius country station … Good Luck Jim I am sure that this will turn out for the best but I know it does not seem like it today!

  16. fred says:

    getting rid of the morning show with the people that made listening to country music station fun and entertaining wgar has lost alot of listeners because of this dumb choice i hope country music stars hear of this and boycott this station and another staion is created and jim mantel is back on the air

  17. Tracy says:

    That really sucks being let go from any job. I stopped listening to the morning show because I disagreed with some of Jim Mantel’s viewpoints, but controversy is good for the entertainment business. I listened to it last week with my daughter and noticed that the show was called “The Jim Mantel Show” and not “Mantel and Michelle” and wondered what happened to Michelle. Does anyone know? I think that Jim Mantel was a large presence in country music in Cleveland and he will be sadly missed by many people. Good luck to you Mr. Mantel in wherever you decide to take your career! Don’t forget….this could be a blessing in disguise!

  18. Diane says:

    This happens all the time in radio. In every city. Within every company. Clear Channel may not have the best reputation but they just like many other companies have to re-evaluate expenses. If the product is too expensive to make and the product isn’t producing the kind of results that are expected – they quit making it. I’m open to a new morning show. Jim Mantel is not the only person who is funny, entertaining, or charitable. He’s also not the only good DJ on that station. I like them all for the most part. Jim will surely land on his feet.

  19. DeDe says:

    I have always listened to the WGAR’s morning show and wondered why it was so boring the last few days. Nothing but news, intros and music and this Shotgun guy. No fun, no crazy comments, no funny songs, no teasing Laurie. Figured Mantel was on vacation, then I signed in to the WGAR website and was speechless to learn that Jim was gone. Big mistake, WGAR. He made my mornings. Guess I’ll have to search for another station and hopefully Jim will show up on one of them. Michelle was boring and, although I hate to see anyone lose a job, I didn’t miss her. Jim is a totally different story. He WAS WGAR. He wasn’t afraid to voice an opinion and that’s refreshing. You will be missed, Jim. Hope another station has the good sense and good fortune to hire you.

  20. jennie koroski says:

    Me and my husband will no longer listen to WGAR. We enjoyed listening to Jim Mantel’s morning show. It seems that Ohio takes everything out of the state that we enjoy. We hope you enjoy releaving Jim Mantel of his great talent, he has a great following and we plan to follow him wherever he goes and we will not listen to WGAR ever again. This makes me hate WGAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Steven Murn says:

    I WAS a WGAR listener. Big mistake by Clear Channel for letting Jim Mantel go. I am an older listener and I like Jim Mantel point of view on government, issues, and life in general. I will miss that common sense approach about those topics. I wish Jim the best.

  22. Carol says:

    I almost fell over when my husband told me that Jim and Tony were no longer on WGAR. That morning show is one of the only reason I got to work and through the traffic with a smile. Jim and Tony will succeed wherever they go. I wish them the best. Time for another country station in Cleveland. They will be missed.

  23. Barry says:

    Get your country from internet and other sources. WGAR might as well change formats now.

  24. Heather Marks says:

    I’m with the others….thought Mantel was on vacay and that Shotgun was a zzzzzz. Did some googling this am and found out he’s gone. Mantel in the Morning was the reason I unplugged the ipod and turned on the radio. Guess the ipod will just stay plugged in now. Sad! He had a great mix of personality, knowledge, pushing the envelope, sense of humor, and connections…not to mention he knew Cleveland. Shotgun is imported from Louisiana.

  25. Walt says:

    Shotgun? Give me a break. We all know Chuck Collier. First they fire Mantel, then they treat us like idiots.

  26. Robin says:

    I like many others was also fooled into thinking that Jim was on vacation, but when he wasn’t mentioned, I became suspitious that there was something going on. I to went to WGAR.com and was shocked to see Jim no longer listed. It makes me sick that someone can so easily just be “erased”. I listened to WGAR every morning while getting ready for work and on my way to work. Jim made me laugh and I will miss him and Tony. I also liked his matter of fact way of talking and that he wasn’t afraid to speak his mind. I appreciated that about him. The morning team had a chemistry and now that is gone and I am sorry to say that I am gone too. Good Luck to Jim and Captain Tony. I hope that you will be on another local station so that I can listen to you there.

  27. judi brown says:

    this was the biggest mistake clear channel could make. I’ve given up on WGAR and all clear channel stations… Mantel, Tony and Laurie were an awesome team and they screwed it up….

  28. Bobbi says:

    Just realized this morning that Jim and Tony were not mentioned at all during the few minutes that there was chatter on the air. So I looked and discovered they were gone from WGAR. Oh well I guess I will be gone also. The Mantel in the Morning crew were the only reason I listened to WGAR. While I enjoy country music I would rather listen to the talk in the morning and not as much music. Jim had a great balance that suited my preferences. Well good luck to both Jim and Tony in whatever endeavors they pursue and now I will have to begin my surfing to find a morning replacement for them.

  29. Greg says:

    My wife and I listened to Jim Mantel every morning on our 45 minute ride to work. Now we have to find another station to listen to. Why don’t you just make it all music, because whoever it is that is on there now is just an idiot. Lori tries to be a second banana but she should just stick to weather and traffic.

  30. Judi says:

    I realized I hadn’t heard Jim Mantel last week and like many others, assumed he was on vacation. Then I noticed Tony wasn’t around and searched WGAR and found this thread. I cannot believe Jim & Tony were let go. I have listened to Jim since I moved to Cleveland in 1998 and while I realize some change is good (Michelle for example), I can’t believe CC messed with something that worke as well as the Morning Show. The personalities worked and I’m so sad to see Jim & Tony leave that I too will leave WGAR. They were what kept it fun. I only hope Laurie survives or if she’s smart, is starting to look at some station that doesn’t have affliation with CC.

  31. Deb says:

    I didn’t realize that Toby was gone too. I have listened to Jim for probably most of his time here in on WGAR. I did listen for a couple of mornings BORING. I will listen to my sirus radio now.

  32. Jean says:

    Jim and Tony, You were the reason I listened to WGAR on my ride to work every weekday! I love the music, but enjoyed your talking more. You made my ride from Parma to Beachwood more enjoyable and that’s a long drive. You know, heading East on 480 with the sun glare and all. Good Luck guys!!!

  33. Angry listener says:

    That blows!!!! Jim Mantel was the ONLY reason I listened to WGAR. I can’t believe how stupid the radio station is being!

  34. Kim says:

    I sing in a country music band, but I’ve been getting tired of hearing the same music all the time on WGAR. The ONLY reason I had WGAR on in the morning was because I liked the morning show. I especially liked the honest views and discussion that Jim and the gang had, and the fun they put into the morning. I have no reason to actually listen to the music, now. For this fan, Jim was what kept me tuning in to WGAR, so they lose.

  35. Jerry B. says:

    Well this is just typical, you do a good job, no great job with what you have and this is how it ends up?
    I would hope he does go and sue them, because he is older and has experience, and the real reason he get a higher pay because of it….no that would be the reason, i bet……..go get them Jim. If they don’t have the guts to give you a good reason, the hell with them, i been listen to you in morning for at least last 15 years if not more. Well WGAR has lost me as a listener, the guy that took over sounds like he is dead on the mike, good thing Laurie is there. The Best of Luck to you and hope you get a local gig, boy now wouldn’t that just frost management cupcakes to be hired by a local and the have a big ad telling the city about it. best of luck guys. oh and Tony, i see we went to same grade school in Cleveland, me a little before you that is…….lol….

  36. Louise says:

    WGAR has lost another listener. I thoroughly enjoyed my ride to work each morning listening to Jim, Tony and Laurie. I will never turn that staion on again.

  37. mfoisy says:

    I sure don’t like listening to this “shotgun” guy…he’s real boring. I miss Jim and Tony and Laurie together. Im tuning into another country radio station for the morning. WGAR made a big mistake letting those two go

  38. Chris H says:

    Today was the first day I had to go to work without Jim Mantel along for the ride. I had heard he was gone and I understand change. I decided I was going to give the new “guy” a good listen before making up my mind (concidering it wasnt his fault for this situation). I found myself saying banter, argue, say something interesting…. All I got was bored. No spark, …..I changed the station. Doubt I’ll be back. I havent liked the direction the format has been going for a while , this just pushed me over the edge. As for Jim being OLD? Maybe but, he was very intuned with the younger generation….. he has young adult kids. Whatever he was let go for it wasnt for lack of talent, he has that in spades. Where ever he lands he’ll do great…… Luv ya Jim!

  39. Gail says:

    OMG! Mantel and Trivisanno were the only reasons I listen to radio. Bet Triv is next – his new crew sucks compared to what he had going before. I am really mad. So, if you are too and want to make a point about the stupidity of canning Mantel by CC – call the advertisers and let them know you won’t buy their product if they choose to run their ads on any CC station. This messes up my whole morning commute. I can’t stand Lanigan, he stinks and is a suck up to all the corrupt politicians in this den thieves called Cleveland. Guess I’ll be tuning in to 104.7 WKKY and 105.1 from the Mahoning Valley. Their morning DJs don’t hold a candle to Mantel, but they sure are better than this dull, boring replacement called Shotgun. My advice to Lorrie is to start looking for a new job – you are way more talented than this “Shotgun” is. You keep giving him a good set up and he bombs! Get your own show – you can’t do worse that this guy.

  40. Janet McGee says:

    Not to plagarize, but I agree 100% with this comment posted a week earlier….I have always listened to the WGAR’s morning show and wondered why it was so boring the last few days. Nothing but news, intros and music and this Shotgun guy. No fun, no crazy comments, no funny songs, no teasing Laurie. Figured Mantel was on vacation, then I signed in to the WGAR website and was speechless to learn that Jim and Tony are gone!! Big mistake, WGAR. Jim Mantel made my mornings. Guess I’ll have to search for another station and hopefully Jim will show up on one of them. Michelle was boring and, although I hate to see anyone lose a job, I didn’t miss her. Jim is a totally different story. He WAS WGAR. He wasn’t afraid to voice an opinion and that’s refreshing. You will be missed, Jim. Hope another station has the good sense and good fortune to hire you.

  41. Tracy says:

    I have been listening to WGAR for years. On the way to work in the morning it is part of my ritual. I have to say though; I will not miss Mantel or Captain Tony. Mantels egotistical opinions always made my blood boil. Yes, he has every right to be opinionated but they would always override everyone else’s 99% of the time. He talked over his listeners when they would call in, he talked over Laurie and Captain Tony trying to discredit any opinion they may have had. I’m not sure how the two of them could stand working with him. Most of their comments went unnoticed since Mantel was so engrossed in his own thoughts. Mantel and the word crude are pretty much synonymous. How you can belittle your coworkers is beyond me? My thoughts on Captain Tony, he was kind of a weak sidekick, not much to add. Even his voice wasn’t very media friendly, sounds more like a Skipper than a Captain. I think a behind the scenes job would be perfect for him. Good luck Laurie!! Not sure what their plans are for you but maybe you’ll end up with a new host that knows how to respect his coworkers.

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