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Originally published August 9, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified August 9, 2007 at 2:07 AM

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Two KIRO radio hosts out as format refocuses on "news talk"

Going, going, gone — say good-bye to talk-show hosts Ron Reagan and New York Vinnie and soon, just about all sports talk on 710 KIRO. In a major programming...

Seattle Times staff reporter

Going, going, gone — say good-bye to talk-show hosts Ron Reagan and New York Vinnie and soon, just about all sports talk on 710 KIRO.

In a major programming move, KIRO has eliminated Reagan's one-hour daily talk show and filled the time slot with "The Dori Monson Show," still three hours but now airing earlier, from noon to 3 p.m.

The shuffle, an attempt by KIRO to retake its once-dominant position, means listeners will hear the conservative Monson immediately after Dave Ross, whose show airs 9 a.m.- noon weekdays.

"With Dave and Dori you get one individual who leans a little bit left and another who is willing to go for the attack, and that makes for a winning combination," said Rod Arquette, program director for KIRO-AM and KTTH-AM. The changes were announced earlier this week and have already gone into effect.

Arquette called Reagan "a great guy" with name recognition (he's the son of the former president and also a former MSNBC talk-show host), but said it was tough to pull off a radio talk show in only a one-hour slot. The station considered finding another time slot for Reagan and even lengthening his show, but "it just didn't work out," Arquette said. Reagan, added the program manager, said he'd be interested in filling in for Ross down the road. Reagan himself could not be reached for comment.

KIRO radio, which this year won a national Edward R. Murrow broadcast award as well as nine regional ones, wants to reformat itself from a "news radio" station to a "news talk station," with the emphasis being on both news coverage and local talk. To that end, sports like New York Vinnie's nightly show no longer fits in the lineup. Eventually, the sports talk show in his old time slot will be replaced with something entirely different, Arquette said. Only the seasonal "Seahawks Huddle" show will remain on the air.

Vinnie couldn't be reached for comment.

The station this week also debuted the one-hour "The Big Story @ 6," with afternoon news anchor Tony Miner. Arquette said it's a way to tell a top news story more extensively — beyond the 60- or 90-second format.

With the changes also comes a new slogan: "News Talk 710 KIRO."

Florangela Davila: 206-464-2916 or fdavila@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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