Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Next Chapter Begins

For almost a year, I've been hosting the morning show on WINZ. In all honesty, I'm surprised it lasted that long!

As you'll see by listening to some of the earlier podcasts on this site, my radio career has dominated by music-- not talk, and certainly not politics! My passion was always music.

That is, until everything started unraveling under the leadership of George W. Bush!

I moved back to South Florida after a stint programming WXRV in Boston. I often say I don't which is worse, working for a behemoth broadcasting company, or the independent station owned by the crazy guy who thinks he knows how to program a radio station just because he has the money to be a radio station owner. I still don't know the answer.

Anyway, I had had enough of radio, and moved back down here to start my own little video production business-- taking people's old photos, home movies, memories and stories, and turning them into beautifully produced videos and DVDs to preserve the family histories and allow them to be passed down to future generations.

My problem was, and is, that I'm a creative person. I love doing the work. Not so much the business end of things. Certainly not the selling and asking for money. So, after a couple of years of burning through my savings, it was time to get back to radio!

But during those two years in South Florida, there was no music station to meet my eclectic taste. I had become a listener of the progressive talk station, and knew that was where I belonged.

I was hired to produce a new morning show with former Miami Herald columnist Jim DeFede hosting. The producer gig soon added lots of other responsibilities: Promotion Director for the station, and an ever expanding on-air role as a sidekick of sorts, and then news anchor.

Then Jim had some health problems, so when he was out, I sat in the big chair. The first few times were really weird. In music radio, it's drilled into you to say what you need to say in as few words as possible, and get back to the music. Talk radio is a completely different world.

When Jim's contract wasn't renewed last August and he left, I really didn't expect to be given the job, eventhough I though I was doing a fairly decent job. Finally, at the end of the year, they told me the job was mine.

And now, just about a year after I took over, I've been replaced with Imus.

I have lots of ideas about why they made this move, but contractually, I'm not allowed to talk about it. So I won't.

But I will take it as a sign that it's time to move on, and look toward the future.

The future of broadcasting, I believe, will come through the internet. It's the great equalizer. No longer will we need radio towers and transmitters to get our voices heard. Wi-fi is already in cars. Not mine... but if you have one of those new iPhones, you can stream internet radio! It will be in our cars before you know it.

I'll start slowly. Tomorrow morning, after I take Alison to school, I'll come home and record a commentary, and podcast it... right here!

It may take me a few weeks, but pretty soon I'll have the capability of doing interviews and taking phone calls. I hope you'll stick with me through the journey.

I will need some help to make this work. Advertisers for the podcasts. Clients for Legacy Video Productions (yes, I still do it on the side... and I still hate asking for money, but I will!), and clients for my voiceover services (that website will be active soon).

Stay tuned, and be sure to tell your friends where I am. Radio or Not... here I come.


Adam said...

Nicole I sent this to the station

Hello Mr. Charles.
I have been a long time listener of WINZ (I am a South Florida native) and have listened to Nicole Sandler since she was on the air with Jim. I am saddened to see she is no longer on your station. This is an unfortunate state of affairs. She provided a local hometown perspective along with a national/global awareness that helped one feel a sense of place in the world. She mirrored and echoed the concerns and feelings of many of us. Don Imus seems a most inappropriate replacement (I have no desire to listen to him). I hope your decision has nothing to do with her taking off to take her child to the first day of school. Please let me know when she will be back on the air.

Thank You,

Marcelo L said...


I listened to you throughout your tenure at WINZ, and though I consider myself more of a moderate democrat I listened throughout subject with which I might've disagreed with you on, because at the core, I know your heart was in the right place, and you allowed for open discourse of the issues.

I wish you and yours the best in whatever endeavors you wish to pursue. You will be missed, and hey, don't let this blog go for two years without another post, hmm ? :)

Lu Cifer said...

Nicole, you are right, this IS a new chapter! They can't stop someone with the ratings you had! Sorry Cons, it doesn't work that way!!! Just ask Randi & Neil!
Speaking of, thank you for having Randi on right before she came back with Nova M, that interview literally kept me awake while driving when I was up before I usually am, and it was seriously a life-saver! (Not a morning person here!)
So, whatever you do, YOU WILL have an AUDIENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anne said...

These life events all happen for a reason. I was very impressed with your talk at the Coral Springs-Parkland Democratic Club Luncheon. We spoke after your talk. I,too, wrote to Mr. Charles and told him that Imus would do nothing to advance a progressive agenda. I think it is a mistake and not a good fit for the line-up but he is way above my paygrade.
Anyway, I wish you the best and will check your podcasts out.
Anne Yagoda

O said...

hi nicole,
feel good because you really did a great job while on a big fan's of yours.thats why am on your blog.i will not listen imus and i have let ken charles know about it.i think this was politically motivated.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your show and looked forward to it each morning since I work midnights. I would listen to the rebroadcast from 3:00 am-6am then usually at least the first hour or so until I got home.[Until a couple of days ago there was no working radio in my room]. But often I took a portable to hear the rest of the show.It quickly became one of my favorites on WINZ which I'de started listenning to as a haven for liberal talk, the only one down here.Until a couple of years ago I rarely listenned to talk radio because it's been dominated by rightwingers for 10-15 years.Due to my schedule I only discovered the cancelation on Monday morning and was very dissappointed [ angry too.]I sent an email to the station to complain but didn't expect a response. I did get one faster than I expected but it was basicly the line that Imus is a national name they hope will pump up ratings in a difficult to sell format.While not quite a Rush or Hannity clone I could not listen for more than a few minutes [out of desperation I tried several times].Now, the 3 am replay has been replaced with Phil Hendry again...ugh!I'm waiting to see who they replace next sadly. Since I'm no fan of Alan Colm's show, despite his ostensible liberal views I loose the whole night into the morning. You are sorely missed.As I said in a previous email I wish you luck in your various endeavors.May you attain the success you deserve.

kcaroli said...

Until a few years ago I was not a listenner to talk radio due to it's domination by rightwingers.Almost by accident I ran across 940WINZ and was hooked.Finally, a haven for liberal talk! I work the midnight shift, getting off between 7 and 9 am depending on the morning. I'm not a fan of most morning shows but grew adicted to yours and will miss it sorely.Since Thursday and friday ornings are the only ones I get to sleep in I tend to miss the show then. So, it was Monday before I knew it was gone.I was sad, angry and frustrated. They even cut off the final hour of the replay of Thom Hartman to start Imus at 5 am, quite an unpleasant shock.He may not be a Rush clone but after several attempt I could not listen more than a minute or two at a time.Now the 3 am replay has been replaced with Phil Hendry again. Can't stomach his show either.Since Idon't care for Alan Colm's style, despite his liberal views, I've lost midnight to 9 am. I fear to find out who goes next. I wrote the station in protest and unepectedly did get a response. But it was just that the format is a hard sell and Imus is a national name they hope will pump up the ratings and get them more notice in the market.Possibly true, so far as it goes, but the shows that make the format are slowly being crowded out.Hendry has become more subtle since they last had him on and sounds like he's trying to play both sides by saying he's liberal but trying to make his guests and the democrats look foolish.I miss your guests, the bumper music and chat.Although I'm mainly focused on the national politics I appreciated the local perspective as I'm a lifelong Floridian.[I almost feel guilty admitting that these days].Even if talk radio was new for you I appreciated your passion on the subjects you dealt with.It helped that I agreed with you most of the time.Anyway, I wish you luck in your future projects and hope you attain the success you deserve.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nicole. I was very surprised to learn of your extraction from 940. Like you, Jim is gone from 850. Well, our voices will not be silenced. Be strong and faithful. The Devil (evil) does not like the truth. Speak the truth and the trust will set us free. Propaganda (pagan) the battle is greater than you think.