Mac McDonald to leave WINA mornings
Sports radio commentator Mac McDonald announced this morning that he will soon leave his post as a regular host on the WINA morning talk radio program to focus on other activities such as blogging and pod-casting with his actual employer, Cavalier Sports Marketing, an arm of the UVA athletic department.
Many listeners to the drive-time program on 1070 AM may not realize it, but McDonald, aka "The Voice of the Cavaliers," is actually paid by the Cavaliers.
News of McDonald's departure, delivered just before 8am, seemed to take morning hosts Jay James (filling in for medically recovering Dick Mountjoy) and Jane Foy by surprise. "You talked up to the end so we couldn't get a word in," said a seemingly faux-angry Foy, as WINA broke to another segment.
McDonald had been a regular presence on the station since 1996. He says that while May 31 will be his last day on the morning show, "It's not like I'm leaving." He says he plans to appear periodically on WINA in the future to call athletic contests and special events.
"There's not going to be a swan song, a salute-to-Mac day. I'm just going to slip out to the golf course."
During his departure announcement, McDonald alluded to "the Virginia contract," presumably a reference to WINA's right to broadcast UVA sports games, saying it would be decided in the "next two weeks."
In recent days, Saga Communications– the company that owns WINA, 3WV, WQMZ, and a new left-wing talk station– has begun sharpening its contract demands– including requesting that guests bring more to the table than merely their vocal skills. For instance, The Hook, a once-a-week WINA presence since the paper's 2002 founding, was recently asked to contribute about $14,000 worth of advertising to retain the privilege. We declined.