COVER- Wake up call: Morning Show meets Greasy Breakfast

In more than eight years in Charlottesville, Jane Foy has co-hosted WINA's Morning Show with Dick Mountjoy and Rob Schilling. Now it's former Big Greasy Breakfast host Rick Daniels' turn.

Regular listeners accustomed to hearing Jane Foy and Rob Schilling on WINA's Morning Show may have been surprised last week that one of the voices sounded like half of 3WV's morning show, "the Big Greasy Breakfast."

By the second time the "Morning Show with Rick and Jane" was mentioned, it became clear that former city councilor Schilling had left the building, while the man best known for spinning hard rock and spewing rants in his "Friday Freakout" had landed on a quieter news show that celebrates birthdays and anniversaries. 

The shake-up at WINA AM-1070 and 3WV FM-97.5, both owned by publicly held Saga Communications, started when longtime radioman Dick Mountjoy got cancer.

"Initially, we were all optimistic something would happen with Dick," says Foy. "A miracle did happen– he's alive."

"When I took the job, it was on an interim basis," says Schilling, who joined Foy on the air last October despite having little radio experience. "At the time I took over, the hope was Dick would come back."

Sadly, that didn't happen. And when it became apparent that he would not return, local management for Saga, which also owns Lite Rock Z95.1, 106.1 The Corner, and AM 1450 Progressive Talk, began looking for a permanent replacement.

"Once it became clear Dick would not be returning, we started a search to find the best morning show host possible," says station manager Renee Quesenberry. "And it turned out that he was already in our building."

Quesenberry, head of Charlottesville Radio Group, Saga's name for its local stations, calls Daniels "the top-rated talent on FM for years and years.


"Like Dick," Quesenberry says in an email, "Rick has a passion for radio that is live, local, and totally committed to serving the community. Who better to carry on the WINA tradition?"   

Daniels co-hosted 3WV's Big Greasy Breakfast for 13 years and has been that station's program director since 1997. "I feel very honored to have this opportunity on WINA," he says, "and I love 3WV."

Despite having co-hosted a show in which someone screams "Loser!" at least a dozen times each morning, Daniels suggests that there isn't that much difference between the raucous 3WV and the calmer AM talk radio world of WINA because both stations try to cover what their listeners are talking about.

 "What I bring," says Daniels, "is more of a reflection of the average Joe who doesn't understand all that's going on. And I bring a different sense of humor."


Jane Foy with former city councilor Rob Schilling, who filled in on the Morning Show for nine months.

Rob Schilling has left the building, so now half the "Big Greasy Breakfast," Rick Daniels, can join Jane Foy for AM radio's leading morning show. And Clear Channel has sold all its local stations for about half what the behemoth paid nearly a decade ago. Meanwhile, as the two behemoth companies compete, a small band of liberal activists hopes to score a little bit of bandwith of their own.


So what's the biggest difference at WINA? "The coffee is a lot weaker," answers Daniels.

The demographic of 3WV is 25- to 54-year-old men, a population that consistently lands 3WV in the winner's circle in the local ratings race, notes Daniels.

Originally, WINA also focused on men and women in that age group. "Over the years," says Daniels, "listeners have aged, and the station has aged with them. One of the reasons I'm incredibly excited is the challenge of serving older listeners while making news talk more acceptable to 20- and 30-somethings. WINA hasn't done a good job of doing that."

He mentions how the Daily Show with Jon Stewart has drawn younger viewers back to the news (or "news.") Daniels wants WINA to be one-stop shopping for news, traffic, weather, and sports, as well as providing a unique perspective to attract younger listeners.

Daniels, who adds program director at WINA to his job titles (he's also operations manager for all five Saga stations), envisions the Morning Show as a news magazine– "the Today Show for Charlottesville."

So more changes are upcoming? "It's a work in progress," says Daniels, noting that he's aware that listeners are now having to adjust to Schilling's absence so soon after getting used to Mountjoy's. And he has his own adjustments to make in going AM.

"The tone is the big thing," explains Daniels. "Jane and I are still trying to develop on-air rapport." 

Says Foy: "You just have to get used to the idea you're 30 inches away. You have to learn each other's timing and each other's sense of humor. We're going to take our time and ease into this."

The first week went swimmingly, both say. And because both stations are in the same building– and there's a softball team– the two already knew each other. "He made me laugh from the day I met him," says Foy.

 She's upbeat about Daniels getting top billing on the "Rick and Jane" show. "It sounds better," she insists, reminiscent of the classic children's reading primer as well as two movies about suburban crooks. 

As for Schilling, who holds a real estate license and creates Christian rock music, his future in radio is still TBD. "I'm planning to have a little bit of down time," he says. "I've been in real estate for 20 years, and I just moved over to Roy Wheeler. I'm taking advantage of people knowing who I am in this community."

Over at the Big Greasy Breakfast, Max Hoecker reflects on the loss of his longtime partner: "I'm happy to see that sorry bastard out of the studio," he jokes, quickly adding, "No, it's bittersweet. We were partners 13 years."

Highway John– John Spangler– steps into Daniels' spot on the BGB. The 26-year-old has been at the station seven years, from early days answering the phone and doing traffic to earning his "Highway John" moniker. "We quickly put him on the air," says Daniels.

Big Greasy Breakfast listeners were already aware that Daniels was leaving. In classic World Wrestling format, there was a bet between Rick and Highway John, and the loser– there's that word again– had to leave town. "The fix was in," says Daniels.

Over at the more mature WINA, Daniels "is going to have to behave himself a little more," says Hoecker. "The show could use a little fresh blood to bring it into the 21st century... [Rick] played dumb on 3WV, but on WINA he'll show us how smart he is."

Hoecker also has some advice for Foy about her new on-air marriage to Daniels: "Keep his coffee mug filled, and don't ever steal his stapler."

From left, 3WV's Max Hoecker and Rick Daniels in the pre-Saga Communications days with former station owner Brad Eure.




I think Rick will do a tremendous job! He's incredibly intelligent and tremendously witty and has always had an ability to establish an instant rapport with his audience. He is truly one of the hardest working people in Charlottesville radio and I wish him only the best on this new path in his career!

I am so happy that this duo has been dissolved. That morning show has been stale for a decade.

Nice guys when off the air, but terribly annoying on-air. This will be good for them and the station and most of all, the listening community! I wish them both the best.

The referecne to a classic children's reading primer and "two movies about suburban crooks" was a laff riot in its ignorance.

The films in question are "Fun with Dick and Jane" and the classic children's reading primer that features the characters Dick and Jane. There is no mention of a Rick in either of these artifacts.

And this is at least the second time in as many months that the writer has shown her ignorance of pop culture, all the more ironic in her rather pathetically obvious desire to be hip by dropping such an easy subreference in the first place.

C'mon Hook: for a publication that clearly strives to be the leadings smartass rag in Hooville, lately, you spend an inordinate amount of time being the dumbass, instead.


I thought Max and Rick on 97.5 were truly great, Rick will be missed, I don't do AM radio.

For me the morning show is not the same. I miss the tag team with Rick & Max.( Highway is ok but max should have whipped his ---. no just kidding ). I wish the best for everyone.

The best to Rick from Harold and Shania. I am going to miss the laugh in the morning that Max and you provide and also the friday freak out. My radio does not get AM.

PLEASE Come Back to the BGB Rick! You know Katie Couric should have never left The Today's the same thing with Max and Rick on the Big Greasy Breakfast.

I can't believe Rick has left the was my favorite thing to listen to in the morning on the way to work. I can't believe there won't be any more Friday Freakouts!! That was TRUE comedy at its best and probably one of the funniest things I have ever heard...I especially liked the bits about "traffic calming" - what is that anyway? You will be sadly missed and I, as some have stated before me, do NOT do AM radio, too boring. Best wishes to everyone but Rick you will be sorely missed!!

well I must have slept thru the whole thing bc I just found out that Rick was no longer on 3WV, sure does explain why I hadn't heard him w/ Max doing the morning thing. While HWY John is doing a great job I'm saddend by the loss of Rick. And since I only listen to 3WV and have since the station first aired here when I was in high school, yes I'm old, I'll probably not hear Rick anymore, I don't do WINA. Rick, you will be greatly missed!!!! Max & hwy John, keep up the good vibes !!!!



big greasey will not be the same,RICK will be missed,hang in there high way.

exactly the bgb will never be the same but loyal listners will still listen hang in there guys its not a done deal you guys still rock but if you ever need help call me or kathy

is this what Anger Management does to someone???? soooo, sad......

all will miss rick.but change is good highway is doing a GREAT job he sure had some BIIGGG shoes to fill (long live the gong!!)

Rick, I stop delivering the donuts and then you leave the BGB?? Gods, man... do you realize that if I show up for a surprise visit, I now have to cater to Highway's tastes?!!!?? What are ya doing to me, brother?? Seriously, I've been wondering where you were, and I'm glad to see you're still in the same building, doing the good works, amigo. Hope to see you soon.

Nothing against you highway, but for the love of god, please bring rick back to the bgb. Its not the same and I find myself tuning in to other stations. The only highlight to my weak is when you play the old friday freakouts with rick. m. lowe

Rick's Friday Freakouts were the highlight of a long work week. I greatly miss them! The BGB is definitely NOT the same and I now tune to satellite radio during my morning commute.