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WNZF’s David Ayres Hanging Up on “Open Lines” to Make Room for Rush and Beck Live

| January 14, 2011

Sunshine lord: David Ayres. (© FlaglerLive)

It’s the end of “Open Lines” on WNZF.

For more than two years, four days a week, from 9 to 10 a.m., David Ayres, the general manager at WNZF and Beach-FM, hosted Flagler County’s most eclectic local talk show. His guests were as varied as local politicians, paranormal buffs (if not paranormal guests), cultural, education, civic and business leaders, and even the occasional liberal. Ayres’ style–more Carson than confrontation, more common sense than conservative–was insistently optimistic and always ready to be awed, putting guests at ease rather than on edge. And now Ayres is ending Open Lines.

“It was taking its toll,” Ayres said on Friday as he described a long list of duties he had (and still has) to manage. He won;t be off the air entirely: A version of “Open Lines” will continue as “Around Town,” a half-hour show every Saturday, from noon to 12:30, bringing in community newsmakers, event planners and the like. “we’re still going to get all the community things on that we need to,” Ayers said. “I just can’t do it every day.” Unlike “Open Lines,” that show will be taped.

The change, effective Monday (Jan. 17), is part of a larger move at WNZF: Rush Limbaugh is finally coming to the station’s airwaves. “It took us a while to get up some steam and muscle to be able to bring him on,” Ayers said of the nation’s most popular radio shock-chat host, who signed a $400 million, eight-year contract with Premiere Radio Networks, his national syndicator. He is heard on some 600 stations, though not at the same time, and in many cases not for all three hours of his daily show. Many stations carry two hours. WNZF will carry all three, live. His syndicator said in 2009 that he got about 3.59 million listeners in a typical quarter hour. The number he’d het, accumulated over a day or a week, would be considerably larger. He is, in sum, a draw. “Obviously we’re after the biggest audience we can get,” Ayers says.

“Ever since we came on the air in the fall of 2008, people wanted to know why we didn’t have Rush Limbaugh on the air. We are very happy it could finally be worked out, Ayres said.”

Limbaugh will be heard live from noon to 3 p.m. That means Glenn Beck, who filled that spot previously on WNZF, will move to 9 a.m. through noon (thus bumping off “Open Lines,” among other programs). That move was also beneficial to WNZF and its listeners, in the sense that previously, Beck was heard on tape. Now he’ll be heard live, eliminating the occasional problem of Beck chatting up one issue or another that, in subsequent hours, would have changed complexion.

Here’s the new line-up on WNZF, which is heard locally at 106.3 FM, 1550 AM and streaming live on the Internet:

  • Flagler Morning News, 7 to 9 a.m.
  • Glenn Beck, 9 a.m. to noon
  • Rush Limbaugh, noon to 3 p.m.
  • Sean Hannity, 3 to 6 p.m.
  • Mark Levin, 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Laura Ingraham, 8 to 10 p.m.
  • Fox Sports wrap up with Tony Bruno, 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.
  • Overnight: “Coast To Coast,” a national call in show.

Ingraham’s show will not be live. Patrick Kelly’s “Free For All Friday,” the local public affairs show, will still be heard at its regular time, from 9 to 10 a.m. Fridays.

WNZF will have one final addition to its line-up. To Balance Limbaugh’s 15 hours of weekly commentary and the 50-odd hours of other conservative chatter, Ayers has invited FlaglerLive Editor Pierre Tristam to provide brief weekly commentaries on Friday mornings. Those commentaries will presumably provide a slightly more liberal perspective than that of Limbaugh and friends on WNZF.

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30 Responses for “WNZF’s David Ayres Hanging Up on “Open Lines” to Make Room for Rush and Beck Live”

  1. lawabidingcitizen says:

    Well there’s always the all liberal all the time NPR available for those who can’t get enough leftwing propaganda.

  2. don'tunderstand says:

    Rush is already live on 540, 690, and 1150. Don’t quite believe that many more people will switch the dial over to WNZF to hear the same commercials for Solar Fit and Blinds by Jason.

  3. Rudi says:

    Oh wonderful, there’s gonna be a whole bunch of male Republicans jerking off in their cars to the voices of two b@tsh!t crazy radio shock jock conservatives.

  4. Ron says:

    Great. Yet another station specializing in those pompous, self-aggrandizing, blow-hard windbags from FOX News. Very creative thinking, WNZF. You might as well close the doors now.

  5. Ken Dodge says:

    Guess I’ll just have to miss the initial nightly telecast of FNC’s O’Reilly Factor if I’m going to have to wait until 8 p.m. to hear Laura Ingraham (“Your Daily Radio Addiction”)

    [Pierre Tristam’s] commentaries will presumably provide a slightly more liberal perspective than that of Limbaugh and friends on WNZF.

    ~~~ Presumably???

  6. NortonSmitty says:

    LAC, NPR used to be a bastion of clear intelligent unbiased news and commentary since it’s inception, and still is above average even after the last administration did their best to pack it’s staff with conservative hacks that weren’t even smart enough to run the Iraq reconstruction. Even now it naturally tends to put the news of the day and commentary more towards the center/left point of view than the conservatives would prefer. Because they still aren’t totally dependent on advertising dollars for their existence, the reporters and staff are allowed to get the message to their unique audience as they themselves see it. It had naturally has a more liberal perspective because it is reported by an unbiased staff for a more intellegent and sophisticated audience than other outlets cater to. Naturally they have to lean more liberal.

    It always amazes me that conservatives constantly whine about the liberal media. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. The owners of the media are staunchly right-wingers. But their dilemma is that they have to hire a staff of reporters and writers that is intellegent enough to keep their business running smoothly and profitable. So that means college graduates, with a degree and everything. in other words, Smart people.

    But if you are intelligent enough to actually get a degree, you are by definition too smart to believe the right-wing conservative two-syllable line of horse shit message that is the corporate owned right wing propaganda that they have to spout out everyday. What a conundrum!

    Always remember, Fox news brags about a 50% rating. And statistically, 50% of even the American population is of below average intelligence.

    Coincidence? I don’t think so.

    PS. As an aside, I met Rush Limbaugh in about 1970 when he would live broadcast the Battle of the Bands from my Fathers’ amusement park on WIXZ 1340 AM in McKeesport, just South of Pittsburgh. There were several DJ’s that came for each event. He called himself Jackie Collins then and I remember him because he was the obnoxious dorky one that tried to make up for it by trying to bully me and the lifeguards into going and getting him a hot dog or soda for free all the time. The more things change… Never did go to college, but he is educated enough to spout his bullshit hateful propaganda to be the voice of the conservative base. If he would have gone to five different colleges to get a degree in broadcasting like Sarah Palin, he might be considered Presidentially qualified by the Right-Wing base. Too bad.

  7. elaygee says:

    Won’t be tuning in to that station anymore now that they’re commited to polluting minds. good riddance

  8. PC MAN says:

    Wow what a lineup ! A full day of lies,bullshit,half truths,bigotry,racism,fake science,fake history and made up facts. Considering the age of the drooling idiots listening to this crap it won’t be too much longer before a new station format will be needed.

  9. Jenn Kuiper says:

    Well I know I definitely WON’T be listening now.

  10. emile says:

    Aww, whatever happened to music on the radio?

  11. Music to my ears says:

    What’s on for Sunday?

  12. Dissen says:

    This just in…….WNZF’s new advertisers include Depends, Geritol, and the AARP. This announcement brought to you by the good folks at Metamucil. Why does my radio smell like mothballs all the sudden?

  13. Ron says:

    To NortonSmitty:

    I too remember Rush when he was using the name Jeff Christie on WIXZ back in the day.

    A-hole then, a-hole now.

  14. Skeptic says:

    Is there anyone reading this blog who can definitively explain how Rush Limbaugh (or anyone else for that matter) can actually know how many listeners tune in to a radio show ?
    If you get an internet or cable feed they can probably tell from a cookie on the computer or feedback from a cable box, but there’s no accurate way to determine how many radios are picking the signal out of the air.

  15. Ron says:

    Skeptic: I believe radio stations use a method similar to the Neilson Ratings that are used to measure TV viewership. I think it’s called the Arbitron Ratings.

  16. rickg says:

    Just what this area needs… more insipid radio programming featuring the likes of the Faux News Blowhards and that fat druggie. Thank goodness for satellite radio. Terrestrial radio is becoming so irrelevant.

  17. Outsider says:

    Wow! A boycott by all ten of Flagler’s pompous liberals! The station owners should be quaking with fear….

  18. Jenn Kuiper says:


    I’m proud to be a liberal but I’m nowhere near pompous. Perhaps you shouldn’t be so quick to judge people based only on their politics. That’s called ignorance.

  19. Skeptic says:

    Yo Ron,

    That’s my question… does the Arbitron ratings measure the number of listeners ? The old Neilson ratings were based on a sample of television watchers with the results extrapolated to estimate the size of a nationwide audience. Thanks for the try, but you haven’t answered the question. Personally I think the Arbitron ratings are a bunch of BS designed to attract sponsor dollars, and I’m just curious about the methods and science behind it…if there is any.

  20. kmedley says:

    I am quite happy with the addition of Rush to the lineup.

  21. Outsider says:

    Jenn, I don’t judge people based on anything but their character (and their postings), but if you re-read the posts on this thread, you’ll get what I’m talking about. If the shoe doesn’t fit, it wasn’t meant for you…..;)

  22. Ron says:


    It sounds like Arbitron uses the same sampling/extrapolation method you described above. And I agree, the ratings are questionable at best, bull$hit at worst.

    As for any science behind it, it looks like they started using something called a “Portable People Meter” back in 2007. But even that is still based on a random sample in around 50 major markets.

    For what it’s worth, here’s how Wikipedia describes the whole thing:

  23. Merrill says:

    The real issue here is coverage of local issues vs. nationally syndicated radio. Say what you’d like about Limbaugh or Beck, they’re not likely to let us know about the Carver Gym, Bunnell Bypass, or whether or not Palm Coast is going to annex any property around the airport.

    Say what you will, but I think Ayres did some very good things for locals on his shows and having our own radio station is a good thing for all of us! Having our own radio station with less local programming–not as good!

    Thanks, Dave! We’ll miss you!

  24. Swiss says:

    Wow, this will make the one-sided, T Party, Birther, FlaglerChat ESTATIC.

  25. Liana G says:

    I consider NPR to be Non – Partisan – Radio with thought provoking shows such as ‘This American Life’, helpful tips offered on ‘Car Talk’ , and the hilariously witty ‘Prairie Home Companion.’ Throw in ‘The World’, ‘Tech Talk’ , ‘Story Core’ and the host of other Non- Partisan programs and it’s all around good listening.

  26. some guy says:

    I also do not see why the station would dbl up on the same things that other stations give us. But if thats what it takes to make it in todays radio world go for it. I would like to hear others that are on the air that we can not hear with the stations we get now. Side note swiss I did not know flaglerchat was a T party, Birther site.

  27. Christie2012 says:

    Mr Ayres is a business man. I am sure he is aware that liberal talk on radio or television means zero ratings and little or no profit. Look at the Bankrupt(monetarily and morally) Air America, or the ratings of the mouthpieces of MSNBC. NPR would be gone also if it wasn’t partly funded by the taxpayers.
    Thank you Mr Ayres for allowing local companies to be able to advertise on programs that people listen too.Unfortunately, Many on the the left realize they can not compete with conservative talk, and will do anything to silence them and the advertisers that support conservative talk.

  28. Ken Dodge says:

    Heard Rush of WNZF today for the first time. Compared to listening to WOKV, it was awesome!

  29. Palmtree says:

    With the big doper windbag now coming to this station it is just another reason not to listen. I thought WNZF was going to be a more local production station. Oh well, so much for first promises. Where is the Blizzard when we really need a good local station?

  30. PC MAN says:

    The reason there are no profitable liberal radio stations is because we are working during the day. How are you able to listen to a radio all day long ? 1 you are retired (which is most listeners) 2 You are on disability 3 your a fat ass home schooling mom.

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