Coy Barefoot mentioned it on his afternoon chat show today, and Bryan McKenzie wrote about it in a column in yesterday's Daily Progress, so the news isn't particularly fresh: Charlottesville radio personality Rob Schilling is returning to the air.
Schilling, a former Republican City Council member, served as temporary co-host of WINA's morning show for several months. He will now have his own daily gig, in between a more full-bodied Neal Boortz show (expanded to its former length of three hours, including the "Information Overload Hour" from noon to 1:00 p.m.) and Bill O'Reilly's 120-minute radio promo for his cable TV show.
Here's how Bryan McKenzie reported the WINA-AM schedule shift:
“The Schilling Show” will air from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Saturdays.Schilling described his approach to his new radio program to McKenzie like this:
Mr. Schilling joined WINA’s morning show with Jane Foy as a temporary replacement for longtime host Dick Mountjoy, who left to battle cancer. Mr. Schilling left the show in September after management at the station decided to place program manager Rick Daniels in the position.
The new Schilling sandwich is courtesy of local listeners who wanted Mr. Schilling back. They called, cajoled and even blogged the station, begging for his return.
“I always knew that I was an interim host and I expected to be off the show in March  but it lasted until September,” Mr. Schilling said. “There were a lot of people in the community who supported me being on the air and that’s very humbling.”
“It’ll have that watchdog approach toward government and issues and we’ll come at things less from a party view than from a commonsense view,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of experience on the inside and the outside and look at issues differently than they may be covered in the news. I have a lot to say based on my experience.”Adding an hour of Boortz and an hour of Schilling each weekday means that WINA is giving UVa Law School grad Laura Ingraham the boot. (Frankly, I would rather that they had retained her instead of O'Reilly, who can be as grating and monotonous as Ingraham is cheeky and unpredictable.)
Mr. Schilling, who took calls from constituents for four years, is again looking forward to a ringing phone.
“I think it will be a lot of fun. I would love to have a caller-driven show, but we’re only looking at an hour during the week and an hour goes quickly. On Saturday mornings we’ll have more time.”
It is good to see that WINA is bucking the industry trend by reducing its syndicated talk-show hours in favor of more local hosts and topics.
Now if only the station would bring back Joey Reynolds.