Beck gives up afternoon show; MJ gets it
December 13, 2001 - St. Petersburg Times

Two radio shows were one too many for WFLA-AM 970 talk show host Glenn Beck.

During a live broadcast Wednesday from the Stumps Supper Club in Tampa, Beck announced that his last afternoon show will be Friday and that WFLZ-FM 93.3 morning show host MJ Kelli will take over the slot he is vacating.

"It has been exhausting. While others may be able to do two shows a day, I have been sacrificing quality on both shows to be able to put them both on," Beck said.

Kelli will use his real name, Todd Schnitt, on the air at WFLA from 3 to 6 p.m., and he will continue to do the MJ Morning Show on WFLZ. The Schnitt Show begins Jan. 3. Beck will continue to broadcast his nationally syndicated show from Tampa. It airs on WFLA from 9 to 11:30 a.m.

"I wouldn't want to be in (Schnitt's) shoes; it's not a good place to be," Beck said on the air Wednesday. "Nobody likes a new guy. But I think he's one of the more talented people I know."

Schnitt has been has been pulling double duty since October, when he started broadcasting an afternoon talk show from Tampa for WIOD- AM 610 in Miami. WFLA, WFLZ and WIOD are owned by Clear Channel Communications.

"We recognized a long time ago that MJ's future was in talk," WFLA operations manager Sue Treccase said. "Quite frankly, he has been doing a talk show on WFLZ for at least the past five years since he barely plays any music."

"The afternoon show will give me chance to do something completely different," Schnitt said.

Two years ago, Beck came to Tampa from Connecticut to try his hand at talk radio after working in Top 40. His type of talk - a mix of conservative views, discussion of topical issues, humor and religion - caught listeners off-guard but eventually won them over.

Plans were in the works to take Beck's show national in January, but the timetable was moved up after the terrorist attacks. Clear Channel syndicated Beck's show Sept. 18, and he's now heard on 47 stations.

Former WFLA talk show host Mark Larsen, who's been doing a temporary hourlong evening show for WFLA, will fill in from 3 to 7 p.m. until Schnitt's show begins.