Nick Cannon stepping down from 92.3 NOW; more speculation


For the past two years, Nick Cannon has hosted the morning show at CBS Radio’s 92.3 NOW (WXRK-FM) NYC. But after much consideration following his recent health scare, Nick has decided to step down from “Rollin’” and hosted his last show 2/17 to focus on his health.

During his holiday vacation, Nick was rushed to the hospital due to kidney issues. He came back strong, but now he’s having more issues with his health, said the station’s website. On Wednesday he announced that he was hospitalized over the weekend for two blood clots found in his lungs. All these health issues have led Nick to come to the decision to give up the show.

For the time being, DJ Lil Cee will be holding down the morning spot with Sarah Lee.

Nick released a statement:

“Under doctor’s orders, I have been asked to put my health first and cut back on some of my professional commitments in order to allow my body to get the rest that it needs to keep up with the demands of my multi-tasking schedule.

It has been an absolute pleasure working with CBS Radio and the 92.3 NOW morning show team and I would like to thank them for their unwavering support. I will continue to host my syndicated “Cannon’s Countdown” weekend show and look forward to contributing to 92.3 NOW whenever possible. Even Superman has to sleep.”

Statement from Don Bouloukos, Market Manager CBS Radio NYC: “We have nothing but respect and understanding for Nick’s decision to step down from his day to day position as host of morning drive on 92.3 NOW, and fully support him as he takes on a less demanding role with the station in order to address his health.  Everyone at the station and all of the CBS RADIO family wish him well, and look forward to his continuing contributions to 92.3 NOW.”

PD Dom Theodore has also left 92.3 NOW, triggering speculation from the NY Daily News about whether New York could end up with a sports-talk FM—perhaps a simulcast of WFAN. This move from Cannon increases the likelihood of a format switch. It’s becoming more and more the strategy with CBS Radio to flip FMs to Sports Talk. Not long ago they blew up WYSP-FM Philly to add an FM version of its Sports Talk WIP-AM.

CBS switched WXRK to a top-40 format in March 2009, challenging longtime top-40 leader, Clear Channel’s WHTZ-FM, Z-100.

“Dom is leaving the company,” spokeswoman Karen Mateo told the paper. “We are actively looking for his replacement. No other changes.”

“We’re very pleased with direction of the station and are committed to the Top 40 format,” she told RBR-TVBR.

RBR-TVBR observation: We think it’s likely they will make the switch soon. 92.3’s ratings are pretty bad compared with Z-100. In the latest PPMs, Z-100 was #3 in the market with an 11.5 AQH share; 92.3 Now was #17 with a 2.7 AQH share (it has been steadily dropping). Meanwhile, WFAN-AM was tied for 12th. An FM signal would likely increase that ranker.

Mateo did provide some positive ratings data, focusing more on the station’s demo:

–92.3 NOW was the 6th most listened to station in 2011 (P6+ and P12+) – it was actually so consistent that every single month last year it was # 6 with a weekly audience of over 3 million (P6+)
–For comparison sake in the most recent ratings report (Holiday) 92.3 NOW had more weekly listeners than such long established heritage music stations such as Q104, HOT 97 and WPLJ (P6+)
–NOW also was consistently the #2 station in NYC in 2011 with teens (12-17) right behind Z-100 which is the core building block for a CHR station.