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Michele Tafoya out as WCCO Radio afternoon host

Michele Tafoya will step down as WCCO-AM's afternoon host; John Williams will get the 3-6 p.m. slot next week, according to a staff memo from WCCO market manager Mick Anselmo.

Tafoya's ratings haven't been high: in November, she grabbed 3.5 percent of men 25-54, the core talk listenership. WCCO is content with an older 35-64 demographic, but 13th place here — behind KFAN, 1500ESPN, Twin Cities NewsTalk and MPR News — wasn't great.

That said, Williams' 9 a.m. to noon show finished 17th in the same demographic, with a 1.4 percent share.

Here's Anselmo's memo:

Good morning,

I have some announcements to share with you regarding programming on WCCO:

1. Michele Tafoya has decided to spend more time with her family. Consequently, Michele will be cutting back on her duties with WCCO. With two full-time jobs and a beautiful family, it comes as no surprise to anyone, especially me. She's an immense talent, driven and focused, but her new role at NBC includes an Olympic assignment as well as the Super Bowl, and is even more demanding of her schedule. Michele will step away as our regular afternoon host effective this Friday, but will continue with Super Bowl updates through Super Bowl weekend. She will remain with us as a fill in host and commentator, and will continue to do endorsements for our clients.

2. I’m pleased to announce that, effective January 30th, John Williams will move to 3-6pm on WCCO! John’s entertaining and thought provoking talent are an important factor in the growth of WCCO. He is the perfect choice to take over afternoon drive and follow the tradition that was established by legendary broadcasters like Steve Cannon, in a contemporary style that will resonate with Minnesotans of today.

3. Last, but not least, Kyle Shiely is being promoted to full-time Producer. Kyle’s versatility and passion for radio are well-known among the programming staff. As full-time Producer, he will take on more responsibilities, while continuing to assist Bob and his staff as he has since his arrival at WCCO.

Please join me in congratulating Michele, John and Kyle in their new roles with WCCO!

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Comments (11)

I don't know what to think about the comparison to Steve Cannon......

John Williams is much preferred to Tafoya. Big improvement.

This is great news! Her right wing, reactionary political stance was out of step from her very first day with the "Good Neighbor". Bring back Shelby.

So WCCOs answer is to have someone in Chicago host their afternoon drive time show? Brilliant! (Mr. Brauer I'm surprised you didn't mention this).

Not going to miss Tafoya. Clearly biased, unbalanced and unfair. Shelby...miss him.

Even though I disagreed with her politics, I thought she had an entertaining show. I used to be a KFAN afternoon listener, but grew tired of Dan B. ripping Minnesota every day, so I switched to Tafoya.

It will be interesting to see if John Williams can pull it off. I personally think John Hines would have been a better fit for that time slot.

Memo to WCCO (and KFAN for that matter): Play less commercials.

I tried giving Tafoya a shot but she just wasn't cut out for radio. I stopped listening as her thoughts weren't very cohesive and the stammering drove me crazy. I look forward to giving WCCO another chance during the late afternoon.

Good riddance. The first time I heard her show I was shocked that someone who came across as so intelligent and nice in her sports work could be such an ignorant, nasty piece of work when it came to politics.

Now they should dump the Whining Chad Hartman and have a "clean Sweep"!

I'm in agreement with other commenters - I don't think Ms. Tafoya is cut out for long-form radio. I do like her as an NFL sideline reporter, but it seemed clear to me from the few times I tried to listen to her on 'CCO that she doesn't have the broad perspective and nuanced take that is required for digging deep into topics outside of major sports. And the constant mispronunciations and stumbling over words grates, too.