Tony Stark, the evening host at Virgin Radio 96, surprised his listeners Thursday by announcing that that was his last show and he’s leaving the station he’s worked at for four and a half years.
Stark didn’t say why he’s leaving, saying only that he’d make an announcement in a few weeks. This almost certainly suggests that he’s moving to another station that isn’t ready to announce his hiring yet. My guess on that would be Jump! 106.9 in Ottawa, based on some circumstantial but telling evidence I’ve seen. The station recently announced a job opening for a morning show host, which would make sense. We’ll see if that’s true. Jump, CKQB-FM, was The Bear until a relaunch this spring under the management of Mark Dickie, the former general manager at The Beat in Montreal. It’s a mainstream top 40 station, and has a style similar to Virgin.
UPDATE (Nov. 24): As Neil points out in a comment below, Jump! 106.9 in Ottawa now lists Stark as its morning host. Corus sent out a press release Nov. 27 announcing the Stark hire. His show will be called JUMP! Mornings with Tony Stark and it begins Dec. 1.
Two years ago, Stark announced he was leaving Virgin for another job at a radio station in Halifax. But then he changed his mind and stayed in Montreal. He said the reconsideration was for “personal reasons” without elaborating.
Kelly Alexander has been shuffled over to Stark’s 6-11pm time slot at Virgin. Program Director Mark Bergman says he’ll be “searching the planet for the best possible person to fill this role” over the next few weeks.
Besides hosting the evening show, Stark made a mark for himself by creating videos, including the “Stark Raving Mad” series, that were designed to be humorous and sometimes succeeded (though maybe I’m a bit old for his target demo).
He ended his Virgin career in Stark style with a 90s reference gag at the end of a goodbye video posted to Instagram: