For Tony Reno, It’s Not Radio Silence But Arrivederci–See You Soon

Tony Reno

Tony Reno is good company. Has been for a morning radio audience of tens of thousands on 600 WICC–a Bridgeport regional institution since 1926–for 13 years. In bed at 8 p.m. up at 1:30 a.m. for a 5 a.m. show, Reno is cheerful, caring, compassionate and all those things breezed through the station’s transmission towers on Pleasure Beach and into homes, cars and businesses.

This bizarre beast called Covid-19 has bitten millions in so many ways. Radio can be a schizophrenic industry during the best of times, throw a strength-sapping virus into the national economy that powers advertising revenues and it’s going to knee-cap an industry’s bottom line. When businesses shut down, the advertising flow falters.

Reno, like so many others, is out of work not for performance, but for an economy-killing virus.

Last Friday he was let go along with more than one dozen others by the flagship that owns WICC Connoisseur Media. For Reno who loves radio and also hosted the Sunday morning Italian House Party show it’s more like arrivederci–see you soon–than goodbye

“I came to WICC in 2007 and felt like I belonged right away,” he said Wednesday morning. “The best part about the last thirteen years was the people making me a part of their family. Covid-19 had affected everyone and it caught up with my broadcasting industry. My termination was not performance related. It was budget cuts pure and simple. I want to say thank you to the public for making my career a blast this far. This is not the end for me. Thank you to Connoisseur Media for giving me this opportunity. I look forward to being on the air again one day. I hope you will welcome me back into your homes.”

Meanwhile, let’s all see Tony soon.

Drop Tony a line at caguarino@optonline.net.

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10 comments

  1. If Connoisseur Media. couldn’t find a way to retain Tony Reno maybe they have misplaced values. Over $2 Trillion has been committed to save jobs. Tony Reno has the quickest wit and shortest learning curve in broadcasting today! He’s a valuable asset. He’s human capital. He’s too good to fire (TGTF).
    Radio is a high-churn industry. Whatever lasts thirteen years must be pretty good!
    Only 1 can be the best. At WICC, that means Tony Reno.
    p.s. the listed email seems incorrect. It bounced back.

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  2. Here is a post that I made in 2017 about WICC.

    Ron Mackey says:
    June 12, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Back in the early 1980’s a black business from Westchester, NY, Harry Lawson, owned WNAB and they would broadcast City Council meetings. On a trip to WNAB to pickup a prize that I had won from a call in contest, during that time frame I sometimes would call in to their talk shows so when I gave my name the recognize my voice at the same time Mr. Lawson was walking by and he stop to talk to me and invited me to his office. He introduce me to Tiny Markle and Tim Quinn they were talking about how the business works and how they all had worked at different station at the same time.

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  3. Black Rock Radio 102.1 FM will not experience any terminations this year do to Covid19, but I have been sleeping with my Staff …………not really I’m self employed!
    Will miss you Tony Reno!

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    1. He hasn’t gone anywhere yet.
      If Connoisseur Media downsized because of Covid-19, wouldn’t they have to re-open like everyone else?
      I think Connoisseur Media should throw a parade in Tony Reno’s honor. Here’s why:
      What better way to reignite WICC than to give a visual to what is ordinarily an abstract idea: radio.
      A motorized parade could touch the many towns where WICC reaches, show community support and show potential advertisers your capabilities.
      What’s good for Tony Reno is good for WICC.

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      1. They don’t appreciate what they had with Tony, first class human, great radio personality and someone who could make you laugh in the morning when there is so much serious stuff going on around us. BIG MISTAKE!

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  4. I do not buy Connoisseur Media’s explanation, I think it was just an excuse they used to move Tony off of the air. Every single radio station I listen to has gone out of their way to keep their talent on the air – this includes stations that are publicly funded. I know of no other situation where on-air talent has been laid off because of Covid cost cutting. The station is still on the air, they have not lost any sponsors due to the virus and their bottom line has not changed; so where is the need to cut costs? Face it, Tony’s fate was sealed the day Connoisseur took over the station. I think this is all part of a long-term solution to change the style of WICC and to bring in people Connoisseur thinks will appeal to a younger demographic. I also think that they don’t realize that “younger demographic” does not listen to terrestrial radio anymore.

    What they did to Tony was classless…plain and simple. In your article, you posted Tony’s email address, which is great, but you should also post WICC’s program director’s email address.

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