COLUMBIA, SC — Keven Cohen is returning to the radio airwaves in Columbia, forming his own station just less than a year from his abrupt departure from WVOC-FM 100.1.
Cohen, under the corporate entity of Capital City Media LLC, has leased frequencies 95.9 FM and 1470 AM from Glory Communications, which simulcasts religious programming on those channels. Starting Oct. 28, Cohen plans to simulcast talk radio on the stations, including Mornings with Keven Cohen from 6 a.m.-9 a.m. weekdays.
Deciding he would rather stay in Columbia than chase after promising job leads in Jacksonville and San Francisco, Cohen took out a loan to finance his new endeavor.
A talk show host has never truly put his money where his mouth is like this, said Cohen, 44. I have a very trusting wife.
The rest of the lineup is filled with national shows, leaning heavily to the conservative side, with Herman Cain, Laura Ingraham, Todd Schnitt and Lars Larson. The more liberal viewpoint will be represented on Leslie Marshalls show. The late-night shows Phil Hendrie and Red Eye Radio focus more on entertainment than politics.
Cohen takes conservative stances, but I love callers who disagree with me, he said.
Cohen was fired by Clear Channel on Nov. 1, 2012, after nearly 19 years with WVOC. Clear Channel offered no explanation for his firing, which prompted many angry comments from Cohens fans on social media.
After his six-month non-compete period ended, Cohen felt he was close to landing jobs at other local stations. When he didnt get those jobs, however, he did some soul-searching.
He considered leaving town for a job in the radio business or getting out of radio and selling mortgages locally. But he desperately wanted to stay in radio and Columbia.
My family lives here, Cohen said. Im raising my babies here. I love Columbia.
So he mortgaged his house, took the leap and leased frequencies from Glory Communications. Based in West Columbia, Glory still has plenty of broadcast outlets, including five Gospel and Christian talk FM stations WSPX-94.5 in Bowman, WTMV-95.3 in South Congaree, WLJI-98.3 in Summerton, WPDT-105.1 in Coward and WTAU-106.1 in St. Stephen.
Cohens stations are expected to launch Oct. 28, billed as The Point. The full lineup and times are available online at makethepointradio.com.
For now, he has a couple of part-time employees scheduled to help with production. Eventually, he and another employee will be out selling advertising. People should know every dollar spent on The Point will stay in Columbia, he said. It wont be going to some big corporation in another city.
And if that sounds like a shot at San Antonio-based Clear Channel, Cohen insists hes not doing this out of spite. Im doing this because I love radio only slightly less than my children.