COLUMBIA SC — VO: From a world of couches and potato chips, ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’ .... laundry, dishes, minvans and hampers ready to explode, emerges a familiar voice:
MUSIC: Keven Cohen Cohen
ANNOUNCER: “That was the longest commercial break I have ever heard! It was like I was gone for a year! Good to be back after a year.”
So started — or restarted — the radio career of Keven Cohen, the talk radio host who 19-year stint in Columbia was derailed by his sudden firing in WVOC-FM 100.1 last year.
Cohen’s new morning show on 95.9 FM and 1470 AM debuted at 6 a.m. this morning. The three-hour show is part of a new lineup for the stations. Cohen leased airwaves from Glory Communications to find a home for his show and other syndicated talk shows.
Cohen was humbled, delighted to be on the air, and a little teary, choking up while thanking his family and friends for standing by him over the last year.
“It is so magical to have this mic in front of me,” he said early in the broadcast.
Cohen didn’t explain overtly why he was let go from WVOC. “Not that complicated; they went in a different direction,” he said.
His departure Nov. 1, 2012 by Clear Channel angered Cohen’s fans, who took to social media to complain. Cohen said he was offered radio jobs in different cities, but decided to stay in Columbia to be close to family, and because he couldn’t leave. “I fell in love with Columbia” the moment he came her from Michigan, he said.
Cohen relayed a story on how his young children discovered he was fired. His wife, Laney, was reading the newspaper while the family was driving to Jacksonville for a reunion. The 8-year-old saw a headline about her dad and began crying. The family had to pull off the road to calm everyone down.
Not everything is ready for morning drive time. The morning show will add regular local weather, sports and news reports. Cohen told his listeners that he felt the need to launch this morning because it was his father’s birthday, which prompted another quiet, teary moment.
The rest of the Monday-through-Friday programming of “The Point,” as Cohen is calling his station, will consist of syndicated shows, including hosts Herman Cain, Laura Ingram and Leslie Marshall.