Could WAMO be facing new managerial changes?




by Ashley Johnson

Courier Staff Writer

There has been recent speculation that new changes in management may be in the works at WAMO, Pittsburgh’s urban formatted radio station.

There is talk that after approximately two years of being general manager at WAMO, since its return to the Pittsburgh area in 2011 after being sold in 2009 by Sheridan Broadcasting to Catholic broadcasters, Laura Varner Norman may be out of her position.

Orlana Darkins Drewery, president of The Darkins Group, along with director of marketing and special events for WAMO100, denied any reports of the managerial change by saying, “Laura Norman is the general manager and there is no communication or talks in the works otherwise,” but recent information suggests something different.

In emails provided to the New Pittsburgh Courier earlier yesterday it suggests that Norman may soon be replaced by Radio One Baltimore General Sales Manager Gary Gunter. According to an email addressed from Dave Willner, director of sales, Radio One Baltimore, Gunter will be moving to Pittsburgh to assume the role of general manager at a Pittsburgh station.

“It is with very mixed emotions that I announce the resignation of Gary Gunter. Gary has been an integral part of the sales department during a period of time that saw lots of changes and reconfiguration. Gary is very well respected and has become a true Baltimorean in a relatively short time,” stated Willner in an email with the subject title “Gary Gunter.” “But, future challenges and growth opportunities await him as he assumes the General Manager role at a radio station in Pittsburgh…”

Although the particular station is not named, it has been speculated that WAMO is likely to be the station, especially with Gunter’s background in urban radio.

Radio One Inc. is an urban oriented multi media company that focuses on African-American and urban consumers. Their main medium is radio broadcasting and according to their website, they own and operate 53 broadcast radio stations in 15 urban markets in the United States.

When contacted for confirmation, Gunter would not confirm nor deny and said he had no comment. However, another email obtained by the New Pittsburgh Courier, suggests different. In an email from Gunter’s address and titled “FW: Gary Gunter” it states, “IT’S OFFICIAL!”

Norman and Tim Martz of Martz Communications Group, owners of WAMO, were contacted for comment, but failed to return calls by publication deadline.

According to Willner’s email Gutner’s last day will be March 27.

More details will follow.

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