DIGITAL EXCLUSIVE: WHMI responds to claims by former radio show co-hosts, news director hits back
LIVINGSTON COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS) – Mike Marino and Jon King co-hosted WHMI’s Mike & Jon in the Morning radio show for nearly 20 years.
“It has truly been an honor to be a part of people’s lives over the years. For some people, they had their 5 or 10 minutes with us. People come up and they’re gonna be like ‘omg that trivial question the other day, or when you brought that thing up, that really made me laugh.’ It was very satisfying on another level. We got to know these people as friends and watched the kids grow,” King said.
King also served as the station’s news director and says the radio station WHMIS forced him to leave his post at the station. He says the company didn’t ask Marino to leave; however, they decided it was a forfeit.
“It’s an unfortunate twist that I think an independent news operation is honestly constrained, and the independence of the press is compromised,” King said.
“I felt the pressure that sooner or later I was going to be kicked out as well so why not do it on my terms instead of them showing me the door. Me walking out the door with my head held high, saying you know what we’ve been doing one hell of a radio show for almost 20 years here. You can’t replace the Mike and Jon show, it’s not going to be Mike and somebody else,” Marino said.
On the other hand, WHMI said in a statement that reports that an advertiser forced King out are not true, and said the station would never back down from something like this.
“We had fundamental disagreements over the direction of the news department moving forward. As hope for an agreed strategy failed, Jon suggested we create an exit plan for him. On the 27th January 2022, Krol Communications presented Jon with a separation agreement making February 25, 2022 his last day at WHMI. Without telling us, the next day on air, Jon decided to make Friday January 28 his last signing day. towards the end of the shift.
WHMI 93.5 FM
King disagreed and responded in a public statement.
“This was relayed to me by the management of WHMI. Specific advertisers threatened or had already taken down their advertising based on articles I had written. Also, I always asked for specific examples of stories or reported facts that were false. At no time was I given an example.
Jon King, former WHMI news director and co-host
Marino says he will continue to remember WHMI and the community fondly.
“At the time we started in 2002 or 2003, one of our longtime listeners, she brought her young son to a station giveaway and he was 3, and then she brought him back a few just a few years old and he’s like ‘well, he’s in college!’ and we’re like Holy Moly,” King said.
“I don’t know how he grew up so fast because we don’t age at all,” Marino said.