KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — If you listen to the radio on your way to work in the morning in East Tennessee, you may notice two familiar voices are now off the air. Tony and Kris from WIVK have parted ways from the station after five successful years.
Tony Randall and Kris Rochester came to Knoxville nearly five years ago in the summer of 2017, but they’ve known each other for much longer than that.
Now they’re looking for their next adventure. Randall said, “October will mark 31 years as a team.”
Tony Randall is originally from Ohio and Kris Rochester is from Alabama.
Rochester said, “We met in Alabama, moved to San Diego, then we did a syndicated show in Nashville for about 10 years.”
That’s before they were asked to come to Knoxville to join the frog station, WIVK.
“We’ve loved it here in East Tennessee. It’s a beautiful area and the listeners are fantastic,” Kris said.
However, their time at WIVK has now come to an end.
“It literally wasn’t our decision,” Kris said. “They’ve told us for a few months that we were going to get a new deal done, and pretty much waited until the end of the contract.”
Tony and Kris said they weren’t able to come up with an agreement on a contract.
“At the end of the day, you can do all you can do,” Tony said. “We felt very connected to the audience and I think our success here in a short amount of time shows that.”
The duo has had a successful career thus far, winning one AMC award and being nominated for several CMA awards, but they say their greatest accomplishment is connecting with their fans.
“I’ve been answering texts from listeners all morning who have been so kind,” Tony said. “Because you don’t know when you’re on the radio. There’s no live audience to clap or to laugh or to tell you you’re doing a good job. You have to hope that you’re connecting and what we’re learning through all these texts today is that we connected.”
They said you may be hearing their voices once again real soon.
“Now with video content, podcasting, and live streaming, there are so many other opportunities,” Tony said.
We did reach out to WIVK to get a statement. We have not yet heard back.
In 2020 Nielsen Audio Ratings had WIVK in the top-performing radio spot for Knoxville.
WIVK already has the hosts’ position posted on Cumulus’s website.