WGR radio listeners woke up today to the voice of Howard Simon.
The Entercom Communications station on Wednesday waived its three-man morning team and replaced it with Simon, a respected sports talk host.
Kevin Sylvester, Bob Gaughan and Gary Pufpaff were released after their show Wednesday.
"Basically, it's ratings," said Greg Ried, the general manager of all Entercom Communications stations in the area. "We haven't moved the needle at all."
Simon, who has been hosting an afternoon show on WLVL and the Empire Sports Network, was to start on WGR this morning. He is paired with Jeremy White, who moves from the evening slot he shared with Brad Riter.
Empire offered Simon the opportunity to work his final show Wednesday but he declined.
Simon had previously worked for Ried at WBEN and also had a successful afternoon show on WNSA, the former sports station that was sold by Adelphia.
"He's got a great following, great sports credibility and he's the type of person who should be on WGR," Ried said.
Sylvester will remain as play-by-play man for University at Buffalo football games, which are carried by WGR.
"We're very supportive of Kevin," UB spokesman Paul Vecchio said Wednesday evening.
Simon will no longer do Buffalo Bills postgame shows on the team's flagship station, 97 Rock, WGRF, which is owned by Citadel Communications. Sylvester is believed to be a candidate for that position.