Radio station WLKK 107.7-FM, "The Lake," has fired most of its on-air personalities, decimating one of the elements that marked the station's 2004 reinvention.
The station, which was honored in local surveys, is owned by radio giant Entercom Communications.
Tom McCray, a Buffalo State College professor who did morning news on WLKK under the nom de radio Tom Donohue, said station management told him it was a financial decision.
"They're looking for a way to cut expenses," McCray said. "Unfortunately, it meant the demise of the live personalities on The Lake."
Smoky-throated Lorne Hunter will remain, doing the afternoon show. Program director Hank Dole is handling a morning shift.
The rest of the station's voices were shown the door.
Tina Peel, named Western New York's best radio voice this year by "Buffalo Spree," was among the departed. So was former morning anchor Doc Phillips, and two weekend employees.
Questions were referred by WLKK staff to program director Sue O'Neil. She did not return a phone call requesting comment.
"The corporate owners must realize that the one saving grace radio has in this day of MP3s and iPods, the one unique thing radio has is the local personality and content a live disk jockey can give it," McCray said. "Unfortunately, when it comes to economics, saving some bucks is going to win in the long run."