Classical music listeners will wake up to a new voice next week on WNED-FM 94.5. Peter Johnson, most recently of KUNC-FM in Greeley, Colo., will start hosting "Morning Classics" from 6 to 10 a.m. Thursday, said Gabe DiMaio, station program director.
"We looked at a lot of candidates with a lot of experience from a lot of different radio stations all around the country," DiMaio said.
"First of all, his credentials speak for themselves, but what struck me about Peter was his affable style and friendly manner."
Johnson has 25 years of experience at classical music stations throughout the country, including WDAV-FM in Davidson, N.C.; WSHU-FM in Fairfield, Conn.; WGBH-FM in Boston, and KAJX in Aspen, Colo.
Johnson's hiring capped a three-month national search, according to DiMaio.
"We wanted to make sure that when listeners tune in in the morning, they can hear a really great radio show, and that means programming as well as announcing," DiMaio explained. "With classical music, we always get the criticism that it's some voice speaking from on high on what you should know, that this is good medicine for you.
"That was the old style of presentation of classical music. What I'm trying to do is make the announcers more user-friendly," DiMaio said.
Former "Morning Classics" host Shari Barbour left the station in June for Virginia, where she now is morning announcer for WHRO-FM in Norfolk.