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Published March 06 2010

WDAY-AM cuts two in restructuring

WDAY radio employees Al Aamodt and Ben Ziegler were laid off Friday as part of restructuring the station’s operations.

Aamodt, a 35-year employee of WDAY, had been an anchor for the radio station in recent years.

Ziegler was program manager and “Morning Buzz” co-host.

Both Aamodt and Ziegler declined comment when contacted by The Forum.

Kevin Weaver, general manager for WDAY AM 970, said the station will realign some of its programming beginning Monday.

The station will simulcast WDAY TV’s “First News” from 6 to 7 a.m.

The radio station’s simulcast of the 5 to 6:30 p.m. TV news is one of its highest rated time slots.

“I see no reason why this program (“First News”) won’t be equally successful on radio,” Weaver said in a written statement.

Tracy Briggs will host a daily news show from 7 to 9 a.m., assisted by Erick Johnson, who anchors the station’s newscasts and the “News at Noon” show. No other programming will change.

Aamodt joined WDAY TV in 1974 as a reporter-photographer, was named news assignment editor in 1979 and news director in 1985. He was promoted to senior news executive in 2005.

In recent years, Aamodt was more aligned with WDAY radio, including a stint with a noon talk show before anchoring morning newscasts.

Ziegler was a talk-show host on Fargo-Moorhead airwaves starting in 1995.

WDAY, like the The Forum, is owned by Forum Communications Co.