Signing off in style

Published 6:45 am Friday, January 12, 2007

By By ANDY HAMILTON / Niles Daily Star
NILES – "RC In the Morning" signed off for the last time today.
Ric Clingaman, the host of the local morning show broadcast daily on WNIL AM 1290, held the RC Finale Show this morning from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. The news came last month that local programming on WNIL would cease after Jan. 1.
"To each one of you listening, my heartfelt thanks," Clingaman said, signing off and choking up just a little bit at the same time.
"Gloria's Place" host Gloria Cooper announced Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2006, that local programming on WNIL would end shortly after the New Year. The reason for the change was economic, Cooper said, who submitted her resignation to Federated Media shortly after her last show.
Visitors and old friends filed in and out of the WNIL studio Friday during the final RC broadcast, dropping off pies, taking pictures and sitting and sharing stories with RC, Bell Star and Star Guy. The phone lines were also packed with well-wishers and long-time listeners, including Cooper.
The RC Finale Show was also the place for Clingaman and others to announce their plans for the future. "RC In the Morning" co-host Star Guy – Hal Shue – told listeners he was taking over as the morning host for WGTO 910 AM of Cassopolis, and Clingaman said he had accepted a position with the Edwardsburg Public Schools overseeing the new performing arts center.
"It's going to be a great venture and some super, super people," Clingaman said. "I'm very excited about the opportunity."
During the show, Clingaman reviewed sound bites from old football games broadcast by WNIL. Before closing the show, he thanked many people in the community, including teachers, parents, coaches and players.
"Broadcasting local sports has been a heartfelt joy," Clingaman said.
WNIL sports broadcaster Larry Pickles said Thursday the station will continue broadcasting high school basketball games through this season and possibly some high school baseball playoff games.
Clingaman also thanked co-workers, including his son and host of "Swap Shop," Rob Clingaman.
"I hope someday, we can share a microphone together again," Clingaman told his son, who will join Tyler Automotive.