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Savard leaves KFNS radio show, apparently headed to out-of-town TV job

Savard leaves KFNS radio show, apparently headed to out-of-town TV job

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Steve Savard’s tenure as a sports-talk radio host is over, after a run of only about 3½ months.

Savard, who took over the early afternoon weekdays slot at KFNS (590 AM) in January after spending more than a quarter century as a high-profile television sports and news anchor at KMOV (Channel 4), announced Friday that he is giving up his “Middays with Seve” show. (Seve, pronounced ‘Sevvy,’ is the nickname given to him by former colleague Jack Snow.)

Savard said on the air that he has “been presented with an opportunity I can’t pass up,” without getting into specifics, though it is believed his new job will be a television position that is out of town.

In January, when he joined KFNS, he said he didn’t know if it would be a long-term assignment and a return to TV was possible. And he and Bernie Miklasz, who joined the station in December after having been dropped by WXOS (101.1 FM) in May, have joked about taking a “hometown discount” to come to KFNS after being recruited by general manager John Hadley.

Both were let go from their previous jobs for what was said to be financial reasons fueled by the coronavirus-pandemic downturn in advertising revenue. Savard was ousted in September.

“I’m not itching to leave my hometown after building a brand here for 26 years,” Savard, 57, told the Post-Dispatch when he joined KFNS. “But if the right television news situation came along and it was a good integrity and journalism fit, I would consider it. John understands that.”

Savard said he waited until the last segment of his show Friday to make the announcement because he had no interest in a weeklong send off.

“This is . . . not even one contract cycle,” he said on the air and also touched on the bumpy beginning to his brief tenure.

“It didn’t start out on the ideal footing,” Savard said. “On Day Two, I test positive for COVID and miss most of the next two weeks.”

But he bounced back. Savard had worked in radio before, as the Rams’ play-by-play broadcaster for their last 16 years in St. Louis as well as doing football-specific programs. But he never had hosted a daily two-hour radio show and blossomed quickly in that role as he enjoyed the freedom and amount of time presented to him, unlike the constrains of TV newscasts.

“Hopefully at the end of the day, (station executives) feel like I did something to help in the transition to new ownership,” he said on his final show, which contained some levity.

Hadley, who had joined the program, kidded that “we’ll save some money” with Savard’s exit. Savard threw a savvy counterpunch: “Not a lot.”

Hadley added: “I’m bummed out, but I’m very happy for you. I hope you enjoy (your new job) in China.

“All joking aside, I talk to people and (it’s) immediately Savard-Miklasz, Savard-Miklasz, Savard-Miklasz,” Hadley said, adding that there have been “nothing but rave reviews.”

Savard played down his role: “I’m by no means the key to anything here.”

Hadley said Savard still will contribute to the station.

“You will hear him a couple times a week after he gets settled into his new job,” Hadley told the Post-Dispatch.

On the air, Hadley told Savard: “You will make us classier, bring us legit editorial content. I’m looking at this as, ‘OK, well you won’t be in the house every day but you’ll still going to be around.’ And that’s all that matters. . . . I’m your biggest fan.”

It was not announced who will take over the 1-3 p.m. slot, though Hadley told the Post-Dispatch that at least part of the time is expected to be filled by someone already in-house. That person would be expected to start sometime next week, and Hadley said it will not be him. He said he is confident the station will field a strong lineup.

“We are at a point in time where we have to pick the right people to put in the right spots,” he said.

One of KFNS’ mainstays, Frank Cusumano, said Savard made a mark in his short stay.

He provided “instant credibility. Professionalism. A commitment to his craft,” Cusumano told the Post-Dispatch. “He is a real positive guy to have around the station. He’ll be a huge success in his next TV stint.”

Savard is one of about 16 people let go from KMOV, both in and outside of the newsroom

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