Lexington's The Bear radio station (WLXX-92.9 FM) will debut a nationally syndicated morning show on Friday, ending its locally produced offering.
The new show, Nashville-based Tony and Kris, is syndicated in six markets, said Hal Hofman, market manager for station owner Cumulus.
"It really does something for our listeners to put them right on the street in Nashville," Hofman said, noting that country artists appear on the show regularly.
The move comes just weeks after morning host Jason Bailey left the station to move to Knoxville, where he bought two radio stations. Bailey has been well-known for his role in the program Bandy and Bailey in the Morning, which began in 1994 and ran until partner Michael Bandy died of kidney and liver failure in late 2008.
The original plan was to call the show The Bear Bunch and have it hosted by Bailey's partner, Deidre Ransdell, with visits from two other Cumulus employees, Brad Munson, who provides traffic updates, and Scott Johnson with news.
But Ransdell decided to leave the station, Hofman said.
"I really appreciate Deidre giving it a try for those three weeks to see if it was a fit for her," Hofman said. "We would have found a role for Deidre outside the morning show, but she chose to move on and do other things. We're going to miss her."
Ransdell could not be reached for comment.
Asked how The Bear would now compare to market leader The Bull (WBUL-98.1 FM), which produces a local show, Hofman noted The Bear will still have local traffic, weather and news updates.
"We'll still have all those local elements in there," he said. "I don't think we're going to miss a beat there."