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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Establishing a connection with listeners: Celebrity host Elvis Duran’s radio show comes to the Ocala-Gainesville station

Duran, Froggy and the others have shared the good, the bad and the ugly from their private lives with the listeners. Now, they hope to bring it to Gainesville

Over the years, Elvis Duran and his co-host Scot Langley, also known as Froggy, have shared their private lives with their listeners: from a disease that nearly cost Froggy his life to the ceremony that united Duran with the love of his life. 

The iHeartRadio show “Elvis Duran and the Morning Show”, which has more than 792,000 likes on Facebook and 575,000 Instagram followers, brought these experiences to the Gainesville airwaves. Recently, Ocala-Gainesville’s Q92.9 aired his show for the first time. The show airs Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Since the show first aired in the New York Metropolitan area in 1996, it has grown exponentially and is now syndicated to more than 80 markets in the U.S. and Canada. Every morning, almost 10 million people tune in to start their day with Duran and his friends, according to Forbes Magazine.

The show features Duran, the show’s bubbly star who is one of the most listened-to radio hosts in the world, Froggy and a slate of 13 other radio personalities. Together, they spend weekday mornings on the air with news stories, pop culture news, hit music and daily segments. 

Duran heads to work every morning to provide positivity and joy. First, he checks in with his 

co-stars and spends the morning chatting with listeners.

“We're in the friendship business,” Duran said. “That's the DNA of the show.”

Fernando Ocon, a 21-year-old UF Information Systems sophomore, who has listened to Duran’s morning show for about three years as part of his morning routine, said he was thrilled to hear the show was coming to Gainesville. 

"In a society that is as torn as ours is right now, a call for love, unity and light-hearted fun is a good thing," Ocon said. 

Concerned with the division in the country, Ocon said he believes the show teaches people to listen to one another more.

“Although the show truly is mostly light-hearted radio, it is a platform for conversation. Conversation and great music,” Ocon added, laughing. 

Froggy, the Jacksonville-based co-host, said he believes hosts who are honest about their lives will establish a connection with listeners. 

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Less than a year ago, Froggy had an aneurysm that almost cost him his life and he documented his journey on the air while he received treatment at the UF Health Shands Hospital. Froggy has been a Florida Gators football fan since attending games in the eighties. 

“I have tried to come to as many home games as possible,” Froggy said. “I'm a little bit of a gator nut.” 

Management at Q92.9 is confident the show will add value to morning radio by making it more entertaining and personable, said Stevie DeMann, the director of programming of Q92.9’s parent company, JVC Ocala-Gainesville.

Ben Burns, the operations manager of JVC Ocala-Gainesville, said the show will satisfy increasing listener demand for contemporary music and content-rich conversation. 

The past year has proven challenging for everyone — even the radio hosts who are trying to be sources of happiness, humor and light. However, Duran, Froggy and the other stars are not afraid to address society’s more extensive problems. 

“We acknowledge the fact that there is a heavy, hot political climate here in the United States. We don’t ignore it,” Duran said. “We just don't really take sides with it on the air.” 

Rather than serve as a place for one-sided conversation, Duran’s show is a platform for dialogue. Last year, the hosts talked about the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and reflected on racial injustice in the United States following nationwide Black Lives Matter protests. 

“We talk about the seriousness of staying safe, keeping a mask on,” Duran said, “and we mourn the loss of Black lives. We do discuss those things, especially when the heat is way up in the conversation.”

This article has been updated to reflect that "Elvis Duran and the Morning Show" starts at 6 a.m. The Alligator initially reported otherwise.

Contact Emil Munksgaard Grosen at emgrosen@alligator.org. Follow him on Twitter @EmilMunkGrosen.

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Emil Munksgaard Grosen

Emil Munksgaard Grosen is a news assistant for The Alligator and a sophomore who plans to double major in political science and public relations. Interested in civil rights and political communication, he dreams of becoming a lawyer and humanitarian. 


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