It will be the end of an era in Sacramento radio Friday morning when longtime Y92.5 (KGBY-FM) morning host Paul Robins signs off for the last time.
Robins, who hosted "The Paul & Phil Show" for 18 years and "The Paul Show" for the past year, has confirmed that he and sidekick Lori Sacco have been laid off as part of what is believed will soon be a major format switch for the soft-rock station.
"Anybody who does what I do and doesn’t know that this day is coming and doesn’t plan for it is a dummy," the 49-year-old Robins says. "There’s nobody at any radio station that ought to be thinking, 'I’m going to do this until I’m 65.' So, in that regard, nobody has the right to ever be surprised.
"I’ve always had my eyes wide open in this business and it happens sometimes. It’s very rare you get to pick the time. I know it sounds Pollyanna, but I’m not making it up: My overwhelming reaction is, 'Wow, isn’t it amazing I lasted 20 years?' And it has been really fun."
Neither Jeff Holden, general manager of Clear Channel's Sacramento stations, which includes Y92.5, nor station program director Sonia Jimenez returned calls or e-mails from The Bee asking for information about the expected format change.
Y92.5's new format is expected to be in place on Dec. 26, after the station's monthlong commitment to playing Christmas music ends.
There is industry speculation that Clear Channel will do the same thing to Y92.5 as it did to KBIG, another Clear Channel pop station in Los Angeles. That is, change it to an all-automated, slightly harder rock format.
As for Robins, he says he has been given permission by management to make an on-air goodbye. He says his final remarks will come just before 9 a.m., the end of the show. Clear Channel allowed Robins' former morning partner, Phil Cowan, to say goodbye to listeners last month when his KSTE political talk show was canceled and replaced by a syndicated consumer-affairs program.
"We’re not going to make a big deal about it and won’t talk about it until the end," Robins says. "It’s rare in radio that you get to say goodbye, and Phil was very fortunate to be able to do that. And wasn’t it a great goodbye? Similarly, I get the privilege of doing that, too."
In recent weeks, Robins has filled in for soon-departing Kelly Brothers as a host on the morning news on Clear Channel sister station KFBK (1530 AM).
Asked if he is a candidate to fill the spot when Brothers leaves in January, Robins says, "Yes, my name has been bandied about. But you'd need to ask management about (that position)."