Nikki Mark Sam

Bergman, Sam and Niiki social distance in the studio.

When Mark Bergman was relieved of his duties as program director and drive home show host on Virgin Radio in the spring of 2019  after more than 20 years of service, he left as a gentleman. Naturally devastated at the time, he knew what kind of business he had signed up for and immediately jumped into some freelance work. This included learning the ropes of podcasting and making himself available as a social media consultant.

One of Bergman’s last moves as PD was to lure Vinny Barruco over from The Beat 92.5 FM to become Virgin’s new drive home show host. Soon after his dismissal, Freeway Frank Depalo and Natasha Gargiulo were replaced by Vinny, Shannon King and Adam Greenberg.

It did not take long before Bergman got a call from Paul Awad, the program director at The Beat. He was offered a part-time gig as a fill-in announcer, rising to permanent status by the fall as weekend morning host, swing man and remote specialist. Beginning today (July 23) he succeeds Andy Wilson on the top-rated morning show hosted by Nikki Balch and also featuring "Stuntman" Sam Lupo. The latter actually made his return to the airwaves today after three months of personal time off.  As for the show, it has been rebranded Nikki & The Morning Show. Km Kieran remains on board, but morning show producer  and Assistant Program Director Rob Kemp was also a victim of cuts.

"I am humbled," said Bergman of his new gig. "It is one of the few (morning shows)  in North America headed by a woman."

Sam originally took time off when his girlfriend had a baby. But he revealed to listeners this morning that when she experienced postpartum depression he had to step away for a longer period. "She was hit hard," he explained.

Here is the full announcement by Nikki and Sam's comments.

Natasha has started her own web show and her most recent guest was none other than Freeway Frank. Together they shared their disappointment of being let go last year by the Mix”

You can view  it here on Facebook.

Who will replace Bergman on weekend’s at the Beat? Wouldn’t it be something to see Freeway and Natasha get the gig? Or will someone like the uber-talented Meghan Kelly be chosen? Stay tuned.

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