Otis Katie and Nick to debut new KISS FM morning radio show on Monday

Otis Katie and Nick to debut new KISS FM morning radio show on Monday

The anticipation is finally over for Northeast Wisconsin radio listeners as Otis, Katie, and Nick are set to debut their new morning show on 95.9 KISS FM this Monday. The trio, well-known for their previous stints on WIXX, will bring a fresh yet familiar dynamic to the airwaves, promising a blend of humor, local insights, and engaging content.

Katie Schurk and Nick Vitrano, who left WIXX in December, have been eagerly awaiting this moment. Due to a non-compete clause, they were unable to start their new roles immediately. However, the wait has only heightened their excitement and readiness to reconnect with their audience. “I just can’t wait to get back to doing something that I love, with people that I love,” Schurk expressed. “It’s time to laugh with each other again, and we’ve got a lot of things to cover from these last six months off air.”

Vitrano echoed her sentiments, describing his feelings as a mix of excitement and eagerness. “I’m a grab bag of adjectives – excited, ecstatic, thrilled, elated, giddy. It’s just time to go, and I can’t wait!” he said.

Otis Day, who has been hosting the morning show solo while awaiting his new co-hosts, shared his enthusiasm. “Work isn’t work when your friends are with you. I can’t wait for my friends to finally be free. The wait is over. The fun starts soon! Let’s go!”

The new show, “KISS FM Mornings with Otis, Katie & Nick,” will air weekdays from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. This marks a significant shift in the local radio landscape, which has seen considerable changes over the past year. Jim Murphy, the longtime host of “Murphy in the Morning,” retired in November after 32 years on air. Shortly after, Otis Day was announced as the new host for KISS FM’s morning slot, following the abrupt cancellation of “The Jake and Tanner Show.”

Katie and Nick’s departure from WIXX in December left a void that was temporarily filled by Chris Carson, who was later let go. In January, KISS FM announced that Schurk and Vitrano would join Day, but their non-compete clause delayed their on-air debut until now.

WIXX, meanwhile, introduced a new morning show trio, “Huggie, Natalie & Corey,” in early February. Andrew Haze, a UW-Oshkosh graduate, was promoted to host the afternoon drive shift after Dan “Huggie” Amsden moved to mornings.

The journey to this new beginning has been a rollercoaster for Schurk and Vitrano. “It’s rejuvenating, because I didn’t know I would miss it this much,” Schurk said. “You always think, ‘What would I do if I walk away?’ and we kind of got to see what our options were if we walked away. It’s nice to see that we made the right choice for us by not walking away.”

Vitrano likened the anticipation to baseball spring training after the offseason. “You sort of settle into that routine, but you’re not really comfortable in that routine. It’s not a routine that you want. It’s not a routine that you truly desire in your heart,” he explained. “You want to get back to what you do, and I’m really, really excited to get back to what I do. I can’t wait.”

One of the most challenging aspects of their hiatus was not being able to engage with listeners in real-time. “The things that are important to Northeast Wisconsin are the things that are important to us,” Vitrano said. “That’s the really difficult part to having to remain silent. You miss that moment.”

The new show will bring back some beloved segments from Schurk and Vitrano’s previous stint, including “What Would Katie Do?” and “Missed Connections.” Day has already been engaging listeners with “Holler at Your High School,” a segment that gives shout-outs to local events and competitions.

Schurk is particularly excited to participate in this segment again. “I did not think I would miss Holler at Your High School so much,” she said. “I didn’t realize how much I loved being a part of that and just literally getting to cheer for all the kids.”

Vitrano is eager to share laughs and stories with listeners. “I can’t wait to laugh with Northeast Wisconsin again. I think life is so funny and it is so ironic. It’s such a shared experience for people to sort of be in this together.”

As they prepare to go live, the trio acknowledges the support they’ve received from guest hosts who filled in during their absence. “These six months would not have been possible without them,” Schurk said. “They’ve been doing this just literally out of the kindness of their hearts.”

Listeners had the chance to guess the date of Schurk and Vitrano’s return for a chance to win a 75-inch TV. Out of thousands of responses, 164 people guessed correctly, thanks to clues hidden in social media videos.

The countdown is almost over. Tune in to “KISS FM Mornings with Otis, Katie & Nick” starting Monday at 5 a.m. for a show that promises to be a blend of old favorites and new surprises, all delivered with the chemistry and camaraderie that only these three can provide.

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