A dark chapter in Charleston radio history has come to an end. Tara Servatius is now the morning DJ for WORD in Greenville, according to an announcement from Entercom Media, owner of the Upstate station.
During her short stint in Charleston, Servatius took WTMA in a markedly fringe direction that differed in comparison to long-time morning show host Richard Todd, a pro-pot, pro-gambling libertarian-slash-Phish fan. Whereas Todd's program, The Morning Buzz, functioned as a Lowcountry forum where right-wing and left-wing callers regularly engaged in congenial debate with the host, Servatius' show was a tightly run snuff film where reasoned debate was strangled by the DJ, who jumped from one topic to the next, spouting off often-unhinged, World Net Daily-esque rants while engaging in the radio-world equivalent of shaking her fist for three or four hours straight at the contrails in the sky or whatever right-wing bugaboo crawled up her butt that day. Phone calls from the public were not explicitly discouraged, but Servatius never seemed to have any interest in engaging much of anyone in conversation.
For a time, the City Paper employed Servatius as a columnist, a decision that was based largely on my personal admiration for her award-winning writing for Creative Loafing in Charlotte.
In the early 2000s, Servatius was a force to be reckoned with as both an investigative reporter and columnist. After the Loaf, Servatius found a home as a right-wing radio host, first in the Charlotte area and later in Myrtle Beach. Somewhere along the way, she apparently lost her frikkin mind. Servatius and the City Paper parted ways after she submitted a column that was not only nearly identical in parts to a previous column published by Creative Loafing, but contained several factual inaccuracies.
WORD has been without a morning show host since long-time host Russ Cassell passed away in October. Cassell had been a DJ on a local Top 40 station before remaking himself as a successful Upstate radio commentator.
Although I hope that the powers that be are able to convince Richard Todd to return to the mic — he left the station in 2012 following the death of his beloved wife Mary — that might not be possible. If Todd isn't an option, it would be nice if Servatius' replacement is able to craft a show that functions as a "morning meeting place" and not a place where the host tunes out the multitude of voices in the Lowcountry in favor of his or her own tinfoil thoughts.