PEORIA — A Peoria talk show is on the move. The afternoon program featuring Jamie Markley and Dave van Camp that airs on WMBD-AM 1470 will be nationally syndicated starting on April 2, said station manager Mike Wild.
The show that airs in Peoria from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays is already heard in Portland, Ore.; Lincoln, Neb.; Anchorage, Alaska; Oklahoma City; Baton Rouge and West Palm Beach on stations that are part of Alpha Media, the radio group that owns WMBD. The syndicated show will continue to emanate from WMBD studios in Downtown Peoria.
Joining Markley and van Camp on the show on a spot basis will be Scott Robbins, the veteran broadcaster who staged a miraculous recovery from a series of heart attacks in 2015 that had him hospitalized for six months.
Robbins, who says he's a more empathetic person now, will continue to do the afternoon sports talk show he's hosted since last year on the Sports Nut 96.5, another Alpha station in the Peoria market. "I like doing sports. I don't have to pound my fist as much," he said.
As far as his role on the syndicated show goes, Robbins said he'll be a gadfly. "I'll just float in and out. This is therapy for me while I'm retraining my brain," he said, recalling the extensive physical therapy he went through following five bypass surgeries.
Markley admitted he's somewhat puzzled by the attention the show is getting. "I don't quite get it. But I don't want to change anything that we're doing," he said.
One thing Markley does know is the effectiveness of his former partner. "Robbins is hilarious. That's never changed. Even in the hospital, he had us laughing," he said.
"David's funny, too, but in a different style. With his news background, he makes things easy to understand," Markley said.
Van Camp joined Markley on the air in 2015 after Robbins was hospitalized. "My role is the broadcast news guy who's unleashed. You cover the news and wish you could say something. Now I can. That's my role," van Camp said.
Wild said that the Markley-van Camp show will be broadcast by satellite with Compass Media Networks, the Rye, N.Y.-based company owned by former Westwood One CEO Peter Kosann.
"Compass will market the show and look to distribute it across the nation. The company sees the potential to grow the show," he said.
"The (Markley-van Camp) show is already airing in some pretty big markets, so we're excited by the possibilities," Wild said.
The show also has a new producer. Craig Collins, fresh from WGN radio in Chicago, is now on board and likes what he hears on the afternoon show. "They provide authenticity that's missing from some of the other talk shows you hear. People can relate to these guys," he said.
Markley remains unaffected by the recognition the show is getting. "The show is just us. I feel blessed by it. I'm not capable of sounding pro," he said.
Steve Tarter covers city and county government for the Journal Star. He can be reached at 686-3260 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at Twitter@SteveTarter and facebook.com/tartersource.