OAK CREEK - Mayor Steve Scaffidi will resign his city post to allow him to co-host a mid-afternoon radio show on WTMJ-AM 620.
In a letter to city staff issued this week, Scaffidi said he will officially step down as of 8 a.m. Friday, March 3, more than one year ahead of the end of his term. Oak Creek Common Council President Ken Gehl will become acting mayor at that time.
"Ken has served the city well, and I know the city is in good hands," Scaffidi said.
It's up to the council as to what happens next, City Clerk Catherine Roeske said. As of Tuesday, no agenda items are set for the next council meeting, which takes place March 7.
According to a Feb. 21 news release, Scaffidi will join Erik Bilstad for a weekly radio show from noon to 3 p.m. called “Scaffidi and Bilstad.” The program will focus on big news, politics and sports stories of the day. It will premiere Feb. 28.
Scaffidi said he is looking forward to joining WTMJ to “inform and entertain the listeners with honest conversation as a conservative.”
“Now more than ever, we need quality news, information and perspective on-air,” Scaffidi said in the release. “I can’t wait to get started.”
Scaffidi said WTMJ asked him in January to do the show after Jeff Wagner moved to a morning shift. He said that after he did a few shows, station officials asked if he would be interested in a full-time position. He said it was “the right time to pursue it,” given that he had already announced in September that he did not plan to run for re-election to the mayoral post in April 2018.
WTMJ director of programming Eric Brooks said the talk show will take listeners through the top stories of the day in a “fast-paced style.” Anchor/reporter Colleen Boland will also be on the team to provide news updates.
Tom Langmyer, vice president and general manager of WTMJ and WKIT as well as vice president of radio news, talk and sports programming for the E.W. Scripps company, said Scaffidi's background is an important component to his upcoming role.
“We’re pleased to welcome Steve to our team,” Langmyer said. “Steve is a Wisconsin native, has a deep background and so much life experience beyond broadcasting.”
To take part in the show, Scaffidi is also stepping away from his position as account executive at Leonard and Finco Public Relations.
But it is his role as mayor, which he began serving in April 2012, that has given him cause to reflect on what has transpired.
“It was a very difficult decision, but ultimately I’m proud of the work I’ve done for Oak Creek and excited about what the future holds for my new opportunity on the Scaffidi and Bilstead show,” Scaffidi said.
“I will continue to live in Oak Creek and will continue to support the city however I can,” Scaffidi said in the letter to staff.
In his letter, Scaffidi also referred to the “dark days” experienced in August 2012 during the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin shooting. He said the community showed how resilient it can be when it comes together.
“It made us stronger, and a more diverse and vibrant city,” Scaffidi said. “I am proud of what has been accomplished – not just by me, but by our council, our staff and the residents of our city.”
In closing his letter to staff, Scaffidi thanked his city colleagues for their hard work.
“I thank everyone who has supported me through the years and especially our incredible city staff and those who have given so much time and effort into helping Oak Creek become the success story it is,” he said.
Prior to his first term as mayor, Scaffidi was first elected alderman of Oak Creek’s third district in 2009 and was re-elected in 2011, when he was unanimously chosen as the president of the common council.
Also before he became mayor, Scaffidi worked for 28 years in media research for the Nielsen Co.
Scaffidi is a graduate of Oak Creek High School and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, according to the city’s website, www.oakcreekwi.org.