Mike Violette, the conservative voice of the morning news on Portland radio station WGAN, has left his job after 12 years.

Violette, 55, said Thursday he decided to leave the station mostly because he felt it was time for a change. Working in talk radio, as he’s done for the last 20 years, can “burn you out a little,” he said. He has no specific plans yet for a new job, but said he “assumes it will be in broadcasting.”

Violette said he asked to be let out of his contract, and officials at WGAN agreed. The station gave him a “nice severance package,” he said, and he has been spending his time playing golf and riding his motorcycle. He was on a motorcycle trip in New Hampshire with friends Thursday, and had just reached the top of Mount Washington when he called to comment for this story.

“It was just time. My kids have both graduated from college. I’m not responsible for their financial well-being anymore,” Violette said. “The time has come to see what else is out there. (WGAN) treated me very well.”

Violette had been co-host of the show since 2004 with Ken Altshuler, a Portland lawyer who usually takes the liberal side in on-air debates. The show features news headlines and discussions of news of the day, along with a wide range of guests and callers. On his Facebook page, Violette describes himself as a “compassionate caveman Libertarian.”

Violette emphasized that his departure had nothing to do with Altshuler, who he called “the love of my life when it comes to radio partners.”


Violette first announced his departure on his Facebook page Monday. In that post, he acknowledged that he and Altshuler clashed politically, saying he wanted to thank Altshuler for “all those times he’s truly exasperated me on the air.”

Bob Adams, vice president and general manager of the Portland Radio Group, would not say Thursday who might replace Violette as co-host of the “WGAN Morning News.” He said changes to the station’s morning programming and morning news show will be announced on air Friday around 5 p.m. WGAN is one of the stations in the Portland Radio Group.

The announcement will be made during the Howie Carr show. Carr, a Boston Herald newspaper columnist who usually does his show from Boston, will broadcast Friday from WGAN. Carr was born in Portland and visits Maine frequently.

Violette has been off the air since June 2. In the interim, several people who usually fill in for Violette during his vacations have hosted the morning news with Altshuler, Adams said. One recent fill-in has been Matthew Gagnon, chief executive of the Maine Heritage Policy Center, a conservative public policy organization.

In his Facebook post Monday, Violette thanked Portland Radio Group staff members for their help over the years, as well as his family and listeners.

Violette, a Waterville native, has worked on Maine radio stations for 35 years. He began doing sports on radio in Waterville and also worked in Bangor radio and as a host on local cable television.

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