Local news, sports, trivia, trends, humor, music, issues, ideas, books, perspectives and more – and always something new every day! This Morning with Aaron Keck is your home for all things Orange County.
Monday-Friday, 6-9 a.m. on 97.9 The Hill WCHL
- Talking Books with Susan Brown
- History Matters with Scott Washington
- What’s Trending with Victor Lewis
- What We’re Thinking with Tom Jensen
- & many more
Live and Local with Aaron Keck:
Monday through Friday, 6-7 p.m. on 97.9 The Hill
When local radio icon Ron Stutts retired from WCHL 97.9 The Hill in December, the station was left with a massive gap in its morning programming for the first time in decades.
This paved the way for Aaron Keck – a 10-year WCHL veteran himself – to bring his talents to the ears of listeners every weekday morning with the introduction of a new show, This Morning with Aaron Keck.
“Stepping into those shoes is kind of a big role,” Keck said. “But I’m excited about it.”
While Stutt’s 43 years of experience are hard to match, Keck’s no stranger to local airwaves and was the clear choice to fill the hole left by Stutts’ departure. WCHL listeners may recognize him as the host of an afternoon show in the 3-7 p.m. slot for the past eight years.
Keck’s lively approach brings a new energy to the morning time slot, while still retaining many elements of Stutts’ winning formula. As well, Keck’s bringing many of the popular segments from his afternoon show along with him, including History Matters with Scott Washington and Talking Books with Susan Brown.
“I get to have this position where I can keep the community informed and bring them different perspectives on issues they may not have considered,” Keck said. “A lot of times it's something that I didn’t anticipate when they come on the air in the first place.”
This Morning with Aaron Keck aims to provide the standard local news – covering local government, business and education – while also reflecting the particular values Keck believes set Chapel Hill and Carrboro apart.
“I think what makes Chapel Hill and Carrboro special is the values that define our community – inclusivity, diversity, democracy, sustainability, just being a welcoming community for everyone and letting people be who they are,” Keck said.
Speaking of special, with an educational background in political science, Keck’s path to a career in news and radio was notably unconventional.
After earning a PhD from Rutgers University in 2008, Keck entered a volatile job market. But it was during a two-year stint in a postdoctoral program at Duke University teaching political thought and theory that Keck fell in love with Orange County and took up improv comedy at DSI Comedy in Carrboro.
From there, Keck eventually began working with WCHL as a writer and performer for a weekday morning sketch comedy segment on Stutt’s show called DSI Witness News.
“It was basically Saturday Night Live Weekend Update, but local,” he said.
He quickly became the head writer for the show and when his contract with Duke was up, he applied to be a news director for WCHL, despite the entirety of his journalism experience being a lone internship a decade prior.
Needless to say, he did not land the gig but was brought on by WCHL instead as a news writer with the plan to ultimately make him the host of an afternoon newscast. This came to fruition toward the end of 2010 in the form of a one-hour show every weekday afternoon.
The following year, Keck was promoted to news director and, in 2012, his show expanded to four hours long and held that spot until December when his final afternoon show aired.
Ten years in, Keck has found his home in Orange County and with WCHL. He has no plans of leaving any time soon.
“There is no other radio station like this one,” Keck said.
“I think Chapel Hill and Carrboro are super lucky and fortunate to have an outlet like WCHL and to have had it for the last 67 years because it really is unique and rare and special. I feel fortunate and privileged and honored to be given the opportunity to take the reins of the morning show on that kind of an outlet.”