What’s next for WRKO... get rid of Rush?
At this rate they could be Air America within days :(
also in the Herald:
They either love him or hate him, but radio listeners agreed on one thing when it came to Howie Carr yesterday: News of his jump from AM to FM had them buzzing.
I like him because hes straightforward. Hes brutally honest, said Gerard Doherty, 48, a nurse from Braintree. I dont blame him for the move. Its more money for him. AM stinks. Its always breaking up. At least FM is clear all day. Its a step up for him.
Tom Kelly, a retired T worker from Wollaston said, I like him, hes conservative. Ill listen to him more now if hes moving to FM.
But over in South Boston, a group of retirees said Carr is too negative.
If he takes a dislike to you its forever. Hes a professional rabble-rouser, said one. He mustve had a miserable upbringing. Hes making money at everyones expense.
Said John Carras, 79: Hes vindictive and remembers everything. But, he added, Hell do a good job.
Some of those interviewed by the Herald were longtime Carr listeners even though a few resented the fact that his arrival at WRKO in 1994 meant the departure of veteran talkmaster Jerry Williams. Others said it is his skill as a Herald columnist who rides the politicians that makes him a good listen.
Id rather listen to him than Rush Limbaugh, said Richard Gross, 57, of Boston. As long as I get the channel, I dont care where Howie goes. I love Howie. I know he has more money than God. I wish him good luck, but I wish I had his money.
Many fans said they were torn as to why they love to hate Carr but said they will follow him wherever he goes.
You know the saying, To whom much is given, much is to be expected? The man has a lot of power. He riles the masses with negativity. Howie is a double-edged sword, said Larry Herr, 45, a contractor from Avon.
I enjoy his program, but at the same time I think hes a bit of a hypocrite. Hell deny it with a chuckle, but hes a homophobe and a racist. He can be a little more responsible in the sensitivity department, he said.
But, Herr added, Hes the most interesting thing on talk radio.
The afternoon-drive host is the stations highest-rated talk host by far and it looks like WRKO wont let him go easy.
Carr, which I reported online yesterday, is jumping ship to WTKK (96.9 FM) to take over the morning drive slot. Its unclear whether Carrs producer, Sandy [Nancy Shack—raccoonradio], will go with him.
Michael Harrison, publisher of Talkers Magazine, said its a big loss for WRKO. Hes established as a major player in Boston. He brings his brand and he brings a following to the FM station,’ Harrison told me.
Harrison said theres no doubt’ that a good FM station will beat a good AM station. Also, WTKK has a much better signal than the weaker WRKO (680).
There are more younger people and more women who hang out on the FM dial,’ Harrison said.
Harrison called Grace Blazer, who left Philadelphia last month to work at WTKK, a fabulous program director.
If this is her first major move as PD, its a good one, Harrison said.
Brian Maloney, who runs www.savewrko.com., called Carrs exit a devastating blow for an already struggling station.
I cant even imagine what would fill that slot, Maloney said.
Maloney called it an ingenious move by WTKK. Youve now taken away Jay Severins competitor. Youre taking the No. 1 show off the table and youre moving it to your own and youre giving Severin a free ride.
Severin hosts the afternoon-drive show on WTKK and is the stations highest-rated host.
The stunning move puts Carr against his longtime nemesis, ex-House Speaker Tom Finneran, who has a morning show on WRKO. According to the winter Arbitron ratings, WRKO lost listeners with Finneran at the mic.
I consider myself to be a much better talk show host than I was when I started on Feb. 12, but I also know theres a lot of room for improvement, Finneran told me last night. Ive succeeded at every job Ive ever had, every single job, and I intend to make sure this continues that pattern.
Mike Barnicle had been filling in for fired talk jock Don Imus on WTKK but withdrew from the morning-drive running last month. Imus lost his national show in April after the nappy headed hos scandal.
While he also gave up his mid-morning show, Barnicle is talking with WTKK execs about having some sort of on-air role at the station, most likely on the weekends.
Since Barnicle split, conservative talker Michael Graham has temporarily taken over WTKKs morning-drive show. Boston Herald Police Bureau Chief Michele McPhee has been hosting Grahams mid-morning show.
Sources say WTKK executives are talking about creating a nighttime talk show - and McPhee as a possible host.
Carr plans to debut on WTKK on October 1 and will host his show alone. Carrs lawyer says he plans to continue to host his WRKO show until his contract with the station expires in September.
Rush is all they have left : )