Skip to comments.(Not) Howie Carr live thread, Sept. 20 and 21
Posted on 09/20/2007 7:45:05 AM PDT by raccoonradio
The Howie Carr situation isn't settled and may not be for awhile. As those on the ping list know, the judge issued a mixed ruling--the non-compete clause was not valid under MA law but the "right to match" was. Entercom feels that Howie's contract is continuing for the next 5 years with them, but Howie doesn't want to work there anymore.
So Howie is in limbo--he can't join WTKK until either Entercom gives his release (maybe a financial deal could be worked out?) or an appeal overturns the ruling, or who KNOWS what. Howie will have to live off his Herald salary and book receipts. The listeners, though, will suffer as he is off air for an indefinite period. Could be weeks or even months. Some have said 6 months (maybe Entercom's "right to match" expires then?)
So the deal with the ping is this: until further notice, Howie will not be on. Once we know he's back it will be on a regular basis, but for now the ping will only come out for Howie columns (some but not all). I'll let everyone know of course once things are settled but I have no idea how long Howie will be off air.
WRKO's site (which was temporarily "all white" last night) says "Todd Feinburg is in for Howie today". Even though he could be off air for months--and could never be back--you could still see "The Howie Carr Show" listed on the site, see ads for Howie in the Herald every Mon. and Thu., and maybe even hear ads voiced by Howie on WRKO.
As for the Howie affiliates I would not be surprised if they quickly move to get something else--Jerry Doyle? Hannity? Who knows. They want to carry Howie Carr and getting Todd Feinburg for months isn't the same (unless they're locked in to carry the show no matter who's on).
Howie Carr Show ping (not that Howie may be on for awhile...)
Hear Howie’s interview with Ch 4:
or see it at http://www.wbztv.com
Don’t expect any mention of Howie’s situation on his
show which will still be called the Howie Carr Show
even though he may never be on there again, and
until something can be worked out howiecarr.com will
re-direct to a WRKO page.
Any inside word on how the execs at Entercom that got themselves (and all of us) into this are faring?
I get the feeling that it could be a Mary Tyler Moore situation—you know, the last episode where everyone in the newsroom got fired—except for the one inept person,
Ted Baxter. He got to stay on. Similarly many of us
suspect that the two best known bigwigs, Jason Wolfe and
Julie Kahn, probably won’t have to suffer any firings or
demotions, but who knows. It certainly will make the
“industry” news when it happens. If the ratings suffer...
they’ll be gone. They’re already not as much as they
should be (Red Sox have helped, though) and the hiring of
the Felon and the apparent leaving of Howie will not help.
I do remember someone—may have been Mark Schnyder from
Boston Radio Watch, a long running blog—sending me
an email saying “I wonder if Entercom will low-ball
Howie” (this was about a yr ago). That’s just what happened—they offered him
$50k less per year. Howie felt he deserved more AND
everything from the hiring of the Felon to being
pre-empted by the Red Sox made him upset even more.
The morning shift on WTKK gives him more visibility
so to speak...a signal that won’t fade after dark...
morning drive time radio (though he will have lots
of competition)...a younger audience. And he seems
to like his future co-workers. Heck, one of them
is a Herald colleague, Margery Eagan. Michelle McPhee
too although I wonder if she’s just temporary.
Maybe Howie also just wanted a change of place.
Get out from Entercom and start working for
Please. Not Hannity.
I can take Hannity but I’d much prefer Howie. And with no
Howie in the afternoon I guess I’d listen to Sean since
I’m not into Jay.
WTKK has launched its new nickname, “96.9 WTKK, Boston’s
Talk Evolution”. They were hoping it would have kicked
off with Howie today but for now there’s a new website
on the way, the name “96.9 FM Talk” has been amended to
the Talk Evolution bit in talk breaks, and a promo
is running set to the tune of the Beatles’ “Revolution”:
“Don’t you know it’s gonna be/Great talk” etc.
btw Entercom and WRKO will still call 3-7 pm (or 3-6:30)
the Howie Carr show but he may never be heard again on
that station. As far as I’m concerned it’s the NOT Howie
Carr show. As I said above Howie pings will continue with his columns but the radio show is on hold. The Howie Carr
SHOW ping will run when he starts on WTKK (or if for some
reason he returns to WRKO)
From Boston Radio Watch by Mark Schnyder
Take five : Carr benches himself
Howie Carrs much anticipated move from WRKO AM 680 to WTKK 96.9FM didnt happen this morning but there may be a light at the end of the tunnel for Carr and his fandom.
While the Suffolk Superior Court judge clearly backed the station in the contract dispute with Carr by deciding that the new five-year deal with WRKO is now in full effect, the only bright spot for the veteran talker was the courts acknowledgement that he can not forced to work for WRKO. And that’s precisely what he intends to do. Carr is now sitting out, cooling off his jets and playing a waiting game as he and his attorneys try to force WRKO to make the next move.
Theres also a good chance that Carr will appeal yesterdays ruling, but its also pretty clear that him and WRKO are thru. Carr even went on the local TV news this week to drive his message home to WRKO and Entercom.
Carrs representative issued a statement from the talk master who has decided to take a break from all the controversy that surrounds his very public dispute. Carr will continue writing his column in the Boston Herald while he remains off the air. His rep Nancy Sterling issued the following statement to the media late yesterday afternoon :
While we would like to have achieved a complete victory in court, we are gratified that the decision leaves open the opportunity for Howie to work at the place of his choosing. Not only did the Court find unlawful a portion of Entercoms employment agreement, but the Court adopted our argument that Howie cannot be forced to work for a particular radio station.
Howie looks forward to taking some well-deserved time off from one of his three careers and to joining WTKK in the very near future.
Meanwhile, WTKK 96.9FM published its statement on courts ruling(BRW 9/19) on its website under a new retooled station logo which bills the FM talker as Bostons Talk Evolution. As he has done for the entire summer, Michael Graham will continue to fill in the morning slot(6am-10am) and Boston Heralds reporter and WTKKs weekend host Michelle McPhee will sub for Graham(10am-Noon) until Carr is able to start on 96.9FM. In addition, WTKK will likely be revamping its night-time schedule pretty soon. Conservative talk show host Bill OReilly is giving up his radio show Radio Factor, heard on some 400 radio stations, and will concentrate on his 8 p.m. TV show on the Fox News Channel, according to Radio Equalizer. On WTKK-FM, Bill OReilly is currently heard 7 to 9pm weeknights.
While WRKO management ponders on how to handle unhappy Carr, it is now faced with even a bigger programming challenge. While the morning drive show with Tom Finneran remains a very slow and painful work-in-progress, the Talk Station has just lost a huge audience and revenue draw in Carr. While the station may try to fill the afternoon drive with not-ready-for-prime-time hosts, the issue of replacing Carr will become even more pressing once the Red Sox season ends(and the way it looks today, the Sox wont make it past the first week of October) and the advertisers will likely bail to more attractive programming options on the dial.
An interesting opinion about Howie from “ADC” at
radio-info.com board (all that follows is by him).
1. Entercom had the right to match any offer that was given to Carr, and has done so.
2. The non-compete clause is not legal in Massachusetts, so Carr should be able to work for WTKK if he becomes available.
It seems to me there are only three ways this can be resolved.
1. Carr continues to work at WRKO for the full run of his contract.
2. Carr breaks the contract and can now be sued by Entercom for breach of contract.
3. Carr and Entercom agree to terminate the contract.
Option 2 opens Carr up to a potentially huge lawsuit, so he’d be crazy to do it.
Option 3 makes no sense for Entercom, since they have nothing to gain by settling.
Seems that only leaves option 1.
It will be interesting to watch this. Carr may end up spending many unhappy years on WRKO. If he starts mouthing off about the station or management while on the air, this too could open him up to contractual problems.
If WTTK wants to have some fun, they could start running promos about how they’re the only talk station in town that doesn’t have to force their talent to show up for work.
I’m not sure it this would have worked or not, but if I had been Carrs’ lawyer, I would have put together a contract with WTKK that would have given either party the option to terminate the contract with 24 hours notice. Since WRKO would have had to have given Carr the same deal to keep him, once the new contract went in to effect, he would have been able to give notice and be a free man 24 hours later.
It could be like a couple years back where the Sox quickly fell to the eventual World Champ White Sox. "One and done" (gone in first round).
Just because they won the Series a couple of years ago doesn't mean that they are exempt from disappointing everybody with their traditional and expected "end of season fade".
2007. I remember doing homework while listening to the 1967 Series on a transistor radio.
We should change this thread’s name to “Howie Held Hostage”, or a new one every day, viz, “Howie Held Hostage, Day N”.
Then we can rag on whoever’s Not Howie on WRKO/WTTK that day, whine about the court case, share pointers to news articles, etc, as they comes along, and so on...
I was almost going to do that...Howie Held Hostage, day xxx.
A thread about this on radio-info.com seems to say that Howie could have kept his mouth shut and he’d be on WTKK this
morning, and that he has very few options if he wants
to go there. Now WTKK is stuck without the guy they
wanted in AM Drive and they might hire someone else, etc.
It’s true, we could keep THIS thread going that way, though
How did the local area feel about losing the station's local news people?
Instead of joining WTKK and WRKO in the downward spiraling chaos, why isn't WBZ taking advantage of the opportunity to fulfill the market need?
Unless they are Beacon Hill Bum Kissing, doesnt' it seem like the perfect time to go all out as a local station, with news and broadcasters in the studio, mixing the hot local, with national, etc?
There's got to be some talented Emerson graduates that know their way around a mic, a studio, and the issues.
Oh, and don't have to throw in "bro" at the end of every sentence.
Ever since I got the XM radio (2 years now) I hardly ever listen to broadcast, the only thing that ever kept me going back was Howie. WRKO has sucked for a long to time and now I have no reason to listen.
WBZ is committed to news, days, and they have half decent talk at night. WITH local news headlines etc
btw I notice “The Talk Radio Evolution” WTKK is now
at least having weather forecasts at night via the
Weather Channel. No local newscasts past 7 pm still
but it’s a start.
Can Howie wiggle out of ‘RKO and go to ‘TKK? Depends
on legal stuff.
not sure who wrote this, but via wikipedia:
>>(On WVMT) There is speculation that Sean Hannity will replace Howie Carr in the 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM time slot beginning Oct. 1, pending the end of Carr’s syndicated afternoon program and the disappearance of Hannity’s show from WVMT competitor The Zone’s fall lineup.
Howie now in limbo, could happen...