May enjoy John Batchelor, 10p on WTKK 96.9...
Jerry Williams helped make me libertarian/conservative. I did like Howie when he filled in for him and of course Howie did inherit the slot.
Is there more to Howies suspension?
April 17, 2010 at 8:44 am
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. So maybe Howie Carrs suspension from WRKO Radio (AM 680) is just a suspension. But let me inject some uninformed speculation into the matter. The once-great station has been running on fumes for some time. Maybe its corporate owner, Entercom, has decided to force an end game, let Carr out of his contract and turn RKO into an outlet for, oh, lets say Spanish-language infomercials.
The Boston Globes Erin Ailsworth reports that Carr was suspended for a week for badmouthing the station on the air something he has done continuously since he was forced into staying in 2007. (Apparently its gotten worse lately.) Carr is said to be unhappy that Rush Limbaughs syndicated show recently moved to Clear Channels WXKS (AM 1200), part of a national Rush Radio network.
Funny, but I thought one of the reasons the station replaced Rush with Republican political consultant Charley Manning was that Howie and Manning are buddies, and that Charley might keep the petulant star more or less in line. I dont have any numbers in front of me, but Boston radio observers have long noted that this is one of Limbaughs worst markets. The idea of not fighting to keep Limbaugh and going with a local show struck me as pretty smart, even if Mannings show is a work in progress.
Carr does seem to be wallowing in bitterness lately. For instance, he recently wrote in his Boston Herald column that President Obama wouldnt have made it through college and law school if he werent black:
“Of course, no one expects Barack Obama to really know anything. We understand, all too well, exactly how he got through Columbia and Harvard Law. He had certain intangibles, shall we say.”
Thats pretty rancid even by Howies standards. No, Im not leaving anything out the ellipses are his, not mine.
Back in 2007, Carr tried to jump to WTKK (96.9 FM), which wanted him as its morning guy. Unfortunately for Carr, he turned out to have a contract more restrictive than Curt Floods, and he was forced to stay.
Whats not known is whether Greater Media, which owns TKK, still wants him. Morning drive is now ably helmed by Jim Braude and Margery Eagan. Would TKK move Jay Severin out of afternoon drive to make way for Carr?
Moreover, given the changed economic climate, it certainly seems unlikely that Greater Media would still be willing to pay Carr $7 million over five years.
The other mystery factor is how much Entercom really wants WRKO to succeed. Theres a lot of audience overlap between RKO and another Entercom station, WEEI (AM 850), a sports-talk outlet that also carries the Red Sox. No doubt the company wants WRKO to make money, but not at the expense of its more-valuable sports station.
Carr is a legitimate talent, but its been years since hes showed more than an occasional glimmer. His suspension comes at a time when he probably has little leverage. Maybe hell be back on the air in a week as though nothing happened. But you have to wonder if Entercom executives have finally decided its time to do something drastic about its faltering talk station.