WRKO Yanks Carr Off The Air

With their station near death, WRKO managers have decided to pin the blame on Howie Carr, absolutely the only thing keeping what’s left of 680 AM afloat (other than perhaps Michael Savage, speaking from a ratings perspective).

They’ve apparently decided to yank him from the airwaves for a week, simply because thin-skinned, bitter, failed executives hope to shift blame away from their collapsing operation. From The Globies late this evening:

Conservative talk radio host Howie Carr of WRKO 680 AM has been suspended for a week, effective Friday, for publicly and repeatedly using his program to bad-mouth the station, a company executive said.

Julie Kahn, vice president and marketing manager for Entercom Boston, which owns the station, said Carr’s behavior toward his employer has become increasingly caustic and intolerable.

‘‘His behavior and his anger at the company is unacceptable because he denigrates the company, the medium, the station, the signal, and he’s a highly, highly, highly paid employee,’’ she said.

She declined to comment publicly on the exact trigger for the suspension, or its terms.

But a source with knowledge of the situation said the contretemps with Carr, which dates back to a bitter contract dispute in 2007, has escalated markedly in recent weeks and included verbal attacks on station managers.

(The Globies later added a second version of the story to their site)

Attacks on station managers? SO WHAT! What about ratings and revenue?

Or the other affiliates that carry Howie’s show throughout New England?

This is beyond pathetic, first, from the standpoint that The Empress, Coffee Boy and other corporate suits could still have their jobs after destroying Entercom’s (NYSE:ETM) Boston cluster, but also to think that the one person they choose to punish is their remaining lifeline to solvency.

Howie needs to find a new home and fast. WRKO is finished.

For their part, WXTK-FM, WGAN and the other Howie affiliates had better start thinking about a Plan B, another show to fill the slot, as I don’t believe Carr’s will be airing there much longer.

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69 thoughts on “WRKO Yanks Carr Off The Air

  1. “he’s a highly, highly, highly paid employee,’’ she said.” You know, it’s articulate commentary like that which has made Julie the industry powerhouse she is today.

  2. It took this to finally get the blog going again and what big news! I heard Howie mention today he would be on vacation next wk in Florida, etc but now we know!

    When Howie was forced back to Entercom (and even before) he started to rag on them and I thought they were fine with it (grinned and bore it) as long as he was getting good ratings. But now…are Hokey Wolfe and the Empress getting embarrassed?

    Indeed Howie is prob locked in till late 2012 but things have really gotten heated I guess!

  3. He usually goes away for school vacation, next week is school vacation. Maybe this is a publicity stunt…..just kidding, that’s not Howie’s style.

  4. Whoa! A whole new thread! wooooohoooooo! How many posts do you think we can rack up on this one??

    Howie suspended? Hmmmm, with his new contract, Howie always takes “teachers days off” so I don’t get this….they are suspending him on a week he was taking off anyway? No pay? That really isn’t going to hurt Howie.

    Howie must have really hit a nerve with them, his badmouthing them has been going on for a couple of years, what changed? The truth hurts and the weaklings in charge can’t handle the truth.

  5. BTW I believe it was two weeks ago Avi said he would be filling in for a day or two for Howie, so when did this suspension happen? If you’re suspended doesn’t it take affect right away? Why wait a couple of weeks for the suspension to take place, why didn’t they do it two weeks ago?

  6. Sorry to see WRKO shoot itself in the foot again. I NEVER listen to the station unless Howie is on. I stopped listening when they hired Felon Finneran and will I ever listen to a convicted criminal broadcasting for any station. Nope, I listen to Peter Blute outta Woo’stah on WCRN, I think he used to be on a Boston station. Sometimes I am forced to listen to the continuous advertisement known as Imus, but I have to keep a barf bag ready because he is, basically, an unprincipled snot. Maybe Howie could move over to Rush Radio except their signal really is weak.

  7. This is good, it frees up a preset on my radio. The morning traffic on Rush 1200 seems to be as good as WBZ, so I can probably write them off completely as well.

    I’ve been wondering when something like this would happen. Kahn has to do something,about the on-air comments or she is a laughingstock. I agree with the other folks that Howie’s vacation gives her an out to try to look like she is actually doing something.

  8. Weeeeeeeeee, we are not orphans anymore! Hi kids! Yes, I heard Howie say he was going to FL with one of the girls and the others were going to the other side of FL to their Grandmothers. Why did it take so long for ‘RKO to do this? Did they finally wake up????????

    Was Sandy “suspended” too? She was off for Thrus and Friday and all Howie was saying is that she was not there. Now, if they fire him, is he able to go to ‘TKK or even Rush Radio???????????

  9. this is a tricky situation as entercom needs howie in order for wrko to survive at this point, HOWEVER, Howie being so disgrunteled is not putting forth the best radio shows day in and day out as he feels he needs to express how unhappy he is. im sure the comments are causing ill feelings all around, including questions coming from advertisers as to why he’s allowed to continue to trash the station.

    he negotiated a great deal for himself and has proven his success in his own right and back in 2007 he should have been let to leave as his contract was up. now he has to work for 2 more years at a job that causes tension for him and everyone around him….its like being forced to be in an aweful marriage “for the kids” when all entercom had to do was suck up the loss and think big picture and take the 1MM plus per year they are paying him and reinvent the station back in 2007. instead they thought short term bandaid and kept hiring recycled half talent and thus are left with the situation they have now: a mix bag morning show with a felon, a shotty mid day line up, an unhappy howie, and savage (which should be moved up in the lineup at this point if possible)

    with too many talk stations in the market wrko is now floundering trying to keep it together and instead of being proactive they are forced to be reactive….all uppers who have been in the biz for 15+ years should be revaluated as the world has changed a lot since they started and im curious if new school thinkers were brought in how the cluster would hold up….that all of course would require them to listen to new ideas which im sure has been the roadblock this entire time as everyone wants to be right but never take blame for running a station into the ground.

    should be an interesting shake-out in the next year…

  10. I just read the later version of the Herald, down here on the South Coast, and there was no mention of Howie being suspended. I also went to the Herald website and I probably missed it, but I didn’t see anything there either. What’s up with that??????

  11. I think Howie was going to take time off anyway. Now the station has an excuse not to pay him. I know RKO stinks now and I’m sure Howie is unhappy, but those are the risks you take when you sign a contract, no?

  12. First, radio ain’t television. There is no lead-in to drive-time other than the station you left the car radio on, and it’s easy to instill the habit of hitting aparticular button for AM or PM drive. So don’t put much stock in that aspect of it.

    Second, he’s got nothin in his contract guaranteeing him a particular person in another time slot. Bet the house on that one.

    Third, like them or not, the Entercomm cluster is going pretty well, especially at WEEI and hte immensely profitable MIKE

  13. Is Howie really suspended or is the Globe doing a payback for some of the things he’s said about them being a failure?

  14. I don’t really trust what Brian Baloney writes now. I have to disagree what he thinks about what “the empress” says. What Howie has said recently about Entercom/Entercom Boston/WRKO is just over the top.

    Two wrongs do NOT make a right.

    At some point there needs to be a grown up there. I actually have turned off my radio just because the crap he says about the station with the money he gets (regardless if he doesn’t get the $7m at the end.)

    I know that Entercom may not be the bestest place to work for, but if Howie wants out earlier, continuing to bitch on the air about the quirks of the station will make him stay there later than sooner.

    Also, I am kinda tired of Brian’s continuing bitching about the talk radio stations. Charley may not be like the talent of the old WRKO, but he is listenable. Also, the call volume should be another sign that he has some listener base on average of 15 calls(+) x/hour compared to a sub on the Howie’s show when hardly no one calls in when a sub is on.

    Again, Brian whats your cred? What’s your professional resume? It seems like you write personal diaries about the radio market with your style of “reporting.”

    Appologies if anyone takes this post as offense.

  15. OK, wait just a skinny NY minute- you tell me that Carr makes a mil a yr. and bitches about the hand that feeds him? And how much does he get paid for that crap the Herald has the nerve to call a “column”? And he’s stuck at RKO by a contractural obligation? Is a million + a year not enough to hire a decent lawyer to review his contract BEFORE he signed it?

    And he has the nerve to bitch and moan about the hacks making $35K a year? F_ing spare me.

    It’s kinda ironic that our step-dad’s sources for this article comes from his nemesis, the Globe.

    Oh, who cares? I’m just glad I don’t have to scroll thru 500+ posts on my crackberry to read anything new!

  16. Diff. between public and private sectors. Taxpayers do not have to pay Howie.

    breaking: Baker wins GOP nod, Mihos doesn’t get 15 per cent…maybe Christy can do fill ins

  17. No surpirse on Christy not getting the 15%, he made an ass of himself during the debates with Muffy et al and again on Howie’s radio show a few months back.

  18. As to Christy, he owes some serious bucks from his business to the cartage company who sells/delivers gasoline to his stores. If he can;t pay his own company bills, how can he pay his own bills, how can he run a state?

  19. though Ch 4 says Mihos is supporting Baker. He said “The people spoke…” and that he’s an

    “outsider” and outsiders make enemies

  20. finally made the Herald

    Carr: Suspension ‘no big deal’

    >>Maloney also said he strongly suspects there’s some effort being made to sign Carr at new conservative talk station WXKS-AM (1200), which recently swiped Rush Limbaugh – who preceded Carr on the air weekday afternoons – from WRKO’s lineup. “There’s some real bad blood between Carr and Entercom at this point,” Maloney said.

    Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/business/media/view.bg?articleid=1248040

  21. I think Howie was pissed that WRKO lost Rush (a great lead in to his show). I gave Charlie Manning a chance but he drones on “Um, Ahh” and has all the appeal of a funeral director. During the tea party, his broadcast had the enthusiasm of a Ben Stein. 2 gaffes on his part:

    1). He almost sounded alive when Tim Cahill called in but went on to announce him as the “only candidate for Gov. who showed up at the teaparty. Uh, Charlie, what about Mihos who was also there (this was before he dropped out yesterday).

    2). He droned on about $arah Palin’s speech and at one point marveled how she can read of a paper script instead of a teleprompter “like Barak Obama does”. Charlie, Charlie, Charlie, there are many things one can say about $arah and Obama good or bad. But putting one in front of the other because one reads from a paper page and the other from a screen?

    Welcome back Brian but I think “Saving WRKO” is just not going to happen. Still, as bad as Manning is, I’d take him over Michelle McPhony and Michael (please buy my book even though I’m creepy) Graham. Also, is it me or does it seem like WTKK is pushing Jay Severino out of the limelight a bit in favor of other hosts? I thought Jay was the mast head of this station?

    I’d love to see Howie move to WTKK and shift Jay and McPhony to later hours or just cut one of these 2 all together.

  22. RKO is DOA. They know it and most of all Howie knows it. They can either buy him out and let him go or keep paying an put up with his criticism of the station and it’s operation. Either way he’s going to be working somewhere else eventually. Mornings at TKK or Rush Radio 1200 seems to be in his future, don’t you think?

  23. Compare these two stories, which paper does WRKO favor?

    Herald: Julie Kahn, vice president and market manager of Entercom Boston, and WRKO program director Jason Wolfe didn’t respond to repeated requests for comment yesterday.

    Globe: Julie Kahn quote-“His behavior and his anger at the company is unacceptable because he denigrates the company, the medium, the station, the signal, and he’s a highly, highly, highly paid employee,’’ she said.

    And she was clearly the “source with knowledge of the situation” who publicly discussed her employees salary.

  24. Howie will be losing $17,000.00 in salary. I bet he has been meeting with his attorney this weekend. WRKO will invoke his ‘morals” clauses.But the funny thing is, Howie has been bashing Julie and Jason for 3 years, aalong with the signal. This is personal, they just stole 17k from Howie. Would Howie accept a buyout of 60 cents on the dollar? Does he have to sign a non compte for 6 months to one year? what does ttk do with Jay S? I would love to see Howie on the FM band from 3-7pm.

  25. Just a ques: is entercom ready and willing to give

    up every last dime of $ they don’t have on keeping

    Howie under wraps. Attorneys are the ones that will win big. Howie is going to have some steep

    legal bills also. $17000.00 is chump change as to

    what it will eventually cost all parties for this damn

    school yard foolishness. This is one of those situations wherein everyone involved is guilty!!!

    Your Honor, please sentence all parties to duck tape for the remainder of Howie’s contract. On behalf of the human race I say thanx!!!

  26. yes, and put duct tape over their mouths, too…..unless they are mallards…..then duck tape is fine.

    The State rests their case, Your Honor.

  27. I also suspect this is a publicity stunt. Entercom tolerates, if not encourages, Combover Carr’s phony complaints about them if it enhances the entertainment value of his show.

    If Combover Carr believes Entercom is not honoring their role in his contract with them, he should exercise his rights to sever and/or sue them for breach of contract/failure to perform, but he won’t because he knows in this economy he won’t get paid more by somebody else now in the Boston Market.

    He’s actually grateful to get paid so much by Entercom for what have become his mailed-in performances.

  28. Pirate, I used “duck” as a veiled reference to the

    mental stability of all parties. I shudda explained.

  29. NYP: I agree- it stinks- starting to smell like a publicity stunt to me, too.

    1stX: You’re right- they ARE all quacks! Your ducky reference went right over my lame duck head! Quack! Quack!

  30. 1) Sounds like breech of contract by ‘RKO. Unless Howie signed a side agreement to be nice when he came back (remember how silent he was for a short time after he returned). I think Dale Dorman is available for the afternoon slot!

    2) I kinda like Manning except how he ignored Mihos when he spoke about Baker (his poll question a week or so ago: “who would you like for gov, Patrick, Cahill, or Baker?”).

    3) Mihos is such a bad campaigner. The last straw for Mihos was when he wouldn’t explain why he didn’t pay his oil supplier. I think the answer is obvious – he’s got money tied up in the Bourne property, banks won’t lend against real estate and he won’t pay it out of capital or his own pocket. I ahsume (big assumption) his two stores are profitable…

    4) I’d like to see Baker or Cahill hire Mihos for the Transportation board.

    5) Moving from WRKO to WXKS-AM is not an upgrade for Howie. Unless they let him broadcast from Florida like Rush does!

    6) Those diet pills Howies flogging are homeopathic; Side effects include man crushes. Not approved by the FDA, not proven scientifically to work! And Rush recommended on his show the recalled zithromax zinc nasal stuff that causes loss of sense of smell.

    7) Piratetoby: Obviously $1M/yr from a station with a powerful FM signal is worth more than $1M/yr from a station that can’t be heard more than 15 miles to the west.

  31. 1stX, here’s a quiz for you: what actor seems to play the “dad” in many of those silly Lifetime shows?

    If you need a hint before you guess, let me know.

  32. Why would the Chicopee Herald use Brian Maloney as a source; wasn’t Donna Halper or Scott Fybush available?

  33. “Surprise”, 1stX- you’re wrong!

    And Cap’n I’m almost scared to ask for an explanation of your post. But I’ll ask anyway….explain, please?

  34. cap’n – you’re right- you did give my a great clue. I’ll have to be honest and googled Logo tv.

    Funny how I’m percieved here. A gay pirate? NTTAWWT

    Oh and 1stX is yakking about his “parade” and his “pride”.

    Is that how you percieve me too, 1stX?

    I find this all very funny!

  35. Cap’n Sparrow, doesn’t “Treat” sound like a Palin or a Romney?

    Avi’s one of the best guys on the air, but being from the pre-“dump button” era he probably doesn’t appeal to those with the attention spans of the post-MTV generation. He even lets his callers finish their sentences.

  36. Cap’n: Treat Romney? Yeah, it’s got a ring to it.

    I have some friends in town and a few of us met in Plymouth this weekend. One of the women is an orig. decendant of the Pilgrims….in fact many of my friends are Brewsters, Withingtons, Barnes, etc. You want to talk about names?

    Let’s start w/my friend: she’s Leelee, mother Weezie, aunt Lala, cousin Splint. uncle Loffy (pronounced Loafy), cousin Pachie (short for Pacience), son Ollie- various kids: Poppy, Heidi, Didi, Penny, Jojo (somethimes refered to as Yoyo, Skid, Bim (Belinda)…..all Lala’s kids as well as her grandchildren call her LaLa. And so do “outsiders”. I asked Splint, “How is Lala doing?” NOT “How is your mother”.

    Lala is getting up there, I was told…..she’s 92.

  37. Yeah, but do they have a “Eyjafjallajökull” in the bunch?

    For fun, look up “Eyjafjallajökull” in Wikipedia and you can hear how they pronounce it.

    Eyjafjallajökull (pronounced [ˈɛɪjaˌfjatlaˌjœːkʏtl̥], Listen

    Huh?

  38. Pride yes because I would not subject myself to

    repeated wrong answers and chastisements

    from you lauding how wrong I am!!

    My Mom is 95 and still rules our lives from Fl.

    A friend of hers (there are some left) has a home

    in Kingston that I take her to when she comes

    North. Me, Main Street Chatham is where I

    hang my hat. Makes all my boo-boos go away!

  39. Let me see if I have this straight:

    The Empress and her Coffee Boy, Destroyer of Newsrooms, decide to punish THE ONLY person they have worth listening to by taking him off the air for a week?

    That’ll show him! I’m sure Howie is sitting down in Palm Beach at this very moment, shivering at the thought of Avi Nelson growing a personality sometime in the next week and taking his radio time slot away from him. WRKO’s “management” make the 3 Stooges look like Warren Buffet, by comparison.

    Once again, I ask the eternal question of SaveWRKO:

    How do the Empress and Coffee Boy keep their jobs?

  40. By the way, has anyone else noticed that Scott Pike is struggling more than usual with the English language during the top and bottom of the hour news updates today? He is just murdering it every chance he gets. Brutal!

    Way to go Empress and Coffee Boy – spare no expense in bringing quality broadcasts to Boston!

  41. I am listening over the internet just so that I can revel in the total radio train wreck that Avi Nelson and Scott Pike are presenting.

    It is sad that WRKO is so bad that I am listening to see how awful it can get. However, I will NEVER write down “WRKO” in an Arbitron diary.

    Avi just said that the Colonel will be in tomorrow. Sweet Jesus, Mary and Joseph! The suckiness continues unabated!

  42. Pirate, You have read waaaay too much in what

    I said. My perception of you has not a damn thing to do with Parades or Pride or any veiled reference thereof. I absolutely enjoy a good

    repartee. You are funny and pretty damn smart

    and what is ost appreciative is your command of

    language. Nuff said.

  43. 1stX: “Surprise” 1stX- you’re wrong!” was in NO WAY self-lauding, nor chastising you. It “surprise” was the clue/hint- not surprise you didn’t get the answer. Get it? Surprise- treat?

    Trust me- I’d never ridicule anyone. It’s not my style.

    Don’t quite know what to make of that whole Mother in Florida thing.

    Thanks for the compliments in your last post.

    Guess you’re right- nuff said. I think?

  44. Jason Wolfe knows nothing about Talk radio.

    He knows nothing about the current issues of the day.

    He couldn’t tell a bad Talk host from a great one.

    He’s a jock sniffer. He’s great at that!

    Julie Kahn knows nothing about Talk radio.

    She knows nothing about the current issues of the day.

    She couldn’t tell a bad Talk host from a great one.

    The fact that both of them HATE Howie Carr means they’re even blind to the basic business principles of Talk radio.

    Pretty amazing! He’s the VP of programming, and she’s the Market Manager. They’re still employed, making really good money…HUH?

  45. Having Avi Nelson as your “back up plan” should be a firing offense.

    Hey Jason, you convinced yourself that you were a genius for doing the guy talk/political talk/sports talk formula. That and a token would get you a ride on the subway in a real major market.

    Big fish in a small pond or a small, small fish in a medium pond. Size matters.

    You signed off on Charlie Manning? You don’t know what you’re doing.

    Julie? It’s perpetually last call and you’re the bartender. Sad.

    Howie has talent, what do you have besides being a regular at GAP Kids?

  46. I don’t mind Avi because he’s old school but I still would like Howie back (and sorry, am not into

    the Col.’s raspy voice; I know it was a war wound, true, and thanks for his service, but…)

    What happens if Howie leaves? Does WRKO put Avi in the noon slot and um, um, um Charlie Manning gets pm drive?

    btw someone on WRKO’s facebook was wondering if Howie was listening to talk hosts like Jeff Katz down in Florida. Uh…Jeff Katz is no longer at that station. He is now in Boston at

    Rush Radio 1200 🙂

  47. Pirate, you were talking about meeting your

    friends in Plymouth and it brought to mind the trips to nearby Kingston and over to Plymouth with my Mom every year.

    I really did not get the clue “surprise”.

    My remarks about chastisement were said

    facetiously, not insulting.

    It is another day and another topic.

  48. Barb, Welcome home to the Orphanage with

    the swinging doors! Keep on using the Henna

    cuz I think we will be orphaned again!

    wooooooooohoooooooo! Luv it

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