Scott Allen Miller leaves, Howie Carr can’t, and Mike Felger is pretty entertaining
Scott Allen Miller is leaving Boston for Albany where he’ll work as morning talk-show host and programming director at WROW. Miller was fired from his talk job at the enigmatic WRKO in Boston in January this year to make way for former Massachusetts speaker of the House Tom Finneran who is himself rumored to be on the way out.
I met Miller last year at a small get-together for right-wingish bloggers in Boston organized by Bruce of No Looking Backwards (the blog formerly knows as mAss Backwards). He struck me as a guy who’d be better suited for a Mountain West market than Boston, but perhaps Albany is a close enough approximation, judging by Miller’s description of it:
â€¦middle class working stiffs, high tech brainiacs, students, immigrants, and scary mountain people.
Yeah, sounds like Colorado to me.
I wish Miller the best of luck.
While Miller is leaving Howie Carr wishes he could. A judge has ruled that Carr must remain with WRKO until 2012 because of some indentured servitude precedent that apparently remains in effect in Massachusetts. The judge has ruled that Entercom has matched a competing offer and therefore renewed the contract between the two parties until 2012. It’s quite insane and I hope to God that the SJC overturns the decision on appeal. If that doesn’t happen, Carr will be forced to remain with a station that is incompetently run and with managers who frankly seem to despise him. Carr has been off-air for weeks during the drawn-out legal battle. It’s quite sad. Yesterday, for example, would have been a great day for Howie Carr, what with Ellen DeGeneres’s bizarre meltdown over a dadgum dog. I can almost hear the Senator Byrd/Ellen DeGeneres mix that Happy would have cooked up for Carr, not to mention Sandy coming to DeGeneres defense. It would have been good.
It’s really strange how WRKO has “kllapsed” (to quote Carr) over the past couple of years. A few years ago the station had a bench so deep that VB was Carr’s fill-in and also had a late-night show. Now things are so desperately bad that Carr’s fill-in is the worst dadgum talk-show host I have ever heard. So Entercom was unhappy with the station’s market position and wanted to shake things up. Fine. I have no problem with that. It’s not as if WRKO exists for my personal pleasure. But for the love of God, why slowly kill programming while insisting on retaining Carr? There’s got to be a profitable AM format other than the old Contemporary Carr and Assorted Crap.
[Thanks to the clairvoyant powers that apparently run in my family I can tell you how Carr's first show back on WRKO will go down, if Carr is forced to return to the station:
Three o'clock hour: Carr invites Boston University's women's basketball team to talk about their season. He greets his guests on-air with a hearty "Hey, bitches, what's up?" An Entercom spokesman explains the phrase as a non-derogatory reference to BU's team name, the Terriers. Jesse Jackson demands an apology. Entercom sues Jackson.
Four o'clock hour: Listeners call in and read aloud their favorite Bible passages. Near the bottom of the hour a Muslim listener calls in with a passage from the Koran. Carr asks him if he's a member of Al-Qaeda as Happy plays A-hab the A-rab. Entercom counter-sues CAIR six seconds before CAIR sues Entercom. Suits and countersuits are filed at such a ferocious pace that every fax machine in every court house on the Eastern Seaboard melts. Both entities accuse each other of being "litigious and unconstructive." Entercom also sues the Muslim caller's telephone company.
Five o'clock hour: 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature winner pool! Every entry is punctuated by an audio clip where some moron yells äntligen!. Three people call. Entercom sues Svenska Akademien for not ever awarding the Prize to popular authors like John Grisham or Danielle Steele.
Six o'clock hour ("the local hour"): Carr interviews a Niki Tsongas campaign worker who goes on and on about the many exciting things that happen when you hold campaign signs for hours on end at a busy intersection. She's calling on a really bad cellphone connection. Entercom sues Tsongas for not being Hillary Clinton.
Seven o'clock: WRKO unveils its new programming masterstroke: Noam Chomsky playing the kazoo.* Entercom sues Chomsky for not playing enough polkas.
Oh my God that's funny, as Gary on PFW In Progress would let me know.]
Anyway, since WRKO killed the Howie Carr show I have been forced to look elsewhere for my late-afternoon radio entertainment, and I’ve found Mike Felger’s show on ESPN 890 AM to be a pretty good replacement. It has good pacing and Felger has a going-against-the-local-stream shtick that suits his general douchebag-turned-jackass persona. His Friday sparring-sessions with New England Patriots players Mike Vrabel and Matt Light are quite entertaining and sometimes even informative. Obviously, sports talk is unbearable after the football season is over, but, hey, that’s several months away.
*I ripped that joke from someone, I can’t remember who.