Tuesday March 29th, 2011 – Fox Lake, IL (revised)
One thing I’ve been able to do in life is admit when I’m wrong. Apparently I’d obtained the wrong information on the radio firing of John Jagler at AM 620 WTMJ in Milwaukee today and I apologize for including him in my previous rant about the insanity of radio.
I don’t apologize for ranting about the cruel nature of radio though. It’s out of control as far as the cannibalization of its employees go. I’ve been witness to it first hand five times and every one of them has come about for reasons I still can’t understand. It wasn’t a lack of ability on my part, and it rarely is. They always seem to be going in a ‘new direction’.
Unfortunately, that direction is usually south. Of the five stations I’ve gotten fired from, four of those are no longer on the air and the other continues to struggle badly. Their ‘new direction’ turned out to be a lot worse than the one they were headed when I was working for them. The major complaint I have is how management doesn’t treat us like humans.
One thing I did get correct was that sports talk host Bill Michaels is no longer employed at WTMJ. I’m not exactly sure what happened other than his contract wasn’t renewed and it’s none of my business, but I did read where Bill Michaels said he was surprised about it and didn’t fully expect it. That’s all I had to hear, and I feel for the guy. He got taken out.
Other than maybe sports coaches, I can’t think of another business that’s so quick to fire people out of the blue. I don’t know Bill well, but I’ve met him and know people who are friends of his. I’ve heard him during Packer coverage and listened to his sports talk show, as I’m a big sports talk listener in general. He worked hard and I’m sorry he was gassed.
He wasn’t the first one though. I was a big fan of Steve ‘The Homer’ True on WISN for years, and he got let go after his contract was up. He’s now on AM 540 ESPN Radio and still sounds great. I’ll take at least a little credit for introducing Homer to Craig Karmazin at a comedy show years ago, and they ended up working out a deal that’s still going now.
I love hanging out on ‘The D List’ on ESPN Radio. The vibe in that building is a whole lot better than most other stations I’ve been around. Sure, people come and go as happens in all work places, but I don’t sense a gun to the head atmosphere there from Craig and he treats his employees very well from my observation. I’m a big fan of the whole operation.
My whole point is, I think people who are competent and want to work should be get to do exactly that, especially after putting in years of loyal service. If there has to be changes made, fine – but don’t just blow the person out the door with no way of earning a living.
That’s no way to treat human beings, yet it happens all the time. I think there could be a lot more class shown without that much effort. Most broadcast companies have properties elsewhere and at least a token offer of other employment could be offered. It’s only right, but that’s just my opinion apparently. I’ve never seen it happen in real life. I send positive vibes to Bill Michaels and everyone else who’s been fired in radio. It’s very unnecessary.