Monday, July 09, 2007

Shocker: Howie is going to rival WTKK-FM Talk

In a stunning blow to the station where has worked for more than 15 years, Howard Lawrence Carr is packing it up for rival talk station WTKK. Moreover, it will be early to rise for Howie who owns Boston radio's afternoon drive time. At WTKK, he'll take over the coveted morning slot once held by Don Imus.
In a bombshell development, WRKO-AM radio host Howie Carr is jumping ship to rival station WTKK-FM, where he’ll take over the prized morning-drive slot.

Tonight, WRKO said not so fast.

The AM station announced they expect to keep Carr in his seat "for many years to come."

Carr, whose contract with WRKO-AM (680) expires in September, is set to host WTKK’s morning drive show solo and replaces shamed syndicated talk jock Don Imus, who lost his national show after the “nappy-headed hos” scandal.

Carr inked a five-year deal with WTKK (96.9), according to his lawyer, Bret Cohen of the law firm Mintz Levin. Carr could not be reached for comment and is vacationing in Florida.
Is this a good move for Howie? He says it's not about the money, Ahem...

And there are more pressing questions:

Will the Howie trademark talk about hacks and pop culture cut it in the morning? Will Max Robins do mornings? How will the Death Pool sound on FM?

Did the constant Red Sox pre-game pre-emptions rub Howie the wrong way?

Did the hiring of the felon as Howie calls him endearingly Tommy "Taxes" Finneran have anything to do with it?

Is this the beginning of the end for WRKO?

And what does this say about the Jason Wolfe-Julie Kahn empire?

What will become of the ever-so-lovely Sandy, Howie's vital foil and a potential on-air talent?

Does Victor Bravo, aka Virgin Boy, return for the afternoon slot freed up by Howie?

Will Howie make frequent appearances on the moderately successful Eagan and Braude mid-day show? Will Jim Braude have seizures? Will Howie get to interview the Governor, Deval Patrick?

This tumultuous event definitely increases the value of John Dennis and Jerry Callahan. It forces Entercom's management to pay a dear financial price to keep their all-star WEEI morning team in place either in their current slot or an afternoon one.

Lots of reports from all over. Brian Maloney at SaveWRKO has more., one of the best "trade" web sites on Boston radio, thinks the flight of Howie will result in several interesting chess moves.
WTKK's blockbuster move to land Carr will set off some major speculation as to how WRKO's programmers will counter the latest development in the talk radio battle. Will "Dennis and Callahan" move over to WRKO's PM drive to do a non-sports show? Will Don Imus who is rumored to be returning to the airwaves after the summer will somehow fall into the equation? Only time will tell, but for now it's advantage WTKK.
The demise of WRKO began with its deal to be the Red Sox station except when sister WEEI carries the game, a stupid dualism that strains credibility. It made matters worse by brushing asideScotto, a likeable, hip talkmaster in favor of Tommy "Taxes" Finneran. The Wolfe-Kahn tag team of destruction need a miracle and fast.

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