I wanted to invite you all to the ERC dinner/auction on December 5th. It will be a great event and I am the MC. For further info and tickets, go to www.eastsiderepublicanclub.org Come on out and have a great time.
UPDATE – FISHER HAS DEDICATED A PHONE LINE JUST FOR COMMENTS RELATED TO MY DEPARTURE. 206-404-3010. FEEL FREE TO CALL.
First, let me thank all of you for the tremendous outpouring of support, friendship and love. It is overwhelming and humbling, and was totally unexpected. You all will never know what it means to me and my family. And, a special thanks to Dan and Laura Kiel. They are people of principle, and, if you need a mortgage, now more than ever, go see them.
Secondly, let me say that I wish that management had kept this a private matter, between them and me, where it should be. It is a personnel matter and should not be in the public arena. But, I will defend myself, and since they opened the door, here is my side of the story.
Money, management says, is one of the reasons for my departure. Really? Well, first, I was paid very well, probably too well. But my salary was not the result of long tortuous negotiations, or ridiculous demands and tantrums by me. Three years ago, Dennis Kelly, then Program Director, asked me one day what it would take to keep me at KVI. He said they wanted me to end my career there, to retire there, and wanted to do what it would take to keep me. I, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, said that I wanted more than John Carlson made ( this was before his exile to KOMO ). I had no idea what that was, we had never talked about it, but about a week later, I received an unbelievable offer from Dennis, about a 50% increase. After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I called my agent and said sign before they change their mind. I would have stayed for no increase, but, they offerred.
Secondly, early this year, I received a memo from management about our contractual annual step increases. I would guess there are about six of us at Fisher radio with contracts that allow for an annual increase. We were asked by Jim Clayton if we would consider not accepting them due to the poor financial condition of the company. I immediately said of course, I don’t need it as badly as Fisher does. Jim came to the studio with the proper paperwork to revise my contract and said thanks, my move was appreciated.
Thirdly, approximately four months ago, I sent an email to Mr Clayton with some ideas on taking advantage of the political situation in 2010 to benefit the station. In that memo, I told him that I was willing to take a cut in salary, because I understood the financial situation that Fisher was in. I never received a reply to the email. Several times in person I reiterated to both Jim and Dennis that I was more than willing to take a cut in salary, and when my pay was mentioned as part of our high overhead, I reminded them that my pay was the result of a generous offer made by management three years ago, that I would have been a fool to say ‘ That’s too high ‘, that I would have taken much less.
Now, ratings. I had a meeting after the show on Friday, November 6, with Travis Box, our Program Director. The new ratings had just come out and that was the main topic. Here is what I was told:
1.) Our ratings had been improving and climbing steadily over the past six to nine months.
2.) We were ahead of Glenn Beck, our competition, in the 35-64 age demo
3.) We were behind in the 25-54 age demo.
4.) We were the highest-rated daypart on the station, consistently outperforming the rest of the shows on the station.
5.) An expected upward tick in Beck’s ratings due to his appearance here in September did not occur
Mind you, Glenn has a national TV show, several best-selling books and lots of promotion money. We had nothing, zero, zip, nada to help us promote the show. And, if management was concerned about the ratings, at no time did they ask to meet with us on specific ideas or recommendations on how to improve them. We were told that we would rename the show ‘Kirby and Company’ which really didn’t help our ratings. When we came up with ideas, we were consistently told we had no money for promotion.
Let me say that the real losers in this are the many charities and good causes we helped, like the Boy Scouts, Operation Support Our Troops, Union Gospel Mission and Toys for Tots. And then, causes like the Medal of Honor Memorial at the University of Washington, which I doubt would even exist without the KVI audience.
There is more to say, but I think I have said enough. If management had kept this a matter between us, where it belonged, I would have said nothing. But, 700 emails on Friday, the loss of a significant advertiser, a steady volume of phone calls, I’m sure they were caught off-guard and had to say something. I understand some even suggested that all these calls were part of a GOP conspiracy and did not reflect real KVI listeners. I know better. They should.
May God bless you and may He bless the United States of America.
I will be updating you soon. Stay tuned.