Hey Cafe Clansters…..
I promise to finish firing story today. Sorry about the tease yesterday. Like you I’m sure, I hate teases.
Before I get into the nuts and bolts of firing let me say something about myself; I’m no angel. I have many, many faults. I’m marginally paranoid, very stubborn and very set in my ways. So I will say that I probably did some things that warranted being fired. After 27 years in radio, I feel I have credibility. I worked under three of the brightest minds in talk radio history: Bruce Gilbert, Tom Bigby and “My Wild Irish Laddy”, the great Mike Thompson. I know the DFW area and its listeners, but when Spittle, Gavin was brought in, I was on borrowed time. I was doomed to clash rather than cooperate. So please keep that in mind as the story unfolds.
…………..so after being summoned into Spittle, Gavin’s office what I saw was comical and ironic. Present in his office was our head of human resources and a hulking bodyguard. I burst into laughter. I was bellowing in my fake high pitched talk. “I know what this is. I’m getting fired”. Spittle, Gavin was casting his customary head down, never making eye contact. “Greggie’s unemployed. One of the pieces of our future two weeks ago now headed to guillotine”. HR lady started to talk exit paperwork. I told her to cool it, just show me where to sign. The irony is that HR lady was part of my Ticket firing too. And she was also the person that informed me on countless occasions that my job was safe. I wasn’t gonna be fired. As soon as my out-patient rehab program was over, I’d be back to work. We know that didn’t happen. Spittle, Gavin was still speechless. This was morphing into a chain saw ballet. And Spittle, Gavin was displaying the knife-edge sharpness of a bowling ball. I sat looking straight at him with the tone of the room intense on their side and still humorous on my part.
See, I KNEW I was gonna be fired, and I knew it for about a month. I knew that Spittle, Gavin had talked to a few people. A quick check with my back-channel spies told me they had met with Ben and Skin. And Ben was telling anyone who’d listen that their show would be reprised when they completed their non-compete. I had asked Spittle, Gavin that direct question. “Are Ben and Skin replacing RAGE” and he totally denied it. I asked again and suggested that he look me in the eye and say it. “Am I being fired”? “No, and I don’t know why you’d think that, you’re a huge part of our future”. That was on Wednesday before I was blown out the following Monday.
Now let’s return to the office scene.
I sat wondering how someone like this pussy would be responsible for ending my radio career (and it will.) I had been fired from the three DFW all-sports stations in six years. Who in their right mind would hire me? I doubt very seriously I would. The lyrics of a great Led Zeppelin song entered my mind–”….what is and what will never be”. Then Spittle, Gavin started to speak with his head so low he was eye-to-eye with the carpet bugs. I asked again, “why did you tell me I would not be fired only four days ago”. He muttered and stammered through the “well, we have to make changes”. Still never touched the stun gun precision question I continued to ask. It was at that point I gave up. Denial was usually wrapped into a well-crafted lie. Spittle, Gavin was unconvincing and basically full of shit so I moved on. And this is the point I get really pissed. I asked a direct question.
“Why am I being fired?”
I just wanted it on the record as to why I was being fired without cause according to my contract.
“Why am I being fired”?
His answer? ”changes”. (Yes, really)
So I continued with the questions. “No other reason?” ”No, and I don’t know why you’d ask that”.
I’d just been fired from a six figured gig. And this out-of-control backwater despot was stunned I wanted a clarification.
Let me add one thing. I have never employed an agent. In radio, it always seemed silly. You sign standard company mandated contracts. You can haggle over some monetary means, but everything else is pretty standard.
I was at the Ticket negotiating a new deal. The money was insane, and by insane I mean more toward seven figures than six. I thought it would be cool to ask for my own parking spot. Bruce Gilbert just glared at me. You would have thought I’d just robbed his house. He basically said, “get the fuck outta my office. You will NEVER get your own parking place. You’re an idiot for thinking it. Now get out before I start subtracting money”. I slumped out and started to my desk, stopped, made an about face and I went straight into his office signed the deal. I’ve never mentioned parking place again.
Now, back to getting fired….
So there I am still attempting to get an answer as to why I was fired. Also at this point, hulking security guy was getting restless. I thought, “what are you gonna do, beat me up”? But this was going nowhere and never would. This was becoming an endless car ride through the abyss. I then surrendered and started out of the room. Then Spittle, Gavin drops this line. “I hope there are no ill feelings”. Then I turned unprofessional and threw out an unnecessary “Fuck You”. That’s the only thing I regret. HR gal then told me I’d have to be escorted out, I mean they gotta make use of hulking security guy, right? I asked if I could talk to Richie and I received a stern NO from HR Madame. Richie was then asked into Spittle, Gavin’s lair. Up until then I’d never heard of Richie being fired. It was always just me. His firing was the biggest surprise. Richie Whitt is the hardest working guy I’ve ever seen. He was a great asset! He never showed up unprepared; he tirelessly promoted the station, and a great partner. He made me a better person. Remember, I’m no angel, but he and Sybil are. I wish them decades of marital happiness.
Note: their relationship never interfered the show. Every day from about noon till 7 it was as if they weren’t together. That’s an accomplishment.
And as if he were some Druid Storm Trooper, Spittle, Gavin fired Richie. What a dumb-ass.
Now here’s the point that really pissed me off. They denied me a chance to say goodbye to staff. I was being treated like a criminal. The only thing missing were handcuffs and chains. And no sooner than I’d exited the building a memo was issued.
“RAGE was fired because of bad ratings.”
Are you fucking kidding me? Never once had cellar ratings been brought up. I had pushed for a reason. And as soon as I hit the street, it was ratings. That both infuriated me and disappointed me. All I wanted were two simple questions answered.
You might be wondering as to my thoughts about the Fan for the future.
Dismal. As long as Spittle, Gavin is running things, I think it’s hopeless. It’s a horrible combination of bad news judgment, lack of balls, being clueless on the DFW market, and a full-assault on Cowboy ass-kissing. I feel for my former comrades. Spittle, Gavin is hell-bent on having Cowboy puppets. Think of them as a fraternity of Manchurian Candidates. What Spittle, Gavin is doing ranks as mass larceny of a radio station. He is but the captain of an uncharted, leaky ship. Along with Tim Collins the SS Dipshit sails on.