Is CBS Radio Thick Enough to Yank Wild 98.7's Orlando? Only on April Fool's Day
My pals at TBT* revealed a story that made me laugh yesterday, reciting the tale of how Wild 98.7 morning man Orlando Davis was yanked from the air yesterday afternoon after a dispute over upgrading equipment in his studio led to Davis nearly revealing the home telephone number of CBS Radio's top executive in Tampa, Charlie Ochs.
Journalists have to step gingerly around April Fools. There's always some knucklehead trying to get bogus stories in the news report -- most recently, Time Out Chicago's bogus press release that it was acquired by Donald Trump -- and CBS Radio locally needs some ink about its morning show, given the way MJ at WFLZ and Bubba the Love Sponge at The Bone have been going at each other recently.
A few things tweaked me about the Wild story, though:
-- According to our early report, Orlando was upset that they didn't have up-to-date HD equipment in their studio. But HD Radio is an alternate way of broadcasting shows; you need an entirely different radio to receive it, and few people here locally have the receivers. So why does he care about that?
-- Cool as he is, Orlando is program director at the station and an experienced radio pro. He knows you don't get the boss to spend money on you by publicly embarrassing him. And fake feuds with the boss are an old school radio staple.
-- I called Ochs yesterday when I heard about the dustup, and though he wouldn't say anything, he was awfully calm for a guy whose top talent was supposedly losing it on air. And, of course, it was the day before April Fools.
So far today, Wild's morning show has been mostly music with DJ Trauma awkwardly reading news headlines every so often -- another classic sign of a prank. Radio vets know, when management actually makes a change, a new team comes in so fast, it's like the old guys never existed.
More than anything, this seems a sign of what shows are willing to do to draw some attention, now that the morning radio wars have heated up. Looks like listeners are in for an interesting ride....