Steve Duemig back on WDAE-AM after signing new three-year deal with Clear Channel Radio
It’s been nearly a week since WDAE-AM (620) host Steve Duemig returned to the airwaves last Tuesday, following a six-day absence over contract issues.
And though he stops short of saying he’s happy how his negotiations turned out, the host insists his absence was a result of WDAE owner Clear Channel Radio’s hardball negotiating tactics.
“I was told to sign a document before our negotiations were done,” noted Duemig, who said back when he left the air that the company wanted him to sign a new agreement before a window opened in his contract allowing him to negotiate with competitors. When he refused, Duemig said, he was taken off the air.
He now declines to say if he talked with any competitors – most obviously WHFS-FM, the FM sports talk station owned by CBS Radio in St. Petersburg. But Duemig does say that he didn’t get any extra money from the deal, which lasts three years from his current contract’s end in mid-May.
An executive at Clear Channel declined to comment on negotiations with Duemig, including his allegation that its current tactics were inspired by competition with CBS Radio.
“It’s great to have a job at the station I helped build with Chris Thomas,” Duemig said. He and Thomas -- also lead sportcaster at Tampa NBC affiliate WFLA-Ch. 8, who died in 2004 – were the first talent hired for the station when WDAE debuted a sports talk format in 1997.
“But am I happy?” he added. “I won’t answer that.”