I hate to hit on topics I thought dead, but last night this one reared its ugly head again. The short synopsis: Pat Miller built a loyal following for his talk show on WOWO, especially among evangelicals and the Tea Party. Station boss Gregg Henson removes him because "he's not getting numbers in the 25-49 demographic". Henson takes over the show, alienates the old audience, a revolt arose, and Henson gets booted. Then, recently it was announced that Pat would be back in January. A reporter at the News-Sentinel published a story yesterday about this, and apparently painted Henson in a bad light. Not surprising because a) the reporter had been a back door ally of the forces against Henson from the start, and b) Henson made it so doggone hard to paint him in a good light. Last night, former congressman Mark Souder reposted the article on Facebook, which led to expressions of joy from the masses- and a few replies from Henson himself.
I don't really want to re-fight the whole ordeal, but Henson's replies need to be addressed. As I read the comments, I noticed things like:
" I would think you of all people who agree that there are 2 sides of every story and frankly I think the group of people you are friends with (you know who they are) are the nastiest group of people I've ever encountered. "
"... but management has said a lot of nasty things at WOWO about me to cover their own mistakes and frankly I'm tired of it."
"They have every right to influence advertiser(s), but they lied in doing so and that is wrong! They are very adept at making things up."
"I was the one who suggested they take me off the air, it was miserable because those 5 people are nasty. I wasn't having any fun."
"Again, programatically Pat's listeners are the problem, they are old and advertisers won't buy them..."
"Ultimately my performance wasn't the reason I was let go, I and 17 others were budget cuts."
"The station was bleeding audience in the 25-54 cell for 5 years. We stopped that and grew the 25-54 in one book."
And there was one other quote I saw last night that has been removed by one of the two principals- that Current host Casey Hendrickson is "a clone".
So, let's unpack this. The "group of five" (the FB group that included the local Right To Life president) are nasty, that's the problem. Management at WOWO was nasty, that's the problem. They lied about me, that's the problem. The station was budget cutting, that's the problem. And my personal involvement in the show "grew the demographic."
But it wasn't GREGG'S fault. None of it.
Gregg, from all I have seen, I think you probably are egotistical enough to search your name for stories about you, so I'll assume you're listening. Let me walk you back through my "Gregg Henson experience."
First time I heard you fill in for Pat, you were on a Newt Gingerich kick. I liked Newt as well, but you were annoying about it. No problem, put on music, come back another day.
Next time, you were going off about Tebowing. Not a big deal, but when you called it "doing his "Jesus" thing", I was a bit put off. I thought it disrespectful, to God and to believing listeners. Again, not a big deal.
Then came the week that Pat was let go. First- and I'll admit, I was getting just the 4:30-5:30 segment on the way home- but I got the impression Pat was leaving do to the medical issues he was having. Still not a big deal. But then came two days of "all Lady Gaga talk, all the time." This is what attracts the 25-49 demo, apparently. Oh, and Octomom. For three days you could tune in WOWO and be assured one of those two topics were being discussed. Again, it was your sandbox...
But then came the day that a lady caller tried to say that she missed Pat and his topics, and you cut her off- extremely rudely- and hung up on her. You later told me on FB it was because "she lied to the screener". That day, I replied, the show was so full of off-the-wall callers that moments before I had told Laurie that "either he doesn't have a screener, or he's telling them 'anything goes'". Thus, I said, that excuse was pure BS. And really didn't matter, because there's no excuse for being that rude on the air, unless you're a moron like Howard Stern.
But the thing that really finished you off was the long FB battle where you and your wonderfully named buddy, "I am Jesus Christ", proceeded to personally insult your former on-air producer AND the president of FT Wayne Right To Life. At that point, as Mark Souder told you last night, you became the uniting force against which religious people of every stripe, conservatives of every conscience, and anyone with human decency rallied to attack.
The thing is, and I told you this, none of it needed to happen. I agree the Tea Party can get extreme- no more so than Harry Reid refusing to hear bills or the democrats in the Indiana legislature walking out because they were goiing to lose a vote. I agree that if you wanted to grow your audience, you need to widen the subject matter. But then, on the comment someone deleted, you called Casey a "clone"- of what, I'm not sure. But he is three things that you were not- interesting, informative, and respectful of his audience and his callers. If you had at LEAST been the last one, you might still be here.
But it wasn't your fault. It was everyone's fault BUT yours. You and Mark lamented the attacks on you that included your dismissals from past jobs. While they were not germaine to the battle here, they were germaine to why you are no longer at any of them, including this one. Until you can accept responsibility for your own failures, instead of blaming it on everyone else, it will be the story of your life.
Or maybe not. Apparently the whole "Blame Bush" thing still works for SOME people...