Rod Arquette, the program director who cancelled my show at 710-KIRO, has himself been canceled, according to a report over at BlatherWatch.
Of course I feel empathy for Rod, as I would for just about anybody losing their job, but sympathy… not so much. It’s nothing personal, but the radio biz is as fickle a mistress to program directors as it is to talent, so Rod’s departure is really just a circle of life kinda thing. In fact, considering the station’s sliding fortunes over his tenure, I’m kinda surprised he lasted this long.
When I started at KIRO in 2006, the longtime AM powerhouse was live and local 24/7 (with the exception of Bob Brinker on the weekends), a reliable cash cow, and a local icon, and while my personal schtick was political talk, I was honored to be a part of the station’s broader news coverage. Sitting at home in the cold and the dark with my wind-up radio in the aftermath of the December 2006 windstorm, I knew that there was one station I could rely on 24 hours a day to bring me the latest updates on the ongoing power outage, and for those few hours a day sitting behind the mic in the warmth and light of the studio, I was proud to be the one providing this service to my community.
And today, I can’t even find KIRO on the dial anymore.
Under Arquette’s watch, 710-AM reformatted to sports talk, while the venerable news/talk franchise moved somewhere in the FM band. The newsroom suffered a series of cuts, ceding the lead in that market to KOMO-1000, while the station abandoned its longtime commitment to live and local, replacing me and other hosts with syndicated fare. I feel a perhaps misplaced degree of loyalty and affection toward KIRO for giving me an opportunity I hadn’t really earned, but these days, given a breaking news event, even I tune in to KOMO. I know where they are on the dial, and I know they’ll never be broadcasting some syndicated crap.
And that’s kinda sad.
I was awfully disappointed when Arquette let me go, though not bitter. I never had much interaction with him, but he always seemed like a pretty nice guy, even while axing me. So I wish him all the best.
But I wish even better for KIRO under new management.