October 23rd, 2009 | by KELLY CLARKE News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, CLEAN UP

Dead air update: KUFO's Rick Emerson Show crew fired. Cort and Fatboy fired. KUFO responds.

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UPDATE 5:10 pm: Sarah X. Dylan of the Rick Emerson Show on KUFO just confirmed via text that the RES crew was "let go." Although Emerson himself has not made an official comment, [scroll down for Rick's updated, official comment] his Facebook page does contain a cryptic goodbye: "What's the opposite of "shiny"? You are, as always, the best audience ever. Watch this space for updates. The Rick Emerson Show salutes you." The news has hit the show's longtime legion of fans hard—they're already blowing up both Twitter and Facebook with angry comments and plans for possible coffee cup crusades (get the background on RES' recent media kerfuffles and back-from-the-deal maneuvers here and here). If any group of radio lovers can make themselves heard—it's them. Hell, they've already got an existing Save the Rick Emerson show webpage. Good luck everybody.

UPDATE 5:45 pm: Just heard back from KUFO's Director of Marketing & Promotion Susan Reynolds. She has indeed confirmed that the entire Rick Emerson Crew—Rick Emerson, Sarah X. Dylan, Tim Riley and Greg Nibler—as well as Cort & Fatboy have been let go. She couldn't tell me much about what the future plans are for KUFO in terms of on air talent. She would not comment on rumors that Seattle radio personality Ricker had been hired by KUFO. (Ricker, who, according to his 99.9 KISW "The Rock of Seattle" bio enjoys "Jaegermeister" and "Pamela Anderson," could be a perfect fit if the station is aiming for the elusive giant douchebag demographic). "What I can tell you is that the station is a rock station and will continue to be a rock station," Reynolds says. "Anytime there is a change in management you can expect this kind of thing—almost always. The real unfortunate part is that the station has suffered in the ratings. At some point [Alpha Broadcasting] has to take a look at everything as say 'how are we gonna turn this around.' ...They paid a bundle of money for these radio stations and they have to do what they think is right."

FYI, you can always send your thoughts about the mass firing of local radio personnel to Larry Wilson, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of KUFO owner Alpha Broadcasting at Larry.Wilson@alphabroadcasting.com.

UPDATE 8 pm: Rick Emerson has posted a goodbye to "The Rick Emerson Show (v.6.3)" on his website (full text, here). Here's a snippet:
There will be lots to say and much to address in the coming days. For now, we will simply note that it has been, as always, our pleasure to serve and entertain you.... I will also make this brief request: despite your initial inclinations or inborn desire to rattle The Man's cage (a desire I share, by the way), please forgo the gathering of coffee cups, the mailing of human skulls, or the ritual animal sacrifice that you may have planned for the KUFO parking lot. There's lots of folks whose jobs have been eliminated, and many, many families whose daily financial struggles are much more difficult than mine. Trust meno one (especially no one associated with the show) has anything but the deepest recognition of, and respect for, your loyalty. That, my friends, is never in question.

Instead, we'll pause, take a moment, regroup, and move ahead, as we have always done. We couldn't have gotten this far without you, and we wouldn't dream of leaving you behind. You are, and remain, our friends, colleagues, supporters, critics, and companions. You are the best.

••••••


Original post:

KUFO 101.1's afternoon duo Cort & Fatboy (aka Bobby Roberts) were fired earlier this afternoon. It's not the first big change that Alpha Broadcasting, who took over the radio station in August, made this week. On Tuesday, staffers were informed that KUFO programming director Chris Patyk was being replaced by a San Diego "Afternoon Drive personality" called Ditch.

Roberts confirmed the news. "We were sort of planning for this—getting our heads chopped off—because, well, we're in radio," he told WW. "We're okay." Cort Webber's Twitter update, posted at 3:30 pm, reads: "Officially unemployed. Goodbye KUF-O (sung to Goodbye Yellow Brick Road)."


Goofily biting right to the end, Cort & Fatboy went down laughing...kind of. The pair posted a five minute podcast around 3:15 pm today that they taped earlier in the afternoon explaining that they were heading to a meeting where they guessed they were about to be fired.

Listen to the whole thing, here. [Update: Aaaand cut. KUFO killed the link the the podcast around 4:40 on Friday.] [Take 2: Mike Russell aka Culture Pulp has got that pesky podcast right here. Thanks!

The duo does promise to be back in one way or another, noting that they own their website and logo. "Those little stick figures? They belong to us," Fatboy told listeners. Also, the pair will continue their popular Midnight Movies series at the Bagdad Theater. "We'll be showing Raising Arizona at the Bagdad on Friday, Nov. 6. It's $3," says Roberts.

Fatboy asked fans to contact him at fatboy_roberts@comcast.net. You can follow Cort Webber on Twitter or Facebook.

I'll update the post with more info on what KUFO plans to replace Cort & Fatboy with once I get a call back from the station. [See updates above.]


 
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