Thursday, December 11, 2008

Neff Out At Toledo's WCWA

UPDATE 12/10/08 11:35 PM: And tonight, there are some more details.

The Toledo Free Press' below linked article has been updated. Here's the quote which pretty much says it all, in the eyes of Mr. Neff:

After describing the stabbing incident (to substitute host/Free Press editor-in-chief Michael S. Miller), Neff said, “Apparently people got a memo at WSPD from (program director) Brian Wilson not to mention the story, not to mention my name at all today. I’d just like to say that Brian Wilson can go screw himself.”

The Free Press article says Neff expressed similar, uh, sentiments directly to Wilson in E-Mail using stronger language, after learning of the supposed ban on saying his name on WSPD. The information about that is directly attributed to the now-former host himself.

(There's no word on if he got the idea for the E-Mail from a recent E-Mail that Cleveland Browns general manager Phil Savage sent to a fan.) (Yes, we're kidding.)

Clear Channel Toledo news operations chief Cassie Wilson tells the Free Press that she - not Brian Wilson - reminded news staffers of the station's policy against crime reporting...and that she didn't believe Neff's notoriety or extensive TV news coverage warranted an exception to that policy.

In her statement, she says the station's news department did not cover the recent problems of a local television weathercaster:

To that same end, we did not cover the story of a Clear Channel advertising client who purchased a brokered program and was involved in a road-rage situation. Our listeners are concerned with news that affects their daily lives, such as pocketbook issues. Radio news does not take its cues from the stories covered on television, and we do not report a crime blotter.

Speaking of that brokered arrangement - Neff tells the Free Press that he has been paying $40,000 a year to air the show on WCWA.

Presumably, he'll take that money offer to another station - Cumulus talk WTOD/1560 or Matrix talk WNWT/1520 would presumably be his first two stops - as he tells the Free Press that he hopes to be back on the air by the first of the year.

Our original evening update is below...


The Toledo talk radio host who was stabbed a day ago in a highly-publicized road rage incident is now a former talk radio host.

The Toledo Free Press weekly newspaper, where Troy Neff has been a contributor, reports tonight that "The Troy Neff Show" has been pulled from the lineup at Clear Channel sports/talk WCWA/1230 "FOX Sports Radio 1230", effective immediately.

The news has also been posted by Raycom CBS affiliate WTOL/11, added online to a previous story based on the station's interview with Neff this afternoon. Quoting:

News 11 has learned that Clear Channel, the company who owns the radio station carrying the Troy Neff show, has discontinued his radio show effective immediately. We are told it is due to an internal dispute between Neff and Clear Channel administrators.

OMW has not heard what prompted Clear Channel to cancel the show, either officially or via rumor.

We're wondering (and only wondering, at this point) if Neff's own description of the events on Holiday Lane near U.S. 20 didn't sit well with them.

You can hear his comments for yourself, as video of Neff's unedited interview with WTOL is at the link above.

On his own site, Neff has also helpfully posted audio of his call (MP3 link) into substitute host (and Free Press editor-in-chief) Michael S. Miller this morning on WCWA - on what no one knew at the time would be the last "Troy Neff Show" on the station.

By the way, in case Neff was talking about us in the interview, we did not actually report that the "road rage" incident happened or even started on I-75. We brought up the location of Neff's office near the I-75 interchange because we were wondering what a driver from out-of-state would be doing in that area.

As it turns out, the man suspected of stabbing Neff was apparently staying at a nearby Holiday Inn Express, as the street's name would suggest.

There's no word right now what'll run on WCWA on Friday morning, but we're guessing for the moment that they'll just clear FOX Sports Radio in the 6-10 AM slot.

Anyway, just to clarify in case Neff is reading again, we are not saying that his public interviews caused Clear Channel to pull the show. We don't know why they did.

But we do know that Neff's 6-10 AM morning show has been a brokered show, which means Neff paid Clear Channel for the airtime - in some form. We don't know if he paid directly to clear the hours, or if it's some sort of advertising deal involving his financial planning business.

But whatever Clear Channel got, financially, out of Neff...they felt the need to cancel the arrangement. In this economy. Where radio stations across the country are all but turning over couch cushions in the station lobby, hoping to find a few quarters that fell out of someone's pocket...

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