I hope it isn’t true but I just found out that the guys who host Atlanta’s 96Rock morning radio show “The Regular Guys” (Larry Wachs and Eric Von Haessler) may have had their show cancelled for the second time in two years and I’m not very happy about it. The occasion of their first dismissal was due to FCC fine-attracting audio, sloppy engineering and the lack (or patent misuse) of a tape delay. Their employers, the increasingly-loathed Clear Channel Communications, kept them off the air for over a year. Upon the duo’s return, much of the foundations of their original Atlanta format had been pruned back severely: several (arguably) popular sidekicks had been jettisoned, lost to other timeslots or hauled away in the dumpster. The occasion of this second dismissal is so asinine that I can’t believe it isn’t a publicity stunt (if only it were).
DJ Larry Wachs’ explains the circumstances of the dismissal in his blog on the group’s website. Essentially, the disc jockeys “Yogi and Panda” of a sister Spanish language station in the same building have sued Wachs and Von Haessler for “unspecified damages” for taping them sitting in adjacent restroom stalls sharing good conversation and even better bowel movements. I didn’t hear the piece on The Regular Guys’ show, but one of the citations in the lawsuit is that the “KLS wake up guys allegedly made on-air statements about the Viva 105.7 hosts sexual orientation, race and nationality”.
May I explain something?
The actions of the Regular Guys (Larry) in taping the other DJs is what, in the biz, we would call “high spirited hijincks” and “zany antics” and evidence of the existence of a “good natured rivalry” and a whole lot of other things that mean that any conflict they have should be kept in the public eye for as long as possible because it is the perfect set-up for bringing even more listeners in to hear their shows. Professional wrestlers laugh all the way to the bank, arm in arm with the guy that pounded them into pulp.
People love controversy more than peanut butter.
Yogi? Panda? If your contracts don’t scale with your listener-base then I will have to begin to list my esteem for you in imaginary numbers because Cartesian math isn’t big enough to contain your supreme idiocy and (obviously) fragile egos. Any Morning Drive Time DJ worth his salt loves a good dust-up with a rival.
My friend Daniel, who is from Mexico City, explained to me in no uncertain terms that Yogi and Panda are “nasty” and “not worth listening to”, to which I would add “shortsighted”, “petty” and “way too afraid of being called gay not to actually be gay”.
Controversy means ratings. Ratings mean bigger houses, fancier bathrooms in which you can hold hands under the stall. Whatever, dudes. Even if you weren’t gay, it wouldn’t matter.
Clear Channel, are you completely bereft of marketing strategists?
Maybe you got rid of them when you lost your balls.