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Chris Core got fired?

February 29, 2008, 9:18 PM

As many of you know, I’m a bit of a talk radio junkie. My iPod is filled with radio talk shows, and I listen to talk radio streams online when I’m at my desk at work. My usual cocktail of talk shows consists of the first hour of Air America‘s The Randi Rhodes Show on podcast during my morning commute, The Chris Core Show on WMAL in the morning at work (live), Rush Limbaugh or Thom Hartmann in the early afternoon depending on my mood, then the rest of Randi Rhodes on the way home. I also have Rachel Maddow in reserve should I run out of Randi Rhodes or otherwise need more talk podcasts.

And now today, when I got home, I found out that Chris Core has been fired from WMAL. It seemed that Citadel Broadcasting, the company that currently owns WMAL, went through a major programming shakeup, and Chris Core was one of the casualties. And it was swift, too. Chris Core did his February 29 show as usual, and then was fired that afternoon. Not a cancelling as of a certain date, or they weren’t renewing his contract or something. No, he was gone, effective immediately, end of story. Thus he never got a chance to say goodbye to his audience or anything. It’s a shame. Core, however, was very diplomatic about it, saying that he wasn’t ready to retire, that he was not bitter over his dismissal, and that he hoped to get on the air again on another station.

I for one, though, will miss Chris Core’s show. Unlike most of the talk show hosts that I listen to, Chris Core was local. His show was produced in Washington DC, and only broadcast in the Washington DC area. And because of that, he was able to tackle local issues, which is something that national talk show hosts can’t do. And I like local news a lot. My TV at home, when it’s on, is almost always tuned to News Channel 8, an Arlington-based cable channel whose programming is primarily local news.

I still remember the show in October when the topic was about 75-year-old Mona Shaw from Manassas, who took out her frustrations on Comcast Cable after a botched installation job. Shaw was arrested and charged for her hammering spree. Chris did a bit where the audience would be the jury, and the question was put to them: should Shaw get off with only a slap on the wrist, should the judge throw the book at her, or should we declare a holiday in her honor? Considering Comcast’s less-than-stellar service, there was a lot of discussion about declaring a holiday in her honor because she actually made a loud and clear statement to Comcast about their poor service. Yes, Mona Shaw took direct action against Comcast, and the mostly-conservative audience of The Chris Core Show was very much on Shaw’s side.

More recently, with the 2008 election season in full swing, Chris Core made no secret about the fact that he did not like Hillary Clinton. He really went all out on the November 28, 2007 show when he not only pledged that he would not vote for Hillary Clinton, but made a signed statement to that effect, and had it notarized on air.

And Chris Core had a great rapport with his audience as well. He recognized many of his callers, remembers their Emails, and would always thank his callers for being on the show. And on some occasions, he would even invite a caller to be an in-studio guest co-host for an hour of the show. It was awesome.

And now Chris Core is off the air. That’s really sad, because after Randi Rhodes, Chris Core was one of my favorites. As of this writing, WMAL has not announced who will be replacing Chris Core. His name is off of their Web site, and his slot in the programming schedule just says “630 WMAL”, which indicates to me that they possibly got rid of him without any plan for what to do to replace him. But if Chris Core is to be gone, I hope that WMAL fills his timeslot with a host similar to Chris Core. I want another local host. I want someone who discusses local issues, and topics of local interest. Thus I hope they don’t replace him with a syndicated show, like Glenn Beck or Neal Boortz or someone. And I really hope that they don’t move Chris Plante, WMAL’s evening talk show host, to the 9 AM spot. I don’t find Chris Plante’s style to be all that appealing, and his show, despite its being a local WMAL show and not a national show, is primarily about national issues. But somehow I imagine it will be a syndicated show that ultimately replaces Core, since what I’m gathering is that this is more a money issue than a personality issue…

What a sad thing to find out, though, that one of your favorite talk show hosts has been abruptly fired. And this after more than thirty years at WMAL. However, I wish Chris Core all the best in his future endeavors, and I hope he lands another talk show gig on another local station, so that The Chris Core Show can one day (hopefully soon) return in all of its glory.

Web site: "WMAL Fires Chris Core, D.C.'s Longest Running Talk Host" from The Washington Post

Song: Theme to The Chris Core Show

Quote: *shocked*

Categories: Radio