Friday, June 04, 2010

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do, Unless Someone Does It For You

I've been a fan of the Ernie and Jay program on KRLD since it started, and I listened to Ernie Brown solo for a number of years before that. (I've noted in the past that Ernie and I were Little League teammates in Houston as kids, though I didn't realize that teammate and talk-show host were one and the same until about five years ago.) Originally, Jay had a show from nine to noon, and Ernie's was from noon-3, and then they started overlapping for the noon hour; eventually, it grew into a full-blown four-hour collaboration, which gave rise to things like the "12:00 Flip-Off," a chance for people to rant about anything they wanted to, often with amusing results.

My listening is usually done in tiny chunks between schools, but I've been able to tune in a bit more since the school year started to wind down. And all week long, the guys were making these cryptic announcements about something ending after today. I was really concerned at first--surely they weren't tossing them out the way they did to Brad Barton earlier in the year and are about to do to Neil Sperry in a month! But finally, after yesterday's Flip-Off, they told us what's up: They're both staying on the air, but it's back to separate shows again.

Here's how it will work: Jay will be on from 9-noon, then an hour of news will take place at noon (evidently, some people were griping that they wanted more news in the middle of the day, even though there were always updates at the top and bottom of the hour). Ernie will be on from 1-3, after which the afternoon news will start, as it has for a while.

They said yesterday that the program didn't take off like people hoped it would, which surprised me, because there always seemed to be plenty of callers. I'll certainly listen to the guys separately, and I'm glad they both still have jobs in this economy, but it's disappointing that a team that seemed to work well didn't bring it home in the ratings area.

I've been listening to KRLD since the first Gulf War, though I actually stopped tuning in to anything except Ernie and Jay for a few weeks after they fired Brad Barton (which still seems like the most pinheaded move ever, especially since it was supposedly made not at the local level, but by a network "suit" in New York). If they had let Ernie and Jay go completely, my radio dial wouldn't have gone there except for weekend Rangers games. I'm glad that's not the case. (And the segment may have ended, but I have to say this: I'd like to flip off the KRLD management for breaking up the team.)

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