Howie Back to WRKO?

The man himself hasn’t confirmed it, but it appears Howie Carr, after being stuffed repeatedly by the judiciary, will return to host his radio show on WRKO. Radio industry pub “All Access” has the goods [via Herald].

“ALL ACCESS hears word from a reliable source that HOWIE CARR will be returning to ENTERCOM Talk WRKO-A/BOSTON after failing to convince the courts to allow him to jump to crosstown GREATER MEDIA Talk WTKK. CARR has been trying to make the jump despite the court ruling that upheld ENTERCOM’s matching of GREATER MEDIA’s multi-year contract offer, but ALL ACCESS sources say to expect CARR back on the air with WRKO shortly and for WTKK to move on.”

This would seemingly bring to an end an exceedingly nasty dust-up between Carr, his former-former employer WRKO, and his suitor, WTKK, which wanted to hire him to do their morning show for $7 million over 5 years to crush the hapless Tom Finneran.

The situation seemed at its most intractable when WRKO started ragging Carr by putting a cliche-spouting virtual Howie doll on its website. That his own bosses would so openly mock his key weakness as a radio host—a lazy overreliance on shtick—suggested they had no hopes of getting him back and were now simply content to try and publicly embarrass him. If it’s true, and he is returning, you’d think that gesture would be the elephant in the room for quite some time.

As Dan Kennedy notes, the blog Save WRKO—which has characterized the station’s recent troubles as nothing short of a gargantuan liberal conspiracy to silence conservative voices (I’ve been hilariously implicated in this), and elevated Carr’s contract flap to something of a Christlike struggle against the forces of malevolence—is bitterly disappointed:

“If this is true, Howie is going to look very foolish, in the same way that Dennis & Callahan were recently humiliated into returning to WEEI… If he really needs to be back on the air this badly, it will be without the respect of his audience, which Carr never reached out to during his legal battle.”

I doubt this. Most people don’t listen to Carr out of principle, so this development won’t really bother them. They listen to him because he’s entertaining. That’s why he’s paid so well. Who else do we have so willing to make fat jokes about former governors, and speak truth to sneaky gays and even sneakier immigrants? I predict his legion of apoplectic white male geldings will be more than happy just to have him back on the air.

As for Carr being humiliated, if you’ve ever listened to his show or read his Herald column, it’s pretty clear the man is incapable of embarrassment, so I’m relatively sure that’s not what’s going on. The best explanation is the simplest: he had nowhere else to go.

Had he waited for his RKO contract to run out, he could have jumped to TKK no problem, and avoided all this. But he had to grandstand, and he paid the price. Now he’ll just have to settle for a measly $800-$900 grand a year. We should all be so humiliated.