Wednesday, June 20, 2007


And the state, for that matter. It seems Mr. Sweater Vest is off to spread his love to the good folks at WIKY in Evansville, Indiana. As you can see, they enjoy him so much there that they didn't put his picture or bio on their website!

But, Sweater Vest did not leave the Fox quietly. Right before he left, he brought out his legendary broom, and brushed broadcast veteran and station stalwart Rich Nadeau out the door. What is it with this guy and quality veteran talent that he finds so threatening? Watch your backs, WIKY staffers!

Fortunately, Rich was able to get his job back at the Fox after SV's departure. Way to go, Rich! Others have not been so lucky.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Some Updates on Some of the Players:

1. After unceremoniously leaving Traverse City, Mr. Orth landed at a radio group in New England for a short stay. Then, it was on to Lansing to work for Ken MacDonald, the brother of the owner of KHQ.

2. After unceremoniously leaving (or being asked to leave) MacDonald-Garber, Mr. Hansell crept his way to a crosstown radio competitor, NBI, to program and host mornings on their Classic Hits station, the Fox. That is more suited to him, because as mentioned in a previous post, before KHQ he hadn't programmed a station in 10 years. The music on the Fox fits right in that range. The station sounds good, other than mornings, and does OK in the ratings. But, I have heard that his management style has not changed. The pattern of threats, intimidation, and playing staff members off of each other continues.

3. After being promoted from nights, Mr. Spenser Hagelberg is now Program Director and Afternoon Drive on KHQ. He was given that promise for playing his part in the move to bounce Pritchard, as stated in the original post.

4. After nearly 2 years of being off the air due to the blackballing, Mr. Pritchard can now be heard doing nights on Oldies WCCW in Traverse City. He has also been doing daily and weekend talk shows for the Michigan Talk Radio Network, and has gotten solid ratings for each company. I understand that he also has a commercial voice over business.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Culture of Corruption!

We often hear about the "Culture of Corruption" as it applies to the political world, but one look behind the newly constructed doors of the house on the hill would make any Page diddlin' congressman blush. Here are some examples of a true culture of corruption at the once venerable KHQ and their sister station:

1. The married previously mentioned former General Manager, and once Traverse City Mayor was cheating on his wife with another woman in Traverse City, all the while accusing the previously mentioned former KHQ Program Director of doing the same thing.

2. A married former receptionist was cheating on her husband with a former KHQ night guy who later became the Lite 96 morning host.

3. A former Lite 96 Program Director was making sexual advances toward another employee's then underage teenage daughter. He is still employed with the company.

4. A former Petoskey receptionist was put in prison for having sex with an underage teenage girl while employed with the company.

5. The current KHQ Program Director has been sexually inappropriate on the air and on the phone with young (sounding) teenage callers.

6. Another former young Lite 96 Program Director and host was addicted to drugs, and a current KHQ employee also has a drug problem.

7. The previously mentioned former “Director of Corporate Programming” misrepresented himself and his credentials to management, claiming to have worked with people with whom he has never worked nor even met for that matter in order to get the position. His wife is still employed with the company.

8. The previously mentioned former “Director of Corporate Programming” attempted to frame a previously mentioned former KHQ Program Director for a federal crime (payola) in an attempt to get him fired (see the original post). Then conspired in a lie with the current KHQ Program Director in another attempt to get him fired by attributing statements to him that he never made, and promising the current PD the former's position if he went along with the lie. It worked. Again, see the original post.

9. A former Account Executive was busted for child porn.

No matter how you look at it, what's going on here is a lot more icky than what is happening in Washington. And it's much more dangerous since it's happening right here in your town.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

As published in, a leading national radio trade:

RON PRITCHARD’S legal battle with his former employer, MACDONALD GARBER BROADCASTING has ended. A settlement has been reached between MGB and the former PD for Top 40 WKHQ/CHARLEVOIX, for an undisclosed amount of cash and other terms. A statement released by MGB Owner/CEO TRISH MACDONALD-GARBER reads in part, "We investigated RON arising out of his involvement with a record promoter, and the fact that the promoter sent him a check. We concluded as a result of our investigation that RON did not violate any broadcast rules or laws in receiving money from the promoter. We determined that the money was not "payola" or an otherwise illegal or unethical payment. After the investigation, RON voluntarily gave the un-cashed check to his supervisor without endorsing it. We apologize to RON for any harm that has come his way as a result of this situation."

The 18-year radio vet, who now works with the MICHIGAN TALK RADIO NETWORK, tells ALL ACCESS, "That company was my home and extended family for 10 years, yet they questioned my honesty and integrity. Their accusation damaged my reputation, and nearly ruined my career. Thankfully it’s over. I’ve been vindicated and can now put this all behind me and focus on the future."

This article is basically true, but here is the rest of the story:

Mr. Pritchard had been the Program Director and Afternoon Drive personality at WKHQ for 8 years, after having worked his way up from overnights. Through the years there had been some up and down Arbitron ratings in the Persons 12+ category, but the ratings were always good enough in the company's target demo for the radio station (Females 18-34, or Females 25-49, depending on what mood management was in that day) that they kept Mr. Pritchard in that position for 8 years.

In March of 2004, the company brought in a "Marketing and Imaging Consultant" named Mark Hansell. Mr. Hansell immediately created an environment of paranoia in the halls of the company by asking questions of employees about their bosses and other employees. That included airstaff, sales, office, everyone. He would then tell the staff of each radio station in the company (Lite 96FM, Mix 96 and 106 KHQ) about all the changes he was going to make without first talking to the Program Directors, the people who are actually in charge of those things.

Mr. Hansell, along with then company General Manager Phill Orth, began the task of cleaning house of the ones who spoke up (Lite 96 Mid Day Man Jim Scollin, KHQ Morning Man Ted Cramer (who was also Lite 96 Afternoon Driver Carey O'Neil, and Mix 96 Program Director Shane McIntosh), and rewarding those who marched in lockstep (KHQ Part Timer Luke Hagelberg, KHQ Night guy JT). Jim Scollin was the first to go, followed shortly after by Ted Cramer. Mr. Hansell replaced Jim Scollin and Ted Cramer with HIMSELF, and annointed himself as "Corporate Director of Programming," essentially taking over all three radio stations in one fell swoop, and with the pledge to "play lots of golf." Mind you, he had not programmed a radio station in ten years, but more on that in a future post.

With the takeover nearly complete, there was only one person left in his way, and that was Ron Pritchard. He worked on Ron with a barrage of screaming, threats, accusations, finger pointing, and pitting his team (a team he had run for 8 years), and bosses (bosses he had had for 10 year), against him. The tactic worked, after the overweight Pritchard had a heart attack due to stress (so said the doctors). It was after the heart attack that Mr. Pritchard became, in the words of Mr. Hansell and Mr. Orth, "a financial liability to the compnay." Mr. Pritchard had always been overweight, yet it was not an issue with the company until after the heart attack.

It was in June of 2004 that Mr. Pritchard received a check from an independent record promoter as a finder's fee for giving their number to a Hard Core Grand Rapids Rapper who paid them a few thousand dollars to promote his record. I don't know how much the check was for, but Mr. Hansell does. He found the unopened check on Mr. Pritchard's desk, opened it, and took it to Mr. Orth and company owner Trish MacDonald Garber, with the accusation of payola. Payola is "pay for play," playing a record for money, and it is a Federal crime. They began an investigation without Mr. Pritchard's knowledge, and immediately leaked it to the local broadcasting industry in an attempt to ruin Mr. Pritchard's career. When Mr. Pritchard found out and lawyered up, the accusation was dropped, but the damage was already done. Mr. Pritchard was fired from the company less than a week later (more on that in a future post if you want it), and so far, because of this accusation, has not been able to get a job in music radio anywhere in the country.