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June 1, 2015 12:03 pm  #1


The Greatest Radio Quitting Story Of All Time

It's a pretty bold statement to call this the greatest  quitting story ever, but it's certainly my favourite and I've rarely heard one to match it. There's something about outraged talent quitting radio that sometimes lends itself to heights of creativity. Many here will be familiar with the legendary Joey Reynolds walking out on WKBW-AM by nailing his sneakers to the door of the P.D.'s office with a note attached that read,"fill these." Then there are those people who wig out on air and ream out their bosses before leaving the booth - and their future prospects for employment - empty.

But my all time favourite story was told to me by the guy it happened to, so I'm pretty sure it's true. Since he doesn't know I'm posting it here and he's still working in the biz, I'll change his name to protect the guilty. 

It happened at the old CKO, the national all-news network that shuffled off this mortal coil in 1989. My friend, who I'll call Melvin, was working at the Toronto station as a newscaster, among other things, and told me the place was poorly run, never had enough people or equipment and suffered from terrible management, especially in its later days. They were constantly breaking promises to Mel, cancelling planned days off with no notice, changing shifts suddenly, not coming through with raises, refusing to upgrade barely functioning equipment, blaming others for their own mistakes, etc. This went on for months and months, and things never improved. 

After having yet another vow broken that day, Melvin finally lost it on the manager responsible. He went to his office to have it out with the guy and screamed at him, calling him every name in the book, blasting him that his word was worthless, that he was incompetent and that the station was a laughing stock across the country. And with that, he said he was qutting, effective immediately.

He went to his desk, gathered his few personal belongings (this was long before the days of security showing you to the door) and walked down the hall toward the exit on Carlton St. But as he neared the door, he heard footsteps running after him, with someone frantically calling his name, "Melvin! Melvin!" came the voice. It was the manager he'd just unloaded on. Mel turned on his heel, smoke coming out of his ears, and with fire burning in his eyes, he screamed, "What the hell do you want?"

And the manager said, "We're a little shorthanded this month. Can you at least do the weekend?"

History does not record his answer, but you can only imagine what it might have been.