Columbia radio host fired Tuesday

Wednesday, October 22, 2008 | 9:40 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Fred Parry, radio host of "The Morning Meeting" on KFRU/1400 AM, was fired Tuesday morning following his broadcast.

Parry said Wednesday that John Walker, KFRU's marketing manager, called him into his office after Tuesday's broadcast and told him that the station "made a decision not to renew my contract." He said he was also told that Tuesday's show was his last.

Parry has worked for the station for the past 14 years. For the past seven and a half years, Parry and Simon Rose co-hosted The Morning Meeting, a daily news talk show from 9 to 11 a.m.

Parry said if he had known what was about to happen, he would have told his listeners on Tuesday, "This was a lot of fun. Thanks for letting me be your sounding board for the last 14 years."

The termination came as a surprise, Parry said, because although his contract had been under negotiation for the past three months, there had been no discussion about the last round of changes.

Brian Wilson took over for Parry on Wednesday. Neither he nor Rose mentioned the termination during the show. Parry's profile has since been removed from KFRU's Web site, and there is no information concerning the termination on the site.

Walker said the company does not comment on personnel matters. Wilson and Rose did not return calls Wednesday after multiple attempts to contact them.

Although Parry said that he sees the termination as a positive development, he said, "This is hard for me to put that chapter of my life behind me."

Parry, who is also the publisher of Inside Columbia magazine, said he plans to spend more time working at the publication. "I'm looking forward to making my magazine better than it already is," he said.

As for radio, Parry said, "I can see myself doing it again someday."

Ann Bozarth, who has worked with Parry in the past and said she often listened to "The Morning Meeting," said Parry will be missed. "He was such a good representative of KFRU because he is so involved in the community," she said.

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KEN GERINGER October 23, 2008 | 1:06 a.m.

Just as it always is. The company will say that the employees are the most important pieces in their puzzle, then throw them to the floor with no warning.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand October 23, 2008 | 6:18 a.m.

Considering how KFRU keeps adding more and more taped Rush Limbaugh, I wouldn't be surprised if they take excerpts from his shows and have Simon respond to them. That would save them the salary of replacing Fred.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz October 23, 2008 | 4:20 p.m.

Dan Claxton is gone as well. I'll give Simon and his new host (unclear to me if it will be Brian or someone else) a chance, but Fred made the show in my opinion (no offense to Simon).

I don't care much for syndicated radio, other than Dave Ramsey. Local radio is what gets me to listen.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand October 23, 2008 | 5:18 p.m.

Wow. Claxton, too? Sounds as if Cumulus is looking to unload as many salaries as possible, just as other radio groups are. Entercom KC let go 15.

(Report Comment)
Andrew Rea October 23, 2008 | 7:21 p.m.

It's so odd to see radio, a medium that many of us grew up with and still listen to faithfully, become almost underground. It's a building crisis in the radio broadcast industry, and unfortunately guys like Fred and Dan (both of whom I know LIVE for radio) get let go. They'll have opportunities after this, but firings of talented people in such a short window of time is spooky.

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