Conversation with Bobby Jay
Posted by Vince Santarelli
I just got off the phone with Bobby Jay and he told me some very interesting things concerning
the flip to the "Jack" format.
For starters, Bobby told me that he an ominous feeling about what was happening the day they
moved into their new studios at 1515 Broadway back on August 17, 2000. He said he just had a
feeling that things would change, and not necessarily for the better.
He went on to tell me that during the last contract negotiation, he finally got management to
admit that there was a move afoot to release all of the veteran deejays eventually. Please note
that Dan Daniel left, Dan Ingram left, finally Harry Harrison left. Bobby said it was only a matter
of time after that that he, Bob Shannon, Bill Brown, Don K. Reed, etc., etc. would be leaving as well.
Bobby said he received a phone call at his home on Friday afternoon about 3:30 telling him that
there was an emergency staff meeting scheduled for 4 PM that day. Since he probably wouldn't
be able to make it to the station in time, he was given a phone number to join in on a conference call.
When Bobby called, he found that the only two deejays actually at the meeting were Bill Brown and
Bob Shannon, everyone else was on the conference call.
It was during this meeting that everyone was informed of the pending format change and that their
services would not longer be needed. Bobby also says that he thinks Dave Logan got the word first,
about a half hour before the meeting. Bobby told me that he's the shop steward at CBS FM and that
everyone was given the opportunity to stay on for the Internet stream. Bobby says, however, that that
would be a non-union deal with virtually no money. So no one took them up on the offer.
As far as contracts go, Bobby says that lately the only ones at the station who had personal services
contracts were the old time WABC, WMCA folks. Everyone else is officially out of a job with no
compensation as of 4 PM last Friday. Bobby says that there is a severance package, but that it's totally
unacceptable and he fully intends to go to the union to get it looked at. In Bobby's own words, I'm
going to the mat with these people.
I asked Bobby why Infinity chose CBS FM and he said he had absolutely no idea. The whole thing
came from way beyond left field. Bobby said that even Dave Logan was blind-sided by all of this.
I got the impression from Bobby that not one of the deejays displaced in this programming debacle
is at all pleased with what has been happening at the station. The format switch was pretty much
the final dagger is a body that had already been beaten up pretty good by management.