Carmichael Dave has been canned by KHTK 1140 AM, as we learned yesterday. Don Geronimo, the station's program director and the host of the successful comedy morning show on which Dave was the sidekick until this week, explained what he could on this morning's show. The decision came from above Geronimo, and it's been framed by the company as a contract issue. Dave said on Twitter and here in the StR comments on Wednesday that he didn't ask for more money.
Dave is and has been the only personality on KHTK in years that was a Sacramento Kings fan first and foremost. He began as a caller years ago, back during the Kings' heyday. He wriggled his way all the way up the ladder because he's an exceedingly hard-working, talented and decent person. I know many of us remember his late night show (which I was lucky enough to be invited on a number of times) and his afternoon show replacing Jim Kozimor (ditto on the appearances). He also had guest host spots when other hosts were on vacation -- listening to Dave slog through The Rise Guys' time slot half-asleep would never have led one to believe he could be so successful in permanent morning slot.
Dave had a lot of other interests, of course: MMA, the most detestable soccer club in the world not named Tottenham, the Niners and Giants, etc. But he has always been a shining beacon of Kings fandom, the perfect media manifestation of this city's crazy love affair with the NBA. One could never reasonably make the absurd Couzensian claim that KHTK doesn't care about the Kings so long as Carmichael Dave was a prominent voice on the station.
The DGS didn't talk a whole lot of Kings basketball anyways, and the show has been successful in the absence of dedicated sports talk. Dave is very, very funny, and didn't need to focus on basketball to be entertaining on the radio. But he could be entertaining and informative while talking about the Kings. No offense to The Phantom, but excusing Jason Ross' guest spots ... there's not one lick more of that represented anywhere in the Sacramento broadcast media. None.
Grant Napear remains a company man who cannot be trusted for reliable assessment of the team, its players, its coach, its management and -- most important in these times -- its ownership. Garry Gerould will freely rip players during broadcasts, but has no outlet for free-form discussion about the team. Ross' hands are tied. The DGS is focused on comedy and ratings. The entire 10-3 schedule is syndicated. It goes back to national programming when Grant's show ends at 7. We have two local sports talk shows in the Sacramento area, and now we don't have a single reliable fan voice on the station.
It's not Don's fault: this wasn't his decision, and as we've heard many times The Rise Guys left before their contract was up. Kozimor wasn't getting the ratings that the station needed. Dave was needed more on the morning show than for his late morning or afternoon shows. (Maybe the ratings were a problem there, too. I don't know.) I don't find any fault here other than in CBS Radio making a bizarre decision to dismiss the only guy in town who could receive sympathetic tweets from everyone from KJ to Jim Crandell and Grant to Urijah Faber just hours after his announcement.
But the fact are laid bare: the Kings' imprint on sports talk radio is near extinction. We're down to game broadcasts and occasional player/coach interview by a Kings employees. That's pretty bleak.
On Dave, personally: what a great guy. You haven't heard the last of him.