We've written about his lack of pith, but now it seems former teevee host, and new evening talker John Curley (KIROFM m-f, 7-10p) is routinely AWOL from his talk job.
The void (if you're generous enough to call it that) is being filled in by out-of-work, veteran talker Mike West, or his predecessor Frank Shiers, or hilariously, "Best of" re-frieds despite he's only been on the air for a couple of months!
He's missed about 5-6 shows out of the last 20. Radio, it seems, is just a little media sideline - Curley makes his real money running charity auctions, a profession practiced in the evening. The auction season is ripening (it peaks in June).
A staffer told us: "I would not be surprised if the show gets the lowest ratings in the history of any night program on KIRO in recent memory."
He says it makes Luke Burbank's TBTL (which was in the same slot before Shiers) look good. TBTL built a culture, and adhered faithfully to its own internal rules.
"Luke and Jen created regular segments, scheduled things carefully, and made sure there was a narrative arc to each week of broadcasting. Curley has no sense of this. No idea that the show has to have an identity, no ability to focus on a topic long enough to make a point. No attempts at becoming a likeable, consistent character that the listeners can form at attachment to."
(TBTL, a good as it may have been, did not have the added advantage of great ratings, although is still hosted by the KIRO site and thrives online).
Put that together with Curley's off and on-ism ... and what do you get? Bony fingers. (From hitting the button to turn off the radio).
The Radio-info boards, a local trade forum, have been no kinder to Curley's new career than we have.
More than several radio folks ask: why not just let ol' Mike West take over? A commenter on Radio-info boards:
West has the radio presence and experience to pull it off. That frenetic energy Curley has on TV doesn't quite transpose to the medium. He speaks too fast.
On the other hand, listen to West: He's born to the medium, his voice, his delivery. It's as simple as that.
TV guys rarely transform into radio stars and vice-versa.
Jeez: Mike West could use the work - as could any number of real radio people.
As for the Blatherwatch posit that Curley might be being groomed for greater things, a KIRO guy says not so much:
"[PD] Ryan Hatch is actually a pretty bright guy, whose built KIRO back into something worth listening to (well, at least from 5a-12p). I'm not sure if his plan was to groom him for something bigger - now that Hatch is leaving, it seems that plan will have trouble coming to fruition. Plus, there's the question of who would be replaced, since all of the shows seem to be performing really well right now."
Curley had better turn things around sooner than later. These windows slam shut quickly in radio. As a staffer wrote to Blatherwatch:
"I have a feeling the Curley Experiment will quietly fade into the sunset... or if they leave it there in name, it'll be just a sort of sad, slapdash three hours of fill-in hosts that stumbles along until someone has a better idea."