Ask Chicagoist: No More Skafish?
By Thales Exoo in Miscellaneous on Aug 10, 2006 4:40PM
What the hell happened to XRT DJ Bobby Skafish??? I thought he was just on vacation this week but it looks like he's gone for good???? What happened?
First off, we want you to take a few deep, calming breaths. Imagine your happy place and pop a couple of Xanax. Feel better? Great! Um, it looks like Bobby Skafish has been fired.
Skafish, who just recently celebrated his 30-year anniversary in Chicago radio, spent a total of 19 years at the CBS Triple A (adult alternative) radio station, WXRT (93.1 FM). He first worked there from 1976 to 1983, and then again from 1994 until this past Monday.
In his column in The Tribune on Tuesday, Phil Rosenthal quoted XRT Program Director Norm Winer as saying the reason for letting Skafish go was "to make a dramatic and conspicuous move that reveals to people that there's something new and exciting going on at WXRT."
Skafish himself, according to the column, is fine with the decision and was apparently contemplating looking for work elsewhere in the near future anyway: "I just accept it as being a part of this business ... I'm oddly okay with it." He'll be paid through the end of November.
Frank E. Lee will take over Bobby's midday slot, and newcomer Jason Thomas (from CBS stations in Phoenix and San Francisco) will do the 5-9pm shift. No other changes have been announced at XRT so far, making us question exactly how groundbreaking this "dramatic" move will be.
The shuffling around of radio station DJs seems to be the new thing to do in Chicago (Mancow?), and we can only expect that the declining number of radio listeners, and the rising popularity of internet radio and satellite radio all contribute to stations' desires to shift things around in the hopes of attracting new listeners. Why Skafish was singled out to be ousted from XRT's "maddeningly stable" lineup when other DJs there have been with the station even longer is still a question that's up in the air, however. We can't help but suspect there's something else going on here.
Although our radio listening is admittedly sporadic at best, we have some now-bummed friends who were dedicated 1-4pm listeners of Bobby Skafish who made it through afternoons at work thanks to his musical knowledge and on-air personality. For their sakes, at the very least, we wish him well and hope to hear Bobby's voice somewhere on our dial again soon.
Image via pacotto
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