Jerry Thomas: New Light on Old Story
I know this is ancient history to some of you, but now I know the story behind Jerry Thomas leaving WKRC-AM for six months back in 1992, and how he almost replaced Jim Scott off WLW-AM. (I fully realize some of you will stop reading now, but that’s OK.)
Thomas, one of the city’s most popular DJs, abruptly and mysteriously left WKRC-AM in June of 1992, when the station was in deep financial trouble. That was when Great American Broadcasting (formerly Taft Broadcasting) was cutting back on radio staffing, and WKRC-AM was way behind WLW-AM and other stations in the ratings.
Thomas, who retires at the end of the month
told me what happened: With the station crumbling, Thomas secretly signed a contract to jump to WLW-AM – to replace Jim Scott! He was off the air sitting out his non-compete. But before his six-month non-compete expired, WLW’s owners had bought rival WKRC-AM, and they put Thomas back on that station to boost ratings rather than replace Jim Scott.
Now this explains why Jim Scott left his top-rated WLW-AM morning showseveral years later for old WINK 94.1, which was then owned by Great American/Citicasters or whatever the old Taft Broadcasting was called in those days. He worked for WINK 94.1 for about two months – and then WLW’s owners bought that company too, and Scott eventually returned to WLW.
As Paul Harvey would say, now we know the rest of the story…
Anyway, I hate to see Jerry Thomas retire. He’s a class act. Wouldn’t be surprised if (a) he continues to do a lot of commercials, and we continue to hear his voice all over radio and (b) he decides to dabble in politics. Everybody knows him. He’s witty and articulate. I just don’t know if he wants to bother with the politics grind at age 67.