A radio station
plans to audition Don Imus's ex-sidekick to cohost a
fallen politician's morning talk show, which is suffering
from sagging ratings.
will audition live on WRKO-AM's Finneran's Forum next
Wednesday through Friday, station officials said. He
is the Imus in the Morning producer and on-air
jester who took part in the exchange of racist banter
that led to his and Imus's dismissal last month.
He will be
teaming up with former Massachusetts house speaker Tom
Finneran, who was the most powerful lawmaker in the
state until he resigned from the legislature in
2004 amid a federal investigation.
WRKO's vice president of AM programming and operations,
called McGuirk ''entertaining, very witty. That, in
combination with the intelligence-slash-wit of
Finneran, could be interesting.''
''The past's the
past. It's over. It does not take away from the fact
that he's extremely talented,'' Wolfe said Friday. ''He's
going to be presenting himself in a very different way
than he was on the other show, because on the other
show his role was different.''
WRKO, owned by
Entercom Communications, has dropped to ninth overall in
the critical drive-time ratings for the January-March
time slot this year, down from seventh last year,
according to Arbitron. In November, host John DePetro
and his engineer were fired after DePetro referred to a
former Green/Rainbow gubernatorial candidate as ''a fat
his news and politics talk show in February, a few weeks
after he pleaded guilty to obstructing justice for lying
about his role in a redistricting plan that diluted
the clout of minority voters. He was fined and put on
18 months' probation.
Finneran said he
was looking forward to working with McGuirk.
to make sure the show is entertaining, and Bernard's
record is pretty clear. He's a talented guy,'' Finneran
language will be off-limits, Finneran said.
In the April 4
on-air exchange, McGuirk first called the Rutgers
University women's basketball team ''hard-core hos.'' In
response, Imus called the women ''nappy-headed hos.''
Both were eventually fired from the nationally
syndicated show, which combined political discussion and
comic banter and was also televised on MSNBC.
McGuirk could not
be reached for comment; no phone listing for him could
be found in the New York City area. (AP)