Indie 103.1 Jumps the Shark: Morning Host Dicky Barrett Fired?

Mack Reed at LA Voice is on the case:

Woke up this morning to the whiplash news that Dicky Barrett’s Mighty Morning Show on Indie 103.1 is no longer on the air or the web. It’s vanished, as if it never existed, with no explanation from station management to be found…

…This is like learning that your neighborhood’s beloved coffee shop has been vaporized by the Vogons to make way for an interstellar bypass. The listeners deserve some kind of explanation.

Exactly what happened remains a mystery (being discussed here and here).

A little over a month ago Sean Bonner wrote a post raving about how Dicky’s “Mighty Mighty Morning Show” was the best a.m. programming in Los Angeles… alas, no more, no more…

10 thoughts on “Indie 103.1 Jumps the Shark: Morning Host Dicky Barrett Fired?”

  1. Dicky also got bounced from the Jimmy Kimmel show just like that. And he was the best thing about the show! Long live Dicky.

  2. Wow, I haven’t tuned into morning radio much since I started biking to work but the MMS was a the only morning program I’d listen do when I did drive. Sounds like some of the regular listeners have been noticing a tone of dissatisfaction in Dicky’s voice leading up to the firing though. One reason mentioned being a forced playlist a la KROQ.

    Huh, well that just sucks.

  3. That kinda sucks. I was never the biggest listener (much more of a staid NPR in the morning kind of boring person) but I always appreciated the ACTUALLY-eclectic music they played in between the talking.


    Dicky Barrett finally broke his silence. As suspected, he did not “leave to work full-time with Jimmy Kimmel,” as Indie 103.1 would have us believe.

    Here’s the press release, verbatim:


    Why would Los Angeles radio station India 103.1 fire an incredibly successful and much loved host and pull his show from the airwaves without an honest explanation?

    That’s a good question, one that should be asked until there’s a satisfactory answer.

    Here’s what happened according to Dicky …
    The station was built to fuck with KROQ (Infinity) by people from KISS-FM (Clear Channel) it was just supposed to be a short lived pain in the ass that that took away a few ratings points, and talked some shit about KROQ – Inadvertently (and you can credit Steve Jones and the other celebrity DJ’s) it became good, and got a lot of national attention, and credible press ”the coolest station in America” rolling stone etc. ” At that point the FCC said Clear Channel who operated Indie 103.1 out of the Entravision offices could no longer do so – All business ties on paper we’re severed – It became a full Entravision property – But the hard right leaning Clear Channel program director and station manager (along with a lot of the behind the scenes technical employees) were already firmly in place – It is in Clear Channel’s best interest that Indie 103.1 exist – the PD, Michael Steele (who brags about ”breaking Britney Spears”) and the station manager, Dawn Girocco (a long time radio sales women) are believing their own hype and considering themselves radio geniuses who masterminded the Indie 103.1 phenomenon, so it’s now time to implicate their superior ”radio wisdom” and conventional ”radio strategy” – ..1) Morning shows need to be musically formatted and the music needs to be heavily rotated – ..2) All guests must be approved by Michael Steele (Dawn Girocco really, she’s Dick Cheney, Steele’s George Bush) ”no guests to controversial soccer moms are l listening in the a.m.” – There were other things that were more annoying, then actually detrimental to the show ”say the time, and call letters till your blue in the face” – I reluctantly, and unhappily against my better judgment went along with all this for about two weeks, hoping they would come to their senses – During this time they brought in a longtime radio guru, to consult (he also worked at one point for Clear Channel) – His assessment was the show was ”really good” and I was a ”legitimate talent and a potential radio star” – Not the information these people wanted me to have – When I made an on a r remark about not liking the new overplayed Morrissey track I was marched into the President of Entravisions office (Jeff Lieberman, a fan of Mighty Morning show) – In front of me, Jeff told Dawn he was not prepared to ”strip Dicky of his opinion” she was obviously and visibly embarrassed – Then he asked her if she gave me the book about morning radio that he gave her to give to me ”no, it’s at home” she said, ”why the hell, is it there” he asked, she looked humiliated – This was the beginning of the end for me, and the writing was most likely on the wall – Two weeks after that I had a substantial, unauthorized, pro-choice conversation on the air with a South Dakota disc jockey and a few callers, the straw that broke the camels back – This is not the direction supporters of the current administration want the station going in.
    – I was fired that day
    -I loved doing the show and loved the people who loved it

    Thank you,

    Here’s what happened according to Indie 103.1¬¶

    From Hits;
    L.A. Indie 103.1 station GM Dawn Girocco on the firing of morning man Dicky Barrett: “We have been working with Dicky for the past five months trying to get the show to the next level.. We invested a lot into not only the show, but in promoting and coaching him. Unfortunately it takes a lot of work to build and grow a morning show as well as develop interesting, compelling content. This was not Dicky’s priority, as he had other commitments with Jimmy Kimmel Live, which was, in his words, ‘his bread and butter.’ Everyone at Indie has a tremendous commitment to the station and to the audience. We need to have a morning show that is able to make Indie their ..1 priority”
    From Dicky;
    Jimmy Kimmel is a great guy who supported the Mighty Morning Show, and loved it, even though he helped to build the Kevin and Bean Show on KROQ and is the Producer of the Adam Carolla Morning Radio Show.

    The man hired to ”coach” me “trying to get the show to the next level” Dan Kieley said “Dicky is a true talent and a radio star” and ”it’s a great Morning Show”
    I was fired for being unwilling to be, in Dawn Girocco’s words ”more mainstream” It was a great morning show. It is unfair to let people think I walked away to put more work into loudly reading twenty to thirty words a night on Jimmy’s T.V. show. I worked hard on the Mighty Morning Show. I along with Stacey, Chuck, and Liz, built and grew it to what it was. You could count on it (for the most part) to provide you with interesting, compelling content and better music then any other show on the air in the morning.

    Further inquires please contact Dana Gordon at Independent Music Media at ..213.864.2690 or [email protected] / Dicky will make himself available to comment.

    Contact Indie 103.1 and express your disappointment call or e-mail ..877.900.1031 or Michael Steele (program director) at [email protected].

    Yep. That’s the smell of bridges being burnt. The man went out with head held high, though.

    Long story short, they wouldn’t let him play or say what he wanted – a common-enough radio business decision that clashed with the way the show was originally launched (and, for a good time, run).

    And Indie comes off looking like a typical, MOR, playlist-driven ad mill with a heavily restrictive political agenda rather than the upstart punk of a station it promised us it would be when it launched.

    I agree – I’m sick to death of hearing the Morrissey tune more than twice a day, not to mention the other 12 songs they have in brain-dead heavy rotation.

    Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the next KROQ – unless the listeners demand better. In the end, Indie and Entravision just didn’t deserve the Mighty Morning Show.

  5. 5700 Whilshire blvd. LA 90036 in front of indie studio Thurs, March 30th 2006 12 noon

    Let Indie know what you think

  6. The Mighty Morning Show WAS the best morning radio show ever! I WAS a loyal fan from day one. Even the great Steve Jones can’t keep me as a listener anymore! SHAME ON YOU INDIE!!! I guess I can only hope that what really goes around will REALLY come around this time. Dicky Barrett will be on to MUCH MUCH GREENER PASTURES (and probably already is)!! Yes, we as the listeners lost out….But INDIE is the BIGGEST LOOOOOOSER in making such an ENORMOUS, HUMONGOUS and IRRATIONAL MISTAKE/DECISION!! Dicky thanks for all of the many great tunes and many laughs….Much luck to you and your career as well as you and your personal life with your wife Rosie!! :) XXOO

  7. It was nice to have a morning show I could stand…it was the first time since 101.9 that I had an alternative to KCRW…Morning Edition gets a little dry…I hope they fix it —and quick—But I have my doubts

  8. Isnt this wrongful termination? if its not in legal world it sure as hell is in the moral ethical world. I remebered that day Dicky had the guest from South Dakota. There was nothing said that was against the constitution and we need this kind of debate to stop the kind of nonsense going in this country with the rightwinged religious freaks. This kind of event(DIckys firing) is exactly what we should be fighting against and what countless songs are about, what revolutions are fought for. Im surpirised more people are not rallying against “indie” (aka “fakie”) for this.

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