I had the chance to speak with Bill Hayes this evening.
Bill was clearly taken by surprise by his dismissal and told me that he wasn’t given any explanation as to why the decision was made. Hayes told me that he got along really well with Watters, often driving Wilbur to work.
This is clearly a surprise move by the folks at 640 Toronto. Hayes took over around Labour Day. If this was a performance issue, they certainly didn’t give him much time to rectify it. It’s impossible to see how they let him go based on 1 book. Not only that, Hayes was a fill in for Greg Brady, he’s been around for a long time. When they hired him, they knew what they were getting. It’s not like he suddenly became something new.
Perhaps the move was financial. However that makes little sense. It will be fascinating to see who replaces Bill as the host of the Bill Watters show. Who is going to take over? Watters can’t drive the show himself. He needs a co-host. That co-host won’t work for free (unless it’s me and I don’t know it!) If this is a cost cutting move, they still need to pay someone to do the job. How do they save real cash if they still need to have someone do the job? What kind of savings are we talking about here. The old adage is true, you get what you pay for. If they go with a bunch of fill ins, what kind of show will they have. If they thought ratings were bad before, who the hell will listen to Watters and flav of the day?
This appears to be further evidence of the identity crisis over at 640. If they are really into the sports thing, they need a strong host for Watters. That person will command a salary. If they aren’t in the sports game, then why have Watters at all? I guess we will learn more over the days and weeks ahead. I’ll say this, if Brian Hayes gets this job, I would love to be a fly on the wall. Son gets gig of fired father. At that point I will have to say I have seen it all.
We wish Bill Hayes lots of luck.