Steve Corbett was planning to sign off for good at the end of the year from his afternoon radio talk show, but he said his politics forced an earlier-than-anticipated exit.
”I got fired,” Corbett said Thursday in an exclusive interview with the Times Leader. He suspected it was because of his unwavering opposition to Republican candidate and now President Donald Trump.
His “separation” — the official term he said management used at Newsradio WILK 980 AM / 103.1 FM — occurred last week as he was going on a planned vacation. Ryan Flynn, vice president and general manager with Entercom Communications Corp., declined comment.
Corbett, 65, worked at WILK for 10 years and filled the 3 p.m.-to-6 p.m. weekday time slot with a mix of opinion, humor and hard news, often skewering Northeastern Pennsylvania power brokers and politicians. He used his voice and the airwaves to support Democrat Hillary Clinton during the presidential election and took every opportunity to criticize Trump, a stance that rankled listeners who complained to management, attacked him on the station’s Facebook page and threatened to boycott advertisers. There was even an online petition to have Entercom take him off the air, he said.
None of that was brought up during his brief meeting with Flynn, Corbett said. Instead, he said he was told his ratings had been low for the past two years and the company was making some changes.
He thought the company was pleased with his work. He signed a three-year contract in 2015 and got a raise. The consultant Entercom hired to review its talk radio across the country paid a visit and after listening in gave him a rave review, he said.
“It was a good 10 years. I stood on principle and never wavered,” Corbett said, adding he stood against racism and anti-Semitism. “I was the person who stood on those principles for fighting for what is right.”
WILK has announced evening host L.A. Tarone will move into Corbett's 3p to 6p timeslot. Michael Savage’s syndicated show “The Savage Nation” will move forward to the 6 to 9 p.m. slot.