Monday, December 9, 2013

Pittsburgh Radio: Toy Drive Is Q&R's First Public Appearance

Quinn&Soe (Post-Gazette photo)
Listener Mark Rickard showed up early, taking a detour on the way to work at software company. His destination: a toy drive Friday featuring conservative talk radio hosts Jim Quinn and Rose Tennent.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, he wasn't the first to arrive in the pre-dawn hour, but he must be among Quinn and Rose's biggest supporters. For five years, Mr. Rickard maintained a Facebook page for the radio show, "The War Room With Quinn and Rose." Then treatment for colon cancer forced him to shut it down last February.

"One of the reasons I started it was to share their values with people out there," said Mr. Rickard, who said his health is "fine now."

When news spread that Clear Channel had severed ties with the duo, effective Nov. 18, he re-activated the Facebook page, and it became a sounding board for dismayed listeners.

He was hardly alone Friday. Between 6 and 9:30 a.m., a steady line of fans streamed into the salon, its bright-white, modern decor in stark contrast to the wet, black morning. What was originally planned as an annual fundraiser -- Toy Treasures is a favorite charity of Ms. Tennent's -- instead became the hosts' first public appearance since the show was abruptly canceled.

Clear Channel Communications, which owns WPGB 104.7 FM, where the show originated, said in a statement that Quinn & Tennent could not reach financial terms. A no-compete clause in their contracts means they cannot be on the air in the Pittsburgh market for six months. 

Tennent said her contract allows her to fill in for nationally syndicated host Sean Hannity, however, and she is scheduled to do so Dec. 30.

"We never had a chance to say goodbye," Ms. Tennent told a well-wisher at the salon. "Oh, I feel like I'm going to cry now."

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