Let it be said that the talk show “Brad and Britt” didn’t go quietly.
Brad Krantz and Britt Whitmire debuted two years ago on WBT-AM (1110) in afternoon drive-time, then moved to early evenings a year ago, swapping places with John Hancock’s show.
Wednesday’s show was their last. “We’re going in a different direction,” says Jason Furst, WBT’s program director.
“I don’t want to say anything,” says Krantz, who has been known in Charlotte radio since his first stint in 1999, when he was teamed on WBT with Richard Spires, who now does radio in Florida. “There’s nothing in this to say what I really think. There’s nothing to say.”
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Then, after a pause, Krantz thinks of something.
“We’d just like to thank WBT management for their complete lack of support for us from the day we came on the air.”
That would be July 2, 2012, when Krantz and Whitmire had their first day under a two-year, “no cut” contract, a fairly rare thing in broadcasting these days. It meant that if the station wanted to get rid of the show before summer 2014, they’d have to pay the pair through that time.
“They were too cheap to fire us,” says Krantz, his trademark sarcasm revving into high gear, “and put something on ‘good,’ so they decided to punish the audience with this ‘horrible’ show rather than do the right thing. … For them to have taken off the cancer of ‘Brad and Britt,’ they would have had to pay out the contract. You’d think if they cared about the audience, they would do that. You know why we were still on? Because we weren’t bad. Really, we were good.”
Krantz says he believes that one key reason the show failed to resonate in Charlotte was because WBT has spent a decade aiming at arch-conservatives rather than a broader audience. Although the show was a departure from the politically focused fare that had filled the time slot over the years, Krantz says he thinks that many listeners thought he and Whitmire were too liberal for the airwaves, especially when it aired in the afternoon following Rush Limbaugh.
“We were hired to break the WBT noon-to-6 p.m. right-wing sewer that had been led by Jeff Katz, Tara Servatius and Vince Coakley,” Krantz says, listing the parade of talent WBT had in the afternoons following the 2006 departure of Jason Lewis. He was the most successful host for the time slot in at least a decade until leaving for a job in Minneapolis. “We did that, got high ratings but got no support from management,” Krantz says.
“Their core audience at WBT is like NASCAR and the Republican Party – it’s too old and too white and you can’t sell commercials to it anymore. It’s the AM talk-radio curse. They’ve done it to themselves by building the station around Limbaugh. …
“Tell this (exclamation that can’t be printed here) city of Charlotte, North Carolina, to (verb that can’t be printed here) off because they can’t handle anything but hate-Obama radio.”
Whitmire, Krantz’s partner who is known for doing skits and impersonations including one called “Little Rush” that mocks the popular talk show host, says he liked his co-workers at WBT and the fans the team acquired.
“Other than that, the whole two years was pretty disappointing. I was expecting a higher level of professionalism in management and it just wasn’t there,” says Whitmire.
“We just wish them well in the future,” says Rick Feinblatt, WBT’s senior vice president.
Friday was to have been the last day for the show, but Krantz and Whitmire were notified Thursday afternoon that the station had decided to end things two days early. Wednesday night was the first time Krantz and Whitmire directly addressed the impending end of the show with listeners.
“Brad and Britt” had also been on WZTK-FM in Greensboro and then WPTF-AM in Raleigh before coming to Charlotte. Krantz and Whitmire say WBT knew what it was getting when the show started here, but for whatever reason wasn’t happy with it.
“I don’t think they know what they want the station to be,” says Whitmire. “They just know what they don’t want it to be.”
“Anything with us.”
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