Tracy Cassidy gone from B98

WICHITA — It’s the end of an era at KRBB, FM-97.9.

Tracy Cassidy is off the morning show after 26 years.

“I’m suddenly free to enjoy my trips with my dad, my grandchildren, do some painting and get some workouts in,” Cassidy says.

She won’t say what happened, though.

First, her longtime co-host, Brett Harris, lost his position in 2012, which followed his prolonged contract negotiations a couple of years prior when he considered other options.

At the time, Cassidy made it clear she would stay regardless of what Harris did.

“I have to go where my trust level is high and where my projects are,” she said.

Cassidy says she can’t explain what changed. Nor did anyone from the station return calls for comment.

It’s unclear what’s happening with the rest of the B98 morning show crew. Most references to Harris’ replacement, Adam “Lukas” Cox, are gone from the station’s website as are references to producer Kathy Deane.

Cox didn’t return a call for comment. Deane referred calls to station management.

The B98 site advertises “The B98 Morning Show” with no names attached.

It’s uncertain if the personalities are gone or if the show is being retooled.

What is certain is Cassidy is about to get some sleep.

“I’m going to sleep in,” she says. “I’ve been getting up at 2 in the morning for way too long.”

Brett Harris gone from KHLT, 99.7-FM

UPDATED — For the second time in less than two years, one of Wichita’s most recognizable radio personalities has lost his job.

A manager met Brett Harris as he came into work early Wednesday morning at the new KHLT, 99.7-FM, and told him his services would no longer be needed.

“I helped a friend buy a radio station and we built a terrific staff and product,” Harris said in an e-mailed statement. “I wish that team continued success..big time! With the expanding Brett and Sierra (Scott) daily TV show, it’s a great time to shift gears, focus on TV and relaunch your morning radio gig. God Bless.”

The station’s general manager, Belinda Atteberry, says, “I can confirm that Brett is no longer an employee of 99.7 Lite FM. I can’t comment any further on it because it’s a personnel matter.”

In July 2012, Harris confirmed he was “blown away” when he lost his job hosting the morning show on KRBB, 97.9-FM, which he had been on since 1989.

Harris had explored starting his own station prior to leaving B98.

After he lost his job there, Harris and Shane Prill, who has S.J. Prill Financial and Investment Planning and used to do financial reports years ago on Harris’ show, decided to start a new station. Harris was not an owner in it, though.

Read More »

Brett Harris may have a new radio home

WICHITA — No one involved is talking, but it looks like there’s a chance Brett Harris may soon have a new radio home.

According to an FCC filing, Wichitans Shane and Kianne Prill and their Air Capitol Media Group are taking over KANR, 99.7-FM. The station currently plays regional Mexican music.

Neither of the Prills returned calls for comment.

A KANR employee says a format switch is coming May 1. Station owner Dan Smith won’t comment.

“I don’t have anything to say,” he says.

Harris isn’t talking, either. He answered one call and said he’d call back but didn’t. Since then, he hasn’t answered several calls.

Shane Prill, who has S.J. Prill Financial and Investment Planning, used to do financial reports years ago on Harris’ show on KRBB, FM-97.9.

After 22 years at B98, Harris was told in July that Clear Channel Radio wanted “to take the morning show in a new direction.”

His morning co-host, Tracy Cassidy, remains at the station with Harris’ replacement, Adam “Lukas” Cox.

Harris was paid through December. At that point, his six-month noncompete began, so he’ll be available to be back on Wichita radio this summer.

Brett Harris, Sierra Scott in talks with KWCH, Channel 12, about talk show

Harris

WICHITA — Brett Harris still is almost a year away from his noncompete agreement ending with KRBB, 97.9-FM, but it sounds like he may be lining up a job.

Harris and former KSN, Channel 3, morning anchorwoman Sierra Scott are in talks with KWCH, Channel 12, about doing a show for the station.

“We are always looking for new ideas for local programming,” said Sunflower Broadcasting president and general manager Joan Barrett in an e-mailed response. “I’ve been talking to Sierra for a few years about how we might expand her role with our company. With the change in Brett’s situation it seemed natural to have a dialogue with both of them – and that’s exactly what we are doing.”

After more than two decades with B98, Harris lost his job in July when Clear Channel Radio informed him it was going in a new direction.

Tracy Cassidy, Harris’ former morning show partner, is now on the air with Adam “Lukas” Cox.

As part of his split from B98, Harris is paid through December. At that point, his six-month noncompete begins.

Scott

Scott has been producing and hosting the positive-news show “It’s All Good With Sierra Scott” since 2006. Initially, it aired on KPTS, Channel 8. Now it airs on Sunflower’s KSCW, Channel 33.

It sounds like the show Scott and Harris may do would be a talk show format. Think a Wichita version of “Live With Kelly & Michael.”

We’ll let you know what happens.

Brett Harris says his almost $22,000 legal bill is paid

WICHITA — B98 morning show host Brett Harris says he has paid his almost $22,000 legal bill to the Kutak Rock law firm.

Harris owed the money for legal help he received while he was negotiating a new contract with Clear Channel Radio and contemplating a move to his own station.

“I am 100 percent confident that by August my balance with Kutak Rock will be zero,” Harris said in June.

In a Thursday e-mail, Harris said he paid $21,652.74 on Aug. 27 at 10:30 a.m.

“We entered into an agreement,” says Alan Rupe, Kutak Rock managing partner.

He won’t confirm the payment or say anything else about the matter.

“You can ask me questions seven ways to Sunday, and I’m still going to have the same answer.”

You don’t say

“Come hear all the dirt on Brett Harris, as if there hasn’t already been enough.”

— Car dealer Dawson Grimsley, who is one of several people prepared to poke some fun at the B98 morning show host at a July 20 roast to benefit Senior Services of Wichita

Kutak Rock sues B98 morning show host Brett Harris over legal bills

WICHITA — The Kutak Rock law firm is suing B98 morning show host Brett Harris over almost $22,000 in legal bills.

The lawsuit actually is filed against Brett Buckwalter, which is Harris’ real name, for legal help he received while he was negotiating a new contract with Clear Channel Radio and contemplating a move to his own station.

“I am 100 percent confident that by August my balance with Kutak Rock will be zero,” Harris says.

“I’ve told those guys that, and they’ve filed this for late charges,” he says. “That’s what makes this story even more ridiculous.”

He adds, “I’m almost humored by this.”

Harris was off the air during part of his negotiations, which he refers to as “the Clear Channel ordeal,” and he says that’s what caused him a temporary financial problem.

“Well, when you miss a couple of paychecks and you’re a single parent, you’re going to be put back a little financially,” Harris says. “I’m trying to do my best to right my ship as a family.”

Read More »

Brett Harris returns to B98-FM for three main reasons

WICHITA — There are three things that convinced Brett Harris to sign a new 3-year contract with B98-FM, where he returned on air this morning.

First, producer Kathy Deane got her job back, which Harris says was his No. 1 stipulation.

“The show was better — is better — with a producer,” says Tom Glade, Clear Channel Radio vice president and market manager.

Second, Harris wanted to report solely to Glade instead of what he refers to as “middle management.”

“Who the show reports to and doesn’t report to was real big to me,” Harris says. “And they restructured that for me, and that’s important because I want to live in an excellent, healthy, healthy atmosphere.”

Third was money.

“It was a very nice financial commitment to every team member,” Harris says. “For those guys to step up like that and make that kind of commitment, it was a blessing. It really was.”

Read More »

Brett Harris is returning to B98-FM

WICHITA — Brett Harris will be back on B98-FM Monday morning.

Harris is returning to the morning show where he’s been host with Tracy Cassidy for 20 years.

He and Tom Glade, Clear Channel Radio vice president and market manager, struck a deal in Harris’ living room Saturday afternoon.

“It was a great deal — that’s what it came down to,” Harris says.

Look here for details of the deal first thing Monday.

Brett Harris isn’t officially gone from B98-FM though it may look that way

WICHITA — All traces of Brett Harris are gone from the B98-FM Web site, but don’t read too much into that.

So says Tom Glade, Clear Channel Radio vice president and market manager.

Harris, who seems to be continuing to work on a deal to start his own station, is off the air at B98 until he signs a new contract.

In the meantime, B98 is not sitting back waiting on his return. Through an “American Idol” tryout of sorts, the station is testing potential on-air partners for Tracy Cassidy.

For now, her show is being called “The Morning Show With Tracy.”