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.

City Council member Michael O’Donnell II takes job with Wink Hartman Sr.

WICHITA — Wichita City Council member Michael O’Donnell II has a new job.

After more than six years of working in sales for Clear Channel Radio, O’Donnell is going to work for Wink Hartman Sr. He’s done some past work for Hartman, but never full time.

“He’s spread so thin,” O’Donnell says. “He owns over 50 companies. I don’t know how he does it.”

O’Donnell will handle public relations, communications and government affairs for Hartman, which includes his Hartman Arena, restaurants and other companies.

“Everything,” O’Donnell says.

Although Hartman occasionally has a zoning issue that comes before the planning commission, O’Donnell says he’s not a regular in front of City Council, so he doesn’t expect a conflict of interest to arise.

“He never asks for any sort of incentives,” O’Donnell says. “Wink’s a do-it-yourself kind of guy.”

He adds, “If there ever was an issue … I would obviously recuse myself from that.”

You don’t say

“After 25 years of doing afternoon drive, it took them about two minutes to send me out the door.”

— Rockin’ Rick Regan who, along with a few other Clear Channel Radio co-workers, lost his job at KZSN-FM, 102.1, Tuesday (reach Regan at rick@itsrickregan.com)

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.”

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.”

B98-FM to interview Brett Harris’ possible replacements in a “Wichita Idol” format

duoWICHITA — A lawyer for Brett Harris met with Clear Channel Radio representatives Friday, but there’s no resolution on whether Harris will remain as morning host at B98-FM.

“Brett has been given a new contract offer, and he has yet to respond,” says Tom Glade, Clear Channel vice president and market manager.

Glade previously said he’s starting a search for Harris’ replacement just in case.

Now, he’s bringing five candidates to Wichita to compete in “Wichita Idol (Tracy’s Looking For A Good Man).”

Each candidate will co-host with Harris’ former morning co-host, Tracy Cassidy, who has been doing the show with guest hosts since Glade told Harris he couldn’t return until he made a decision.

Listeners will be invited to offer their comments on each host starting Monday.

“They’re certainly going to have a role,” Glade says of listeners helping select Harris’ replacement.