Joe Ferguson and Radio City, Liverpool.
(Article added on Saturday 11th October, 2003).
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Liverpool Views has very politely been asked to put up these few words concerning Joe Ferguson and Radio City. This will, hopefully, stop the rumours that he was sacked.
'I am a personal friend of Joe's and this is the way things happened that led upto Joe not being on air at Radio City anymore.
A year ago this month Radio City bosses came up with this idea of putting Joe on the afternoon show (1-4) as it was announced that Chris Moyles would be starting his TV show for Channel 5. THEY thought that Moyles would be putting more time into the TV slot so it would seem he was not as interested with radio. Joe explained that would NEVER happen as Moyles loves to be on radio (which is true). For 2 weeks solid they called Joe on the phone, and called at his home badgering him for a decision on moving him to the afternoons!
Bare in mind for 2 years Joe was having record listening figures for the morning slot AND won 2 awards for it, he was unsure about whether his style of broadcasting would be welcomed on the afternoon show as between 1-3pm is just background music for people on dinner! They then told him they would consider it a personal favour if he accepted the new timing. Joe took it under 1 condition that if it the change fails then he could go right back to his 10am slot! THEY ACCEPTED THIS.
Every audience figure that came out over a year kept going down and down and Joe kept going in to their office and asking them to get him off that time slot and back to his usual one, they kept saying it will smooth itself out. Joe was worried about the figures so tried a different line to attract more listeners, he decided to try playing a little less music and speak more as this was one of the main attractions to his listeners. The last audience figure shot up, not much but you could see because of what he was doing more people started to tune in.
Joe's dad had a heart attack a couple of weeks back and as any son would do he stayed over in Belfast for just over a week. EVERYDAY his bosses were on the phone asking how he was and for him to take as much time as he wanted. VERY nice of them, or so you'd think. More like it was convenient for him to be out of the way while things were going on behind his back.
Last Thurs 7-30pm he received a phone call from a friend in the business saying he cant believe "They did that to you". He asked "Did what", "Got rid of you" was his reply. Joe thought this was a joke until he was told by his friend that he in turn was told by one of his employees that Joe had supposedly been pulled into the office the friday before and told that his contract would not be renewed, he would be paid until the end of the year and he was not allowed on air anymore from that day!! Joe asked where did this info come from, he said "The guy who has been given your job"! So he called his boss who strenuously denied it and when Joe told him all the information including the name of the new guy who was lined up to take over his show, apparently you could hear his jaw dropping onto the floor that this info had reached Joe already. So HE TOLD THEM he would not be in the next day due to the info he had been given. That he would no longer be working for Radio city due to their break of promise to him going back to his morning slot and the way EVERYONE knew about it except him.
I'm sure you would all agree that this was a very underhanded way to treat one of the more popular people at the station. All this considering he left so much behind in Belfast to come to Liverpool because they'd badgered him for a year to join them.
There will be an official statement issued by Joe in the next 2 weeks on this matter.
Thank you for allowing me to put the record straight as there have been so many rumours circulating both here and in Belfast that Joe was fired when he in fact left because he couldn't see that the situation was conducive to a decent working relationship any longer.'
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