FIRST ON 3: Big Talker terminates controversial morning host


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Submitted: Thu, 03/18/2010 - 5:27pm
Updated: Thu, 03/29/2012 - 1:11am
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WILMINGTON — The Big Talker FM announced today it has fired talk show host Curtis Wright. Paul Knight, Vice President and General Manager for Sea-Com, Inc., which owns the radio station, announced Wright’s termination in a news release.

When reached by phone, Knight would not say what led to Wright’s dismissal, except to say it was “absolutely not” related to a lawsuit filed against Wright and Sea-Com last year by Tom Fetzer, now head of the state Republican Party.

“This was a decision we had to ponder for several months, and one we had to bring to a logical conclusion today,” Wright told WWAY.

Wright has developed a devoted following for his politically conservative show “The Morning Beat,” which he has hosted for more than three years, according to Knight. The show also created a good bit of controversy. Perhaps most notable was the slander lawsuit filed by Fetzer after Wright forwarded an anonymous letter about Fetzer, who was trying to become head of the NCGOP, to Republican leaders. The two sides settled the lawsuit in October.

Knight said a replacement for Wright’s show would be named soon.

Tune in tonight to WWAY to hear what Wright has to say about his dismissal.

82 Comments

  • guesty says:

    Liberals are a group of do as I say, not as I do. This may help explain the mental level of liberals…. Ted Kennedy was elected over & over & over.

  • guesty says:

    But Strom didn’t break the law. I don’t like what he stood for or how he thought but that was his right to do so. Teddy did break the law and plead guilty to a charge of leaving the scene of an accident after causing injury, he received a suspended sentence.

  • Michael Jerison says:

    I personally like the new guy. something fresh and he doesn’t sound like he’s ready to start a fight! Good call!

  • Doug says:

    Did anyone read his letter explaining his termination? I’m not the best speller, but hey Curtis have you ever heard of spell check? If I was releasing a letter to a major publication, I would make sure everything was correct. Maybe I should cut him slack because he could have thrown down a few drinks with his current situation. Talking about drinking If he was still on the air I could have started a new drinking game. The rules of the game would be you would take a shot everytime Curtis said Obama and communist in the same sentence. Most likely you would be drunk in five minutes.

  • Guest461 says:

    …is enough to make is enough to make anyone slam 10 shots!

  • Guest721 says:

    Nice try,how about electing someone who doesn’t even know where he’s at over and over and over (Strom Thurmond).

  • Nartal says:

    Curtis Wright seemed half tolerable and listenable until Barack Obama was elected president. After that happened, Wright seemed to go psychotic (which seems like strangely what happened to a lot of seemingly “tolerant” people after a black man was elected to the top job.)

    After that, Curtis Wright seemed to come across as an irrational fear monger. If that’s what you mean by what America needs right now, then I guess you are correct!

  • Nartal says:

    Obviously Conservatives have a much higher mental level than Liberals. This is shown in the fact that Conservatives are incapable of saying one thing and doing another (being hypocritical).

    As such…
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2003-12-17-thurmond_x.htm

    “She was a daughter facing life’s lengthening shadows and reminiscing about a beloved father whom she dared not publicly acknowledge while he was alive. Thurmond’s daughter said, “I am not bitter. I am not angry. In fact, there is a great sense of peace that has come over me in the past year.Essie Mae Washington-Williams, 78, said Wednesday that finally being able to claim her heritage as the illegitimate child of the late senator Strom Thurmond and his family’s black maid had brought her a measure of peace.”

    … Strom Thurmond, the staunch CONSERVATIVE wasn’t the biggest hypocrite after all. (Sarcasm)

  • Curtis Staunch Supporter says:

    I have googled looking for this letter you referance to. Where Can I find it?

  • guesty says:

    That is partially correct but at least he never killed anybody while driving drunk. We could also include R.C. Soles(D) to the list of those that don’t know where they are.

  • Me, Myself, & I says:

    That would be great. But 980 has a liberal local format.

  • Nartal says:

    First of all, when did I ever mention the NAACP? Secondly, Strom Thurmond advocated policies of institutional discrimination and policies (which were in place), and did everything he possibly could to keep that old power structure in place: A power structure where someone of a different skin color could be beaten to a bloody pulp and possibly killed for stepping into a restricted public or private area, while the law sat back and did nothing.

    You tell me if that’s any better than Ted Kennedy leaving that woman to drown? Crimes against HUMANITY are just as bad as if Strom Thurmond had committed murder himself.

    They’re equally bad, and they both have roads named after them in their respective states. Pretty darn sick.

  • Carrie says:

    I have never really listened to him, but you better believe, I will follow him wherever he goes and listen and support him there. This senseless control of what people say.We have already become a nation too scared to say what we believe for fear of hurting someones feelings! Keep talking Curtis!

  • faithful listener says:

    It amazes me how threatened some people are when they are exposed to an intelligent thinker. Good luck Curtis, you were too good for Wilmington anyhow. Hopefully we’ll see you running for office someday. This state needs you!

  • independent thinker says:

    I have a hard time listening to this station in general. Mostly because I have a rule of thumb that if I hear buzz words for 3 minutes or more before the actual subject of the “discussion” is made clear, I switch stations. I tune into this station everyday at various hours and I think my record for listening to this station before the buzz word quota was met is about 10 minutes. Hopefully the replacement doesn’t stoop to pointless name calling as others on this show seem to have.

  • I’ve been a follower of News/Talk radio in this area since it’s inception……For those who may not know, Curtis Wright got his start on 980 WAAV in the 90’s. WAAV’s then Owner/GM, Donn Ansell, allowed Wright to sit-in for local News/Talk Hosts while they were on vacations, etc. Almost every local show on The Big Talker has roots on 980 WAAV. Even Paul Knight, the current GM of The Big Talker was WAAV’s Chief Engineer for many years. With a incredible background at CBS Television, Ansell knew how to create great programming and developed a formidable show line-up, balanced programming and a huge following on 980 WAAV, He recognized potential talent and offered sound advice and guidance. Perhaps if Wright had received better direction about the importance of creating a forum all viewpoints, both conservative and liberal, he could have weathered the current storm brewing at The Big Talker. Whether you agreed or disagreed with Curtis Wright’s viewpoints or practices on his show, he definitely created another local forum for the conservative viewpoint. You may want to keep your ears atuned to the possibility of Wright returning to 980 WAAV, the heritage News/Talk Station in this area and the one who has made a long and rich investment in this community. WAAV has always been and will be a pioneer in bringing new things to the airwaves… was one of the first 50 Stations in the Country to sign-on The Rush Limbaugh Show and one of the first in the area to broadcast sports….Nascar, the Seahawks and other sports teams. My loyalties are to 980 and I’m curious to see if Curtis Wright might come full circle and return there. Could prove to be very interesting!! If he returns to 980…. I might even listen if he tones down the negativity that is already so prominent on the national programs. He’s no Rush Limbaugh. He needs to remember to educate, entertain and inform…..not just shock!

  • another guest says:

    It’s easy enough to armchair another business when all you have to do is listen. For the people at SeaComm, I’m sure it was not an easy matter to face; but, I wasn’t there so i will not do any name calling and neither should others on the sideline.

  • Guest45cal says:

    Do you ever notice when a liberal is expressing his/her point of view, they think everyone should hear it, but when someone with an opposing view such as Curtis expresses his opinion, then he should be silenced? Thanks for being hypocrites, libs! Kind of communistic! Don’t ya think?

  • Anti-guesty says:

    Those grapes are pretty sour! This may help explain the mental level of conservatives. Repeat Serenity Prayer over and over and over

  • Whiteville says:

    Kendall is looked at as a HUGE conservative here in Whiteville. What a surprise to hear he’s on in Wilmington. Wonder if he’s still on the station here.

  • Linda Murray says:

    Curtis was a breathe of fresh air and I have immediately stopped listening to the Big talker and will wait to find him on another station. It is so refreshing to find someone that speaks his mind and with whom so many people agree. I am sad to not hear his voice and will follow his program wherever he ends up.

  • Big Talker Listener says:

    Did anybody listen to his show this morning between 6:07 and 7:oo, he talked about one politician bashing the other and both of them are republicans? I guess the one who fired curtis liked the one who done the bashing or lawsuit…you think?

  • guesty says:

    Do you mean the mental level of let me take care of myself and my family and not look to the government to provide for me? Then yes, the conservative mental level is much higher than liberals. I’ll take your grapes and make a nice wine out of them.

  • CC says:

    A conservative fired him, so yes he would have been

  • Guest232323 says:

    With any hope 980 WAAV will pick him up. Then watch the rating on 93.7 DROP.

    I have heard that some of the local businesses already have pulled their ads.. We need to get a list and make sure we support those businesses…

    Wilmington needs Curtis””

    One thing Curtis has taught may of us is you can make a difference..

  • Guest TRC says:

    I am so sorry to hear about this. I listen to the Morning Beat every morning. I hope wherever Curtis goes, he keeps speaking up and fighting for conservative values.
    God Bless you Curtis (can we still say that???)
    TRC

  • Guest99x says:

    B’Bye to another Rush Limpschlock wannabe who had darkened the airwaves too long with his whinings. Good Riddance.

  • oakislandandy says:

    It’s not journalism. It’s entertainment. Radio talk show hosts have to be extreme to garner listeners. Nobody wants to listen to nice, middle-of-the-road chatter. The ratings support that conclusion. People listen because it is extreme, whether you agree or not with the views. The Morning Beat is not there to give all sides an equal shake, but to take a position out on the edge. That’s what made it interesting. Curtis is no different. All the most listened to talk radio hosts are out there on the edge – Limbaugh, Boortz, ect. It’s not journalism, it’s opinion.

  • Guest1118 says:

    When I first moved here in 2005 I enjoyed listening to Marty and Dick and was dismayed when Curtis replaced them and their lower key show. That said, I came to appreciate Curtis over the years and agree with him on most issues. But I do think that he was very thin-skinned and needlessly abrasive. No one but his “inner circle” could disagree with him or have an opposing view. I have the same problem with Curtis as I do with Glenn Beck: it’s not what you say, but HOW you say it. I tend to enjoy talk show hosts who present facts with an optimism and some humor, the way Sean and Rush do.

  • informed says:

    Thank God this hateful voice is off the air..spewing all that awful rhetoric and then when confronted in public hiding and cowering behind others, unwilling to be challenged. Please..he and wrage and that so-called preacher rouse are all little men with nothing but anger and no lives. So tragic..but thank God it is off the air for now.

  • Just1american says:

    If he was a liberal, he would not have been fired

  • yea says:

    Good. I quit listening to that radio station as soon as he came on and switched to A.M. 980.

  • Guest 2933 says:

    If he were a liberal, he would never have had a talk show on Mr. Knight’s station. Knight is a big Republican around here.

  • Nartal says:

    To be fair, you probably don’t want to hear a liberal’s point of view, and that’s why you are making the claim that liberal’s think everyone should hear their point of view.
    Curtis Wright made a lot of combative statements to various politicians in North Carolina, most of whom were CONSERVATIVES whom he brandished for not being conservative enough.

    While he exercised his freedom of speech on talk radio, the media is not a forum where you get to say whatever you want, whenever you want, just because you feel like it. Part of being an adult is to realize that. As I’m sure you haven’t the foggiest how the word “communistic” could be applied in this context, I’m just going to laugh.

  • Nartal says:

    No, Strom Thurmond was a staunch segregationist, advocating a system that oppressed people based on their skin color. And he was elected, over and over and over and over. In fact, the only thing that stopped him from getting reelect was his death.

  • Nartal says:

    I don’t think that people were threatened by Curtis Wright because he was an intelligent thinker. Upon hearing Curtis Wright on the radio, there is no plausibility to that statement.

    If a thinly veiled bigot like Curtis Wright is what you consider to be an intelligent thinker, then I have no doubt that you would vote for him if he ran for office in North Carolina. Hopefully by the time he ever ran, society will have evolved beyond the influence of people who consider Curtis Wright to be an intelligent thinker.

  • GuestJones says:

    It is becoming apparent that Curtis was fired because, as we learned during the most recent Mayoral campaign, Paul Knight is a shady, shady character.

    Firing someone who did as much for the community as Curtis Wright has, and was a ratings wonder for the station, is the act of a madman.

    I will never again patronize any business that advertises on the Big Talker, and will follow Curtis to whatever station he goes to next.

    Curtis Wright was the best thing going at station, working tirelessly for low pay because he loves this community and America and wants to make both better places. I hope listeners and businesses that advertised on the Big Talker will boycott the station and demand Knight’s immediate removal.

  • wellwellwell says:

    I’m sure the “left wing exstemists” are very happy. This sounds more like a power play by the “little” big man at Seacom. Talk about shootin’ yourself in the foot, I believe this move will richochet and hit him in the butt.

  • Guest says:

    Why is everything with conservatives black and white?? This stage in human development is supposed to end around age 11. Things are never just right or wrong-there are some “good hardworking people” out there who really do need help because they hit a rough spot. These are the same people who don’t mind paying extra taxes to help others like them. As an RN for the past 23 years I’ve seen my share of tragedy. The first time you see a “good hardworking” family lose everything they’ve worked for because their son was in a car accident and sustained near fatal injuries that their “good hardworking” insurance company wouldn’t cover will change your mind. These things could happen to anyone, whether you’ve worked all your life or not. Visit a trauma bay and talk to some of the families before you speak about things you don’t know.

  • guesty says:

    So you are saying he was no different than the current naacp is? It isn’t illegal to to be any of what he was but it is illegal to drive drunk and kill another person.

  • JDH says:

    Curtis promoted the Conservatism that made this country great… sometimes a little too bluntly for those that rationalize the facts. But the truth is still the truth. He exposed the hypocrisy and corruption that most of us know exists throughout local, state and national gov’t.
    For whatever reason, this decision strengthens the grip of the secretive, shady dealmakers on our legal, taxpaying citizens.
    Thanks Curtis and may better opportunities be around the corner.

  • uncle dutch says:

    Curtis offered it straight up.Some people cant handle the truth ;they will destroy this republic! LIBERALISM IS A MENTAL DISEASE !

  • disgusted says:

    It is a shame !!!! Curtis Wright was harsh – but America needs harsh right now !!!! I won’t listen to the Big Talker in the mornings anymore.

  • glennyd says:

    Well Said:

    I came to the Big Talker from WAAV. It was much better. Curtis Wright was the reason. I switched.

    I will honor any boycott of advertisers on Big Talker. I urge you all to do that. They need to get a message in a way they can understand.

    Someone help by publishing the current advertising list

  • Nartal says:

    Which is probably why Curtis spread half-truths and lies. Apparently that’s what his audience could handle.

  • guesty says:

    Put naacp in place of Strom Thurmond’s name in your above comment and tell me how it is different. They advocate the advancement of blacks into separate colleges, television stations, pageants and award shows. I was just wondering if you would be as harsh on the naacp as you are on Strom. What Strom did wasn’t illegal, on the other hand what dear old Teddy did was and still is illegal.

  • Guest CommonTater says:

    of the fence you sit on it seems he had everybody engaged. Seems folks were loving him and hating him…. but listening just the same. Could it be he did his job better than he may have been given credit for? Just lots of folks taking on the issue…..

    **I have never listened to him or that station.**

  • Nartal says:

    The big difference between the NAACP and Strom Thurmond, is that whatever the NAACP’s goals are, they will never be fully realized in a multi-racial society moving beyond that bogusness. Strom Thurmond actually had his goals of racial inequality and prejudice entrenched for a long time, from a time period where it was very acceptable, and tried to perpetuate that system, against the currents of change that were stirring in society.
    The NAACP is a relic of that struggle against the oppressive system that Strom Thurmond advocated, and is becoming less and less relevant as the years progress.

    In a modern sense, Strom Thurmond committed a crime against humanity.
    In every sense, Teddy Kennedy was acquitted in a court of law. You may not like that fact, but nothing Teddy did was illegal in a literal sense like you are suggesting.

  • Harry Slater says:

    I WISH THE GUY WHO REPLACED CURTIS WOULD BE ON IN THE EVENING HE WOULD HELP ME GET TO SLEEP

  • Big M says:

    My best wishes to Curtis, he never wavered from his beliefs. Hopefully a local station will pick him up and I see no reason to listen to the Big Talker any longer in the morning.

  • Lisa Kazantzis says:

    Diddo, I won’t listen in the morning anymore either.

  • Myrie says:

    I will also be looking for another station.

  • Guest Save Curtis! says:

    He coulda brought it down a notch, but he helped this community more than anyone will ever know.

    Bring Curtis back!!!

  • Straight Shooter says:

    He has got no where to go here, he has ticked everyone off. If you checked his past listed on the Big Talker web site before he was fired, you would see that he has moved around a lot before coming here. Probably booted out other places to. Wright often went on long rants bashing issues before having all the information. GOOD RIDDANCE!!

  • radar says:

    I feel Curtis Wright may have stepped on some power player’s toes once again with his controversial style but you have to give it to him. He took a strong stand on all his positions. I will follow Curtis Wright where ever he goes. I hope a local station will pick him up. This is a large void in the conservative community. I left WAAV radio as soon as he came on the air. I sure Bill Saffo and other liberal political operatives are tickled to death over this announcement.

  • Nartal says:

    I hope it’s pace-makers. Then you can stick by your convictions if ever you have a heart attack. How absurd. Grow up people. No wonder the rest of the world is starting to kick America’s butt. It’s people like you.

  • Guest757 says:

    voice of reason,

    I agree with you 100%

    I know I will not be listening and will stop buying from anyone who advertises on it..

    Lets stand behind Curtis as he stood behind us

  • Nartal says:

    So he was like Sean Hannity and Mark Levin on steroids?

    Or maybe Curtis Wright stopped taking his chill pills… lol

  • Guest Yeah says:

    I believe it IS his show. I don’t think Sea-Com owns it.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    I had noticed over the past few months that Curtis was not welcoming opposing viewpoints. On several occasions I heard him hang up on callers the minute an opposing view was offered, with a casual remark that it was HIS show. Even if you called to agree with him and offer additional facts supporting his view, he was more concerned with reiterating his opinion rather than listening to yours.

    He was also becoming a one-trick pony: The SAME old topics over and over and over again. I started listening to Rhonda Belamy over at 980 just as often, picking which show had a more interesting topic.

    I wish him well. He had a pretty high batting average for being spot on, about the issues this nation, state, and county face, but I sincerely believe that he thought the Morning Beat had become the Curtis Wright Show.

  • Nartal says:

    Haha, speaking of whiney idiots…

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    SeaCom and the producer might disagree.

    How do you explain that it’s on-air right now, without Curtis?

  • Guest2222 says:

    give it time they have lost advertising already this morning..

  • Nartal says:

    They haven’t found a permanent person to fill that slot. I bet once they find a replacement who builds an audience, they advertising dollars will return.
    It makes no business sense to continue to advertise when there aren’t any ratings…
    It’s not a simple case of “boo hoo, Curtis is gone, let’s pull our advertising dollars”
    I’d hope people have bigger brains than that….

  • Guest4561 says:

    Paul Knight has already announced Robert Kendall as Curtis’ replacement.

  • Jordan says:

    Thank GOD he is gone… though I don’t think Curtis had much to do with GOD. Nothing he ever said would make anyone think he was a Christian. If anyone out there has been in this area for a long time, they would wonder how he ever got that job. This is a huge upward move for the station and our wonderful community. He was destructive to us and now he destroyed himself.

  • Kay says:

    So very sorry to hear about Curtis. I for one only listen to Conservative talk shows. Used to have to listen to the other station. Then "Dick and Marty" came on and, I think it was Marty that was the Conservative one of the two that I listened for. They had their issues with callers not liking them as well. As for Curtis saying this is "My Show" have you ever listened to Harvard Jennings? He was the worst for that, although, when I have heard him once in a while out of necessity he has calmed down a bit, But, he used to say that to his callers daily. Used to make me so mad because I wanted to hear what the caller had to say, but as I have learned all talk show hosts do that to some extent. Good Luck Curtis Wright. Keep up the Good Fight.

  • Straight Shooter says:

    As I have mentioned on my other post, I am a fan of talk radio and many of The Big Talker’s programs. But from the very start not of Wright’s program. Too much negativity, too many rants often without the facts. I just turned the channel in the morning. Also I don’t find one that sits in a locked studio with a microphone and a big telephone KILL switch, he used regularly for opposing views, one of backbone and stamina.

  • Coreyanne says:

    Because they have one less person to think for them now. Everything’s slanted. The problem with these talk show hosts is that they present their opinions as facts and the general public jumps on the band wagon. It is hubris and we the public eat it up. Truly what it boils down to is just some guy spouting off rhetoric and attacking those who dare to disagree. So he’s out of a job. There are 11.4 percent of us in this city out of a job. Somehow I think he will survive and good riddance to bad rubbish I say. Although I am sure some other windbag will replace him and soon enough will have all the undeserved loyalty that people are willing to bestow on him for continuing the tradition of ad hominem attacks that entertain rather than presenting well thought out opinions backed by facts with which viewers are free to agree or disagree. Remember people, if you are not thinking for yourselves, who is thinking for you?

  • TBE says:

    Well said – the Big Talker has lost me as a listener, too.

  • Guest099 says:

    We have lost one of the few individuals who had the backbone and stamina to stand up to the local corrupt politicians. I will not be listening to the new watered down version of a talk show. No one made you listen to his show, so obviously he did engage you.

  • Straight Shooter says:

    Thanks Paul Knight for finally getting rid of that Big Mouth Negative Whinning Ranter! Just a few years too late. I’m a regular listener to The Big Talker but could not stomach Wright’s morning program. Looking forward to the change.

  • IndependentGuest says:

    I am saddened by the announcement of Curtis Wright’s termination. I appreciate a man willing to stand firm for his beliefs regardless of opposition from many. I will certainly listen to him again if he is able to find another local home for his show. Good luck and God bless Curtis.

  • Bubba says:

    We may actually now receive honest and fair reporting on the local races this year. It is known Wright was a big Goolsby and Pantano supporter. I am sure whomever is picked will now give other candidates the floor a little too!!! Mr.Knight well done indeed

  • voice of reason says:

    ahh the voice of a liberal speaking. Not enough Wright and too many of these guys around.

  • Guest nappy says:

    I think powerful voices such as the one Curtis had are usually squelched every so often because it is so abrasive. He deserves a broader audience where his commentary can reach more conservative thinkers. Hopefully he will find an opening in Charlotte or Raleigh where he will get the support he deserves. Wilmington is to incestuous. You cant swing a fat cat without hitting someone’s cousin or uncle or frat brother.

    Good luck Curtis.

    It will be interesting to see how Sea-Comm replaces him. It will be tough to fill his shoes, and how stupid it would be to try. People are bound to compare. I dont doubt it was easy dealing with him as a boss, he didnt come across as a yes man so must have been a really big scene over at sea-com this morning.

  • Nartal says:

    “It will be interesting to see how Sea-Comm replaces him. It will be tough to fill his shoes, and how stupid it would be to try.”

    Considering that they FIRED him, I doubt they are looking for someone to fill his shoes…

  • Justin America says:

    He would probably be appreciated more in a larger market. No way to replace him but 3 or 4 hours of Mark Levin would be good.

  • Guest9000 says:

    Three or four hours of Mark Levin would be radio poison. He’s probably the worst talk show host working today.

  • Johnny says:

    Whatever good he could have done is outweighed by his overblown rants without all the facts. He would hang up on or yell at people that brought those icky facts up to him, whether they stated that they mostly agreed with him or not. He should be ashamed of himself for encouraging those college kids that now do a double “mini-me” impression of the Curtis Wright Show every evening. Their place as consrvative gadlfly’s in the midst of an overly liberal University environment is consitutionally protected – but I for one think that Curtis is a horrible role model for young people taking to the airwaves and being so disrespectful on their show.

  • informed says:

    yep..someone saying “diddo”.that is definitely a curtis wright listener fur sho!
    Now, maybe an intelligent, informed conservative voice that is no vindictive and assaulting can replace the brutality and anger that has plagued us these last years.

  • Doug says:

    I couldn’t believe that they replaced Marty and Dick with this guy. I always thought he was too thin skin to be a talk show host. I remember he was going on a rant about how anyone who opposed the war in Iraq was un-patriotic. I called up his show with some anti-war quotes from conservatives who opposed Clinton’s war in Kosovo.After reading those quotes to him I informed him who made them and he claimed I took them all out of context and hung up on me.

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