(I used to write a bi-weekly column, “RadioRadio,” for Players magazine in the Tampa Bay area. The following story about the late Q105 DJ Jon ‘Rock & Roll’ Anthony, originally appeared there in 1990. Read more about Anthony at TeddWebb.com.)
By Bob Andelman
Jon “Rock ‘n’ Roll” Anthony is looking for a job again.
The mercurial Power Pig (WFLZ 93 FM) afternoon drive personality for the last three years called it quits on Monday Nov. 19 at 5:15 p.m. – during his shift.
“I quit on the air,” he says. “Packed my bags.”
Anthony, 35, says he split due to a disagreement over the station’s Thanksgiving Day work schedule. He previously understood he’d have the holiday off and made plans with family, only to come in on Monday and find himself scheduled to work his regular 2-6 p.m. shift. When no accommodation was made, the DJ quit.
“I copped a ‘Homey the Clown’ attitude – I don’t think so,” he says. “Homey don’t play that – I quit.”
JON ANTHONY excerpt: “If you’re late for a staff meeting you have to stand against the wall with your nose against the wall. It’s like ‘Romper Room.'”
No indication was given on the air that anything was amiss.
“That was the icing on the cake,” says Anthony. “They had no respect for me. I am pretty bitter. I wasn’t treated right.”
The Power Pig became one of the brightest stars in American radio history when it debuted in late 1989, taking broad potshots at Q105 and presenting an aggressive dance music mix. The station rocketed to number one in the Tampa Bay Arbitron ratings in its first book and became the talk of the radio industry nationally.
Ratings have fallen since then and the Pig has cleaned up its obnoxious, take no prisoners act, leaving the sensationalism behind and becoming more and more like the old Q105 it once taunted into obscurity.
Anthony is the first of 93’s original staff to leave the station.
A few choice details revealed by Anthony:
o His salary – $30,000 annually.
“I was making chump change,” says Anthony. “All the DJs were making chump change. You’ve got people over there making $15,000. I’m not going to lose sleep over a $30,000 a year job. I never got a raise in three years. And I was one of the highest paid there, other than Jack Harris.”
o He was making $45,000 at Q105.
o And then there’s this weirdness:
“If you’re late for a staff meeting you have to stand against the wall with your nose against the wall,” according to Anthony. “It’s like ‘Romper Room.'”
This is the second time Anthony has left a top-rated station in Tampa Bay. Before coming to WFLZ in 1987, he followed Mason Dixon as the nighttime jock at the old Q105.
“I bounced back before, I’ll bounce back again,” he says. Anthony is already talking turkey with a trio of Tampa Bay radio stations.
A newlywed with a home in Brandon, a baby on the way and a lucrative mobile DJ service – Florida Suncoast Promotions – Jon “Rock ‘n’ Roll” Anthony says he’s going to stick around. “I’ll land on my feet,” he says.
(Management at WFLZ was unavailable for comment at deadline.)
Copyright 2013 Will Eisner: A Spirited Life by Bob Andelman