Talk radio host Buddy Cianci, on the air for the first time since WPRO cut loose his long-time sidekick Ron St. Pierre, thanked St. Pierre, said he did not know his friend would be sacked, and attributed the move to budget trimming.
Cianci, who took off Thursday and Friday as part of an extended President's Day weekend trip to Florida, says he picked up a voicemail after landing in Florida at about 7 pm Thursday, telling him to call the station.
St. Pierre had done the Buddy Cianci Show solo Thursday afternoon and was scheduled to do the same on Friday and Monday. But he was fired after the Thursday show. Management apparently called Cianci afterward, leaving the voicemail as he was flying to Florida.
"I wasn't told that" in advance, Cianci said. "I want everyone to know that. And I cleared that with the station principals. They said I could - not that they would control what I say, because they don't, but I wanted to make sure that that was the case."
He attributed the firing to some "budgetary situations" and said "those decisions are made far above my pay grade." At one point, he alluded to decisions made in "other cities," an apparent reference to WPRO corporate parent Cumulus.
Cianci said he feels "very badly" about the termination, "because Ron and I have been friends for an awful long time." He thanked him for his talents and his loyalty.
St. Pierre hired him for his first radio gig in 1984. He was loyal to Cianci when the former mayor was in prison. And he brought Cianci back to radio in the fall of 2007. The pair have served on air together since then.
Tara Granahan, who was co-host of the morning news show with Andrew Gobeil before that tandem was broken up a couple of months ago, is taking St. Pierre's slot as producer of the show.