This morning, driving in my car, I turn on the radio. I'm listening to WFNX, my favorite radio station, which I've listened to since 1985, which no other station in any city has ever been able to replace in my heart. Trust me, the New York years had no frequency; they were dry indeed.
As most radio stations are wont to do, 'FNX changes their format occasionally, especially during the morning drive. I've been slow to warm up to their latest effort, the Sandbox, but it has one saving grace that has kept me listening for the past few months.
God I love Henry. Maybe it's because I'm so old, and I just don't relate to these kids today, with their lip piercings and their slacking and... okay, if you've ever read this blog you know THAT'S not true. But still, I love Henry. He is a gentleman, perceptive and erudite, an excellent speaker with a quick wit who elevates the broadcast every morning.
So imagine my shock this morning, when a few minutes after I turned on the station, I heard Hank suddenly announce that this would be his last news update for the station. The Sandbox kids sounded shocked and confused, but they sound like that every morning.
I suspected it was a prank, but called the station anyway, where an overwhelmed intern told me that the studio was empty because everyone had run after Henry to try to talk him down. After about 10 minutes of commercials and station IDs, most of the DJs returned to air, minus Henry and one person who was talking to him. They assured us that he was still in the building, and continued the broadcast as best as they could.
By the time I got to the office and had to stop listening, there had been no more news. This link is all the info I could find on the interwebs. No one at the news organization where I work knew anything about it. If you know more, please comment here!
Henry is a Boston institution and a legend of both the Boston music and broadcasting scenes. Please support Henry, send him your love, and get him back on the air!
UPDATE: I just listened to an audio link (also linked above) that I picked up from Ken Jenning's website forums. As I said earlier, I tuned on the radio just in time to hear him quit and leave the studio. Now, having listened to the whole show and also read Jennings' forums, I have a few fresh thoughts:
1. First of all, just to clarify, I have no comment on C. Marks and what he says about Jennings and his fans. I had no idea why Henry stormed out, I just want him to come back. I didn't even know who Ken Jennings was. Though this guy Isaac from the forums does seem to be a known troublemaker, and the Sandbox guys did refer to a person, in the singular, who was calling repeatedly to complain to the station.
2. I know the management at FNX has a bad rep, so I kind of figured that this was about the folks upstairs not backing him up when people called in to complain. That said, now that I've listened to the whole thing, it still sounds like a stunt to me. I notice that they keep mentioning Henry's 25 years of experience. Is it possible that today was Henry's 25th anniversary? Or the station's?
3. I think the comments below are a testament to how much folks love Henry. No one here questioned what happened, they only expressed support.
I know a guy who works at FNX, and have popped an e-mail asking for more deets. Maybe we'll hear the rest of the story tomorrow morning on the air?
YET ANOTHER UPDATE, a day later:
The following day, Henry was back on the air, but with no explanation of what happened. I still think it has something to do with a 25th anniversary -- but I also hope that Hank got a lovely free meal and lots of booze out of it!
Also, Ken Jennings was an incredible tool in his humorless response. Oh, no! Now they're going to gang up on me! Okay, Ken Jennings' response was no fun, is that better?