Thursday, January 24, 2008

We love you Henry Santoro!

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.

Henry Santoro.

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?


Anonymous said...

Had the same reaction as you. I've been a fan from the very start, left when the format TANKED, and only returned 6 months ago, when I had heard about the changes, and that Henry was still leading the way. Guess the Suits still play heavy at ole fnx. mmm, who's next? Ms. Julie?....end of an era. very sad. KDA

John Mc said...

I was shocked as well. I usually turn the volume up a bit to I can catch Henry's take on the days news, and then he came out with the 'this is my last newscast' I had to stop in my tracks. There has to be something more to this - I can't imagine one bonehead publicist set this off.

Yes, I've been an FNX listener since the beginning. Morning DJs have come and gone (Where did Tai go?), but Henry has always been there. I can't imagine my mornings without him.

Maggie said...

Please let's not assume this is the end! We can get him back!

I've been talking to Bostonist, who are digging further. They've visited the Sandbox guys and also love Henry... My boyfriend has been talking to someone at Seattleist, who knows Jennings a little and has asked him to call the dogs off.

Henry, please come back!

yeah, where DID Tai go?

Anonymous said...

My guess is he got sick of the Sandbox idiots. I remember the first week they were on...Henry sounded tired and incredulous.

I too, have had FNX on for going on forever (except when they format changed to hard rock when all the pop stations went 'alternative") and Henry is my absolute favorite part of the mornings. Although I do tune out when the Sandbox numnuts get going. Opie and Anthony are already on another channel, why did we have to get them here. FNX is about the music, no?

Anonymous said...

Dunno what Tai does now to make money, but he does blog for the Herald: Tai-rade.

Anonymous said...

I just got the following email from Keith Dakin at FNX:

"Henry has not left the show.

Everything is worked out. He will be back tomorrow."

Hmmm, will we ever know what happened?

Jodi said...

Random Tai comment:

I went to a wedding back in 1996 up in Vermont. John Irving performed the nuptials and Tai was the DJ.

Best. Wedding. Music. Ever.

Anonymous said...

I was the best wedding dj ever, but I never did a gig in Vermont. At least I don't remember it.

oh, and I retired from radio in 2005.

best to you,