Update below: Well that didn't last very long.
In February, we reported that Kevin Slaten, the fiery sports radio host, and Bob Romanik, the so-called "Grim Reaper of Radio," had joined forces on Romanik's Insane Broadcasting on the east side -- with a deal that put Slaten back on the air with a whopping $275,000 salary.
Now, just a few months later, Insane Broadcasting has dropped Slaten, who did his last show on Wednesday, Romanik confirms to Daily RFT. "He's no longer associated with this radio station in any way, shape or form," he says. "He wasn't needed.... He's just toxic to everything and everybody."
See also: - Kevin Slaten Did Not Take Show Cancellation Well; Gets Charged with Assault - Kevin Slaten Joins Bob Romanik For "Most Controversial Station In The Country" - Romanik's Interlude: An Ex-Con Finds Second Calling As "Grim Reaper of Radio" - Kevin Slaten's Head Is About to Explode
It's not all that shocking that their partnership didn't last very long.
As we noted in our coverage of the deal earlier this year, the two radiomen have a long history of their own controversies, which in fact made them both worthy feature subjects of Riverfront Times' cover stories. Romanik is an ex-police chief, former strip club baron and a convicted felon with ties to a large east side racketeering scandal.
Slaten has a track record of losing lucrative radio contracts, most recently getting the boot from KFNS AM-590 for some questionable race remarks. When that show was cancelled, he apparently did not take it well and was charged with assault.
To get a taste of their dynamic, here's an excerpt from our write-up on a February on-air exchange between the two that referenced the apparently intense salary negotiations:
The deal apparently took place in a heated exchange. After Slaten initially said he'd join the radio group for $300,000, Romanik called his son, who technically owns the radio group, and came back with the $275,000 offer. Slaten agreed. Then for some reason Romanik threw a lamp across the room.
"I knew I was in the right place when you tossed that lamp, but I'm glad you didn't hit me with it," Slaten said on the air in a call to Romanik's daily radio show this morning.
"I like your style," returned Romanik. "We're probably going to argue. We're probably going to scuffle a little bit."
Apparently, the relationship was a bit too intense.
"He's been shopping around. He knew it was coming a few weeks ago," Romanik tells us.
Daily RFT sent Slaten a message for comment and will update if we hear back.
Romanik says of Slaten, "He was not insane. He was just stupid. There's a difference between being stupid and being insane.... People around here are insane, because it's Insane Broadcasting...but we're not idiots."
Romanik says there's not a single incident that prompted the station to drop Slaten, but that it was clear for awhile that the partnership was not working.
"He's toxic. He's no good for any business," he says, adding, "It's just his attitude and his demeanor and the way he treats people in general."
Update, 2:00 p.m.: A helpful reader points out that Slaten will be joining Tim McKernan's insideSTL.com show starting in August. A schedule posted on his website on Thursday -- one day after Slaten's last on-air time with Romanik -- says that Slaten will occupy a 3 to 6 p.m. slot with Jack Clark.
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