Kevin Slaten, the fiery sports radio host, and Bob Romanik, the "Grim Reaper of Radio" have joined forces in a deal that promises to put Slaten back on the air for a whopping $275,000 salary.
Daily RFT is particularly tickled with this partnership as both Slaten and Romanik have been the subject of lengthy profiles in the Riverfront Times. Both pieces ended in an eerily similar falling out with their respective subjects.
Sounds like a match made in heaven? Or hell. Likely both.
See also: -Romanik's Interlude: An ex-con finds his second calling as the "Grim Reaper of Radio" -Kevin Slaten's Head Is About to Explode: The exiled sports-talk radio ranter needs to get some things off his chest -Lewis Reed: "Grim Reaper of Radio" Bob Romanik Top Donor To Francis Slay Opponent -Kevin Slaten's Racial Rant Got His Show Canceled. He Had a Point, Though
The Post-Dispatch broke news of the handshake agreement between the two flamboyant radiomen. Slaten has a history of antics that have lost him lucrative radio contracts in the past; most recently he was booted from KFNS AM-590 for "racist" comments. He found a willing new partner in Romanik, who is no stranger to controversy as an ex-police chief, former strip club baron and a convicted felon with ties to a major east side racketeering scandal. Romanik's Insane Broadcasting includes three AM radio stations on the East Side -- WQQX, KZQZ, and KQQZ -- and he hosts a daily political talk show.
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."
Slaten acknowledged the possibility, adding that where he comes from "nobody ever called the police."
The comment seems to refer to the unceremonious way he left his last gig at KFNS AM-590. Slaten made an on-air comment calling black voters in the last election "bigoted." When he was informed that his show had been cancelled, Slaten allegedly lost it, threatening and spitting at his former boss. Cops were called and Slaten was charged with assault.
"We've got your commitment that you're going to bring your professionalism, but you're also going to bring your manhood," Romanik said to Slaten this morning, pledging not to breathe down the sports jock's neck over controversial remarks.
"The smart advertisers have always stayed with me," said Slaten.
This is Romanik's latest move to become more relevant to St. Louis audiences. When RFT followed his show this summer, the content focused mostly on Metro East and Illinois politics. Now, the mayoral race between Mayor Francis Slay and Aldermanic President Lewis Reed has become a focal point. Romanik recently became Reed's biggest campaign donor and stumps for Reed on the show.
Slaten starts on Monday on a mission to create "the most controversial station in the country." Hold on to your hats, folks.
Follow Jessica Lussenhop on Twitter at @Lussenpop. E-mail the author at [email protected].