For the first time since he was fired by KMOV (Channel 4) in 2013, St. Louis broadcaster Larry Conners goes back on air tonight as a full-time host for KTRS (550 AM).
Ever true to his devil-may-care style, Conners says he's launching his return to the airwaves at 9 p.m. Monday with a story about the topic that got him canned: the Internal Revenue Service, which recently came under fire when thousands of e-mails went missing.
"Make sure you are listening, and I won't be fired this time," Conners tells his 5,550 Facebook fans.
KMOV fired Conners for posting on Facebook that the IRS was targeting him because he was overly critical of President Barack Obama during an April 2012 interview about travel expenditures. Conners had racked up a $85,000 tax bill, and months after the interview, the IRS put a lien on his Clayton home.
Since then, Conners has gone to court to say he wasn't fired for his IRS comments but rather because of his age and race. Conners filed a discrimination suit alleging KMOV paid the then-66-year-old white man less than a black female coworker, restricted his social-media posts and consequently fired him -- a charge KMOV flatly denies.
Since his KMOV contract restricted Conners from news broadcasting until now, Conners has gotten his TV fix in commercials for John Beal Roofing.
But a lot of news has happened in St. Louis in the year Conners has been gone. The IRS isn't the only hot-button topic Conners should weigh in on, even if he's a few months late.
In honor of Conners' triumphant return to St. Louis broadcasting, here are six old stories Conners should cover now:
1. Take a Lyft ride. Is the unlicensed, unregulated business safe enough to operate in St. Louis, or are the hipsters wrong? We'd love Conners' take on this story.
2. Try to find a parking place at Fair St. Louis. The annual celebration is moving to Forest Park this year, and the battle to find parking is exactly the kind of drama Conners can sink his teeth into.
3. Test the dress code at Ballpark Village. Will someone kick Conners out of the Budweiser Brew House if he's wearing a tall tee?
4. Interview the Dance of Life Dancer. Susan Stone, who dresses in ballet costumes and "performs" at festivals around the city, recently claimed she was thrown out of an African arts festival for being white, and Conners knows all about suing for racial discrimination. Get the scoop, Conners!
5. Drink Anheuser-Busch beers on-air to see if they're really watered down. A judge recently ruled that A-B isn't watering down its beers, but we're not sure until Conners tells us so.
6. LOLZ at the Internet Cat Video Festival at the Contemporary Art Museum. Can we haz Connerz plz?