Larry Mendte posted on his Facebook page that he had been let go from conservative talk radio station IQ 106.9, where the former anchor had been serving as the morning drive host. In the post, the gracious Mendte makes it clear that his departure from the station was not his decision.
In an interview with the Daily News, Mendte said there was no indication why he was let go from the station, who gave Mendte his walking papers on December 21. Mendte believed his show had solid ratings and loyal fanbase. "It just never really had a spot. They were trying to find a place for it," Mendte said. "I was a big experiment [because I had never done radio before]." Mendte, unlike the other hosts, did not have a contract.
Mendte doesn't know what's in store for IQ 106.9, although rumors have swirled that the station might be sold. Mendte himself has another gig to fall back on: He does commentary pieces for New York's Pix11. "Actually I’m going to get a lot more sleep," Mendte said, laughing. "I was waking up at 4:30 [a.m.]. and not getting home until 8:00 [p.m.]. Something had to give," Mendte said. "I love Philly so much and it was an opportunity to come back."
His post read as follows:
Hello All and Thank You for liking this page.
As most of you know, I have not been on the air for the past week. I have been told that many of you have called the station asking where I am and I thank you for that. The truth is I am no longer working at IQ 106.9. It was not my choice and since my show was by far the highest rated local show I am certain this will fuel the industry rumors that the station is being sold. I hope that is not true as the station fills an important void.
I have no regrets, just pockets full of gratitude. Randy Michaels, one of the great talk radio hosts of all time, personally coached me. I was paid to go to a prestigious talk radio school and I believe I graduated with honors. My show introduced the world to Samantha Pawlucy, the brave little girl who was harassed at school for wearing a Mitt Romney tee shirt. I pressed the city everyday for two weeks to investigate irregularities at the election polling sites and collected stories from listeners; that investigation is now underway. I was growing as an important local voice of dissent in a city that is sorely lacking such a voice.
I love talk radio and hope to be back soon so we can continue our conversation. And so I am leaving this page up when I will soon amend it with a new place and time.
We have call in to IQ program director Leigh Jacobs and will update with his comments.
Earlier this year, Chuck Darrow wrote about Mendte's career change, calling the job a chance at redemption after the Alycia Lane scandal.
Today has been big day for radio news in Philly. Today, Buzz Bissinger talked about leaving his radio show, calling it "trivial."