Dave Roepke, Published May 24 2011
Talk-radio host Hennen booted from Flag mid-broadcast
On his syndicated show on 1100 AM The Flag on Monday afternoon, Hennen told listeners his final show on the radio station would be on Friday and said following that, he would enlist the help of former North Dakota Gov. Ed Schafer to decide how to deliver online programming.
In the midst of making the on-air announcement, The Flag took him off air, pre-empting his show with past Hennen programs.
Breck Von Bank, the general sales manager for The Flag, said the station pulled Hennen’s show mid-broadcast because “all the terms of his departure had not been agreed upon.”
Von Bank said Hennen’s removal from 1100 AM is permanent. A replacement in the 2 to 5 p.m. time slot hasn’t yet been determined. In the interim, pre-recorded Hennen shows will air in the slot, she said.
After his announcement, which he’d invited local media to attend, Hennen, a political conservative, said his abrupt departure was “extremely unfortunate for the audience.”
“We did what we said we were going to do,” he said. “This was unnecessary.”
Hennen said he had been notified by station management at The Flag on April 1 that they planned to end his show, which under his contract required a two-month notice.
Last week, he said, they agreed on Friday as a date for the final show. Hennen said he informed station management of his plans to announce the move on Monday but was told Monday morning to wait to do so until Friday and to say it was his idea.
“I’m like, sorry ... I’m not going to lie,” he said.
Hennen called the quick boot “baffling” because he wasn’t bashing The Flag or its managers. “This wasn’t us trying to take a cheap shot at them,” he said.
Hennen founded 1100 AM in 2008 after leaving WDAY 970 AM, where he had been general manager for seven years. His investor group fired him from his position helming The Flag in September and axed his show. He returned to The Flag in November, under a syndication contract, switching from mid-morning to the afternoon time slot.
In a segment meant to be broadcast that never aired, Hennen said Schafer will help him consider feedback from listeners about how to distribute commentary and interviews, now that he won’t be on the radio.
“We want to be on the forefront here,” Schafer said while taking questions from reporters following the unaired segment.
That could come in short clips on Hennen’s personal website, broader stories or event text messages, Schafer said. Also, Hennen said, he could return to radio.
As well as publicizing the new online focus prompted by his firing, Hennen said he had a book coming out July 5 about the tea party movement, “Grass Roots: A Commonsense Action Agenda for America.”
Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Roepke at (701) 241-5535