Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dave Wingert, popular gay Omaha drive-time DJ, fired by Clear Channel after caller says "bullshit" on air

Dave Wingert, facebook photo
UPDATE: Were Dave Wingert and Tom Becka axed by Mitt Romney's cutthroat private equity firm? 

Wingert, KGOR 99.9 FM's ex-morning radio personality, is from Brooklyn / Bensonhurst and is in the Nebraska Radio Personalities Hall of Fame, having worked, before leaving Omaha in 1989, at WOW, KQKQ, KEFM, KGOR and KEDS. He has also broadcast from WHO in Des Moines and KLSY in Seattle, where he hosted a nationally-syndicated show, "Dave 'Till Dawn," on 98 stations.

Wingert's former station, KGOR, is part of the right-wing Clear Channel behemoth. His show was the second most popular FM drive-time radio program in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area.

Today's Omaha World-Herald claims Wingert "said an expletive on the air and was suspended, then subsequently fired."

Blogger Leo Adam Biga tells a different story:
Apparently the dust-up had to do with an FCC violation – a listener calling-in unloosed a forbidden expletive on air that seems pretty tame to me and my ears, “bullshit,” and Wingy let it through and tried covering his ass just as you or I might do — and after serving a suspension he got canned for his trouble... He tells me he was fired without severance, only a goodby and good luck. He wants to stay put and continue doing his radio gigging in Omaha. He and his agent are busily testing the waters. I hope he gets his wish and perhaps a measure of revenge against the station that dismissed him by killing them in the ratings.
In 2010, Biga profiled Wingert for The Reader, an Omaha weekly alternative newspaper.
He’s courageous enough to be an openly gay announcer in Omaha. Not in a flaming, militant way but with a breezy, emotive patter and Jewish motherly demeanor. By addressing, on-air, overtly heterosexual newsman Rich Dennison with, “Oh, honey!,” or female callers with, “Dahling.” He doesn’t use the show as a coming out platform but rather as context for being true to who he is.
     “I have come out — if you listen for it. But it comes out in conversation. I haven’t made it a banner,” he said.
Below: 2009 interview with Wingert:

Wingert's radio show was considerably tamer than that of Todd 'N Tyler, the titillation jocks over at Z-92, who, while observing the letter of FCC regulations, are nevertheless obsessively and spectacularly vulgar (and frequently funnier) than Wingert, who annoys not by raunch but by relentless salesmanship, even between commercials.

Here's a sample of Todd 'N Tyler's Z-92 Gay Football Picks from four days ago (partial transcript below is of the above-linked podcast starting at 2:24):
Apparently Mike was in the process of holding up a roof truss and couldn't come to the phone right now... Do you have his pick? I do have his pick...

Intro: He learned about football by spending a lot of time in the back yard, if you know what I mean. With two wins and two losses, and one push, it's Wichita's fruitiest framer... Here's Mike!

Let's clarify this: He is a framer in Wichita and he could probably kick all our asses and Todd's giving him all this gay crap there, that's funny... Mike is going to go with Steph as well and pick the Patriots.


Well he likes Tom Brady, obviously.

Can you blame him?

Next up, with a record of three wins and two losses, our most versatile prognosticator, the dual threat, the switch hitter, here's Ricky!

Ricky likes it from both sides.

Yeah he does.

Do you have a woman or a guy this week? Or both?

Caller: Sorry?

Who are you with this week?

Caller: Uh, both.

Busy week! Guy gets laid a lot... Who do you like buddy?

Caller: I'm gonna go with the Bears.

Of course you are!

Caller: The gummy bears [reference to current high school fad of sucking on vodka-soaked gummy bears during class]...

They don't have a very good offensive line... Ricky likes to hear that because he's going to see Jay Cutler on his back a lot...

That'll wrap up this week's installment of the LGB NFL picks. Brought to you by the Value Voters Summit of 2011, the Hank Williams Jr. fan club and Glenn Beck TV and a special message to my good friend, Jay Medicine Hat: What happened in Yankton will stay in Yankton. Please call me. I'm announcer boy. See you queens at the Liberace movie and talk to you next week. Moi!


  1. Agreeing that Todd and Tyler are much raunchier, however, regulations are regulations. TnT did not air an explicative. Dave is a nice guy (and I didn't know he was gay until this article - not that it matters). Seems to me that he has taken responsibility for his mistake. This wasn't the only time that something like this happened, he reportedly aired another explicative in the recent past. Clear Channel would have had to take action to avoid fines, etc. It's a sad situation.

  2. Clear Channel is done with Dave Wingert and now I am done with Clear Channel. I have to question if they weren't looking for a reason to fire him. I looked forward to his show every morning. I hope this proves to be a very stupid, narrow minded mistake for clear channel.

  3. I truly believe that in order to conduct good business in radio today you have to weigh the factors like "slip ups" against, in this case, an FCC fine to determine if firing a very popular DJ like Dave Wingert is worth the consequence. In a competitive radio market like Omaha, I suggest paying the fine is worth more than losing what Dave brings to the Clear Channel table. The loss of listeners will be huge. I personally have stopped listening and I know businesses that have turned off KGOR because the new morning show just isn't very good now. I would take a close look at the current management at Clear Channel and determine if there aren't some changes warranted in those ranks. The decision of firing Dave Wingert was not an intelligent one and usually one bad decision is not the last one that is made by poor management. Dave Wingert is a professional and is very good at what he does in radio. He will land on his feet in a much more stable condition than Clear Channel's KGOR morning show ratings will ever be in the future.

  4. I looked forward to listening to Dave every morning on my way to work. I've missed him the last couple of weeks, thinking he must be on vacation, hoping that he would be back soon. I'm sad that he is gone, and I won't be listening to KGOR in the morning anymore. The morning show just is not the same without him, and I have nothing to look forward to during the morning drive anymore. :(

  5. Thanks for clarifying what happened. Dave Wingert is a gifted DJ and I looked forward to my mornings with him! I feel like I have lost a friend. KGOR is just dull now.

    I have switched KGOR off and am now on a quest to find a replacement local station. Until then, it's back to my CD's in in the car!

  6. I MISS DAVE !! I too enjoyed listening to Dave in the morning and when I got to work, I continued listening on the internet. But now it is BORING :( I too will be looking for a new station or listen to the CD's. But the CD's don't keep you up on the news !! Dave if you are out there -- let us know where !

  7. Wake up with Dave was something we all did, or should I say use to do. We will find him and move our time, money and energy to where he lands. KGOR???? Who are they?

  8. I, for one, am glad he's gone. I got tired hearing his endless jawboning, and his admiration and sponsorship of Alan Cohen. I want to listen to music on KGOR, not 20 minutes of Wingert's B.S. and self-promoting commercials, and (at best) ten minutes of music. Good riddance. Now, on with the music!

  9. I remember when he was on the radio when I was a child. I quit listing to him about 6 months ago, when he kept talking about him coming terms with his homosexuality and how it makes him a better dj because of it.

  10. I agree...it's about time they got rid of Wingert. His constant insinuations of his homsexualty was uncalled for on a "family friendly" radio station. I felt he was also pushing his beliefs on the listeners. Let's not forgot the constant Beattles and Michael Jackson songs he played. There were other great hits from the 60's, 70's and 80's. Only heard them on the "special" weekends that played the entire song library.

  11. YAY TODD 'n TYLER!!!

  12. I am done with Clear Channel. I have removed from my options. I am now with local Iowa station.
    I enjoyed Dave W and Tom B. Hope to find Tom on another station.

  13. now they have a guy named Glenn Boy doing the morning show on KGOR for a couple of weeks. he mentioned only recently that he did another morning show on the radio on another station. (but I don't remember what it was, or who he used to be with at that time.) Glenn Boy seems like he's doing an okay job so far. I also got tired of Dave Wingert talking all the time, and not playing a lot of music. I don't mind a little chatter here and there, like when they do local news and weather updates, and traffic updates too on KGOR. but of course that can be found on other stations too.

  14. I liked Dave and I miss him on the radio, He was in a way owning the show and that is not necessary a good thing. I little goes a long way on personal preference of Alan Cohen and others, I did notice that he was playing the same songs and now that KGOR is playing more of a variety of hits I realize there are a lot of songs I have not been hearing.

  15. I remember Wingert back in his WOW days with David H. Morgan doing news. Liked his show then, and was pleasantly suprised to hear him on Omaha air again - he was a good fit at KGOR. Firing him was stupid.

  16. Sadly my time doesn't allow for much leisure radio so it was always great when the minutes found could be with Dave in the morning. Your
    bad and I know I'll find him wherever he lands..... bye, bye KGOR/Clear Channel!

  17. All I can say is "what a poor deciscion to get rid of Dave Wingert". I am not an Omaha resident, but do keep an office here and visit frequently. I travel around the country extensively and get my radio fix via satellite most of the time, except when I was in Omaha in the morning. No longer, KGOR is off my dial. Clear Channel management can be viewed in the monkey cage out at Henry Doorly.

  18. when I had KGOR on this morning, they had another person on instead of Glenn Boy. I noticed right away that they played several songs that I hadn't ever heard them play before. (either that, or they were songs I hadn't heard in a while.) I haven't heard anything yet about who they have gotten to replace Wingert. but these other people on KGOR's morning show, they seem to be doing okay for now.

  19. Well, I don't think Dave Wingert should have been fired.
    But at the same time.
    I was really disappointed when KGOR hired him back in the Omaha area.
    I really hated all the talk & bullshit
    (no pun intended) that I heard on his show.
    I much rather hear music on my drive home from work in the morning.

  20. Wingert's radio personality is unique, not forced, trite, or otherwise manufactured. He has really always been who he is on the radio going back to the '70s at WOW, regardless of his "coming out." Nobody, and I mean not even Charles Nelson Riley could do a morning show like Dave. I hope you're on air again soon in Omaha Dave - I have long commutes and miss your show. And I liked your self-help guru guy you always had on from Hawaii or whereever.

  21. How sad, he made my morning drive to work easy.
    It's not the same and I don't listen to the radio on the way to work anymore.

  22. I haven't heard anything yet about a replacement for him. it will be interesting to find out who it will be. this guy they have on right now in the morning is ok. (I don't really hate him, but he isn't all that great either.) But then again Wingert is a very hard act to follow. I kind of feel sorry for whoever it is that will be taking over the morning show. (I also liked the self-help guru guy from Hawaii, I think his name is Allen Cohen. he was very good and had some interesting things to say.) I have KGOR on mostly for the music anyway. and I like the other DJ's that they have on too.

  23. A month after the firing and the station format and feel is a shadow of it's former self. The fill-in DJs aren't what the station needs for the a.m. slot. There seems to be fewer sponsors and even with their "Call the Boss" promo, the timeslot is sluggish and fairly stinky. I too agree that CC was probably looking to get rid of Wingert, apparently even at the expense of market share and revenue.

  24. Morning radio without Dave has become "boring", although the music is ok, there doesn't seem to be much excitement in the DJs. They sound all worn out. I will be going elsewhere to listen to music on the way to work
    Bad Mistake KGOR!!

  25. It is apparent to a lot of folks that the dismissal of of Wingert (and Becka) were concluded by the people behind Clear Channel that demanded various cost cutting measures because of CC's depressed financial condition. One only has to listen to KGOR's morning slot to see a great opportunity for other stations to gain listeners, sponsors and market share.

  26. TnT can say asses on the air and a caller to KGOR can't say bullshit? Doesn't seem quite fair does it?

  27. Any word on Dave's whereabouts yet? I gave up KGOR when they terminated Dave.

  28. I enjoyed Dave and his radio show. He always seemed so sincere to his listeners. He was on my radio going to work and I listened to him on the computer at work also. Disappointed about what happened to him. I don't listen to KGOR anymore and there is not much life in the current program.

  29. Loved Dave Wingert and miss him. I will not listen to KGOR until they bring him back.

  30. When Dave was not on the radio, I kept waiting for him to come back, thinking he was on vacation. I was very disappointed to hear that he had been fired. I no longer listen to KGOR, it is just not the same. I look forward to hearing him on the radio again some day. Good Luck Dave.

  31. I have also stopped listening to KGOR. I don't think it was wise for the clear channel network to let Dave go. I was waiting and waiting for Dave Wingert to come back...can't imagine the amount of people that feel the same way, but don't write. I was a station hopper..NPR to KGOR ...no more hopping now. I hope Dave resurfaces on a different station...I will follow him.

  32. Damn, but this is off topic. As an ex-Nebraskan I am happy that there is some sanity left in that state. I will be happy to follow your blog from sunny Florida. Keep up the good work!
    ...if it means anything to you, Clear Channel gave Glenn Beck his start here in Tampa. I tuned Clear Channel out years ago. Go Sirius!
    Mike Malone

  33. well I like the new guy in the morning named Glenn Boy. he is doing a good job! he plays a nice assortment of music, and there's news, weather & traffic updates too. and the people on in the rest of the day are good too! (I listen to several other radio stations too, but KGOR is probably my favorite - not just because of the music, but also the DJ's.)

  34. I have no favorite station now--the new guy banter with others on the show is painfully akward ---Dave's leaving is a terrible loss for all of us!!!


  35. The new morning DJ on KGOR is doing a good job, and he is in a bad positionl---trying to follow the popularity of Dave Wingert. I am, however, very excited to read today that Dave will be returning to morning radio on Monday in Omaha. I will be listening!

  36. I caught the billboard ad at 132nd and L two weeks ago - I am so excited Dave is back on 101.9. KGOR just lost another listener and 101.9 gained a loyal fan. Looking forward to the soothing voice, inspiration and gentle words of wisdom on January 30th...I am so excited to drive to work on Monday!!!!

    1. I guit listening to KGOR and changed my radio to buzzer. Now I can enter 101.9 and get it off buzzer. But I do agree that Dave talked too much.

  37. I tuned into 101.9 and they are playing Michael Jackson's Billie Jean. Oh, well KGOR is also playing Michael Jackson Don't Stop Until You Get enough.
    I will still listen to Lucy. She's the best. I feel like we're having a personal conversation.

  38. I love KGOR for the oldies. However, whenever I heard Mr. Wingert, I changed the station. Why? Because he was gay? No! I didn't even know he was gay before I read the blog. But because he dodged the draft during the Viet Nam War.
    I dodged the draft myself the hard way. I enlisted combat arms and volunteered for Viet Nam. I recently found out one of the guys I served with was gay. Did it matter? No! He did his job and did it well and never tried to impress his orientation on the rest of us. He could have got out by declaring his orientation but instead had his ass out in the grass with the rest of us. I'd rather have him covering my 6 o'clock than Mr. Wingert.
    I have a thing about draft dodgers. People who put their career ahead of duty to country. I have no love for Mitt Romney who dodged during the Nam. Or Obama's VP Joe Biden who did likewise. In a democracy, I believe all, male / female, straight / gay, white / black, et cetera should serve especially during a time of war.
    I have the greatest respect for those who served alongside me, who served before, after, and are serving now. I, also, have respect for those who served time in prison for their beliefs against the war. For those that hid behind a deferment? November Foxtrot Whiskey!!! No way!!!
    People seem to forget that draft dodging is a felony. I think that people who dodge should be deported. Placed upon a ship until they find a country that will take them. But since they won't fight for this country, the greatest on earth, who would want them?
    Allons!! LoneWolf out.

  39. 90% of you are gay and its the only reason you want your gay friend back on the radio. You want to feel better about your gayness. I was listening to 101 until i realized how extreme gay this guy was. U dont have to sound gay to be gay.....seriously....knock it off and grow up!

  40. This has nothing to do with Romney. The author is obviously a tool for a political party.

  41. "I have a thing about draft dodgers. People who put their career ahead of duty to country. I have no love for Mitt Romney who dodged during the Nam. Or Obama's VP Joe Biden who did likewise. In a democracy, I believe all, male / female, straight / gay, white / black, et cetera should serve especially during a time of war."

    So in other words, you don't mind having your life controlled by polluticians that start immoral wars.
    Duly noted.

  42. Dave Wingert was Omahas better Radio personalities(still is) and if he want s a job in Atlanta Radio all he has to do is apply. omaha doesnt deserve him, neither does clearchannel which sucks anyhow.There is none other like Wingert, and he could do very well here with WWWQatlanta. we hope to see him here someday, keeping it classy. best wishes Dve Wingert from a a long time fan of yours .