Fred Thompson…Good Day! Redux

Some days ago, OMW reported on published speculation…that ABC News Radio was looking to former senator and “Law and Order” TV star Fred Thompson to (eventually) replace icon Paul Harvey. ABC confirmed talking with Thompson in the New York newspaper item, but did not cast him as a Harvey replacement.

It’s not quite “rumors turn to reality”, but ABC News Radio has indeed signed up Thompson as – get ready for this one – a “Special Program Host and Senior Analyst”. We’ll translate that for you – “Paul Harvey’s Replacement in Waiting”. Thompson will indeed fill in for Harvey during vacations, but will be kept busy doing other original programming…doing specials such as a Memorial Day focus on members of the Armed Services.

The title ABC News Radio bestowed upon Thompson is actually kind of funny. It’d pretty much be Paul Harvey’s official job title if ABC were hiring Harvey today, and not decades ago. It’s a hire that would not be made with such fanfare today, frankly, if Harvey hadn’t already established the beachhead of the long-form news radio commentary on the ABC network.

We assume that ABC/Citadel suits are not gently pushing Paul Harvey out the door – at least we hope not – but we still believe the franchise should be shuttered whenever Harvey hangs up the headphones. There’s a lot of money attached to Paul Harvey News, so ABC presumably is not ready to let go of that money just yet…but we think they’ll find many stations will bolt if it’s not Mr. Harvey saying…”Good day!”…

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