The executive producer of Q-95’s popular “Bob & Tom Show” has been let go in an apparent budget-cutting
move by the radio station’s parent company.
Marty Bender was notified Tuesday that he no longer had a job with California-based Premiere Radio Networks Inc., a subsidiary of San Antonio-based Clear Channel Communications Inc., which owns WFBQ-FM 94.7.
"It was a complete surprise," Bender said Friday morning.
Besides “The Bob & Tom Show,” Premier syndicates nearly 90 radio programs nationwide, including “The Rush Limbaugh Show” and “The Jim Rome Show.”
Bender, 55, started at the Indianapolis classic rock station as program director in 1986. He vacated that position in early 2008 to devote himself full time to “The Bob & Tom Show” as executive producer.
Bender declined to divulge details of his release, but a radio industry insider said he likely is a victim of budget cuts. Clear Channel officials could not be immediately reached for comment.
“I call it quite amazing, that a show this successful does not have an executive producer,” said Tom Taylor, executive director of Radio-Info.com, which reported the departure on Thursday.
“The steadiness and the vision Marty brought to the show is something the show has valued and will probably miss,” Taylor said.
“The Bob & Tom Show” went into syndication in 1995 and is now aired in more than 150 markets by Premiere. According to Arbitron’s most recent ratings, the show is in the top three in its time slots in 85 percent of the markets in which it airs. A TV version of the show also appears on cable channel WGN America.
During Bender’s tenure, WFBQ and “The Bob & Tom Show” won 14 Marconi awards, presented annually by the National Association of Broadcasters to the top radio stations and on-air personalities in the United States.
“That’s quite an accomplishment for a radio station in Indianapolis,” Bender said. “No one is even close to that.”
WFBQ was the top-rated station in Indianapolis for 70 quarters in a row with Bender as program director.
Bender, a Cleveland native, said he is unsure what the future might hold. He has a journalism background and said his next job doesn’t have to be in the radio industry.