Over the past year, John Hadley has kept a low profile in St. Louis. He directed his energies towards his network television sports consultancy, after being fired by the Big 550 as the station’s Sports Director and evening sports host. KTRS management took exception to an on-air political commentary Hadley delivered, and decided to terminate their relationship after 16 years together.
“The problem with being around very rich white people is they really don’t have a clue,” Hadley said on 550’s airwaves last February. “There are people in the great state of Florida who actually are supportive of Donald Trump. There’s only one reason that you’re voting for this guy. You are either a moron, a racist, a bigot or clueless — maybe everything. This guy is the biggest joke to come down the pike, just laughable.”
But wounds heal with time, and Hadley is getting an opportunity to return to the St. Louis sports radio scene by joining 590 The Fan as the station’s program director. With owner Randy Merkel looking to sell the company to Tim McKernan who hosts the morning show and oversees all other aspects of the company, bringing in a trusted hand with local market experience was important for McKernan.
“It was stretching me too thin, and it was not the most optimal way to operate the business,” McKernan told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “My goal is to be able to focus on (the morning show) and starting my podcast, which I plan to begin when we move into our new studios in Kirkwood”.
To help firm up the station’s business, market veteran Dave Greene was added as KFNS’ general manager/sales manager, and with Hadley now on board, the station will have people in key positions to help ease the burden on McKernan and grow the overall business.
The first step for Hadley will be to stabilize the station’s afternoon show. The plan going forward is to air the program at 3pm CT and feature Cam Janssen and T.J. Moe, along with Matt Whitener. Eric Messersmith who had worked on the show previously will move to weeknights 6p-8p with Matt Berger, and Charlie “Tuna” Edwards moves up from late nights to 8p-10p.
Although he won’t occupy a regular on-air role at the station, Hadley says it is possible that he’ll fill in if needs arise. While many may view this move as his chance to rehabilitate his career, he says that it’s the furthest thing from the truth. The real motivation behind his decision to accept the opportunity he says was his belief in ownership’s vision, and his confidence and determination to help revive KFNS’ image.