Stern Shocked As West Walks!
In a yet to be published issue of Steppin' Out Magazine, Howard reveals to Chaunce Hayden that he was shocked and surprised that Billy West had left the show. According to Chaunce, Howard said that he didn't know that Billy was in negotiations with Infinity and that it was being done "behind his back". As negotiations stalled, a huge argument erupted between West and Infinity Brass and West walked. Howard also said that he would have went to bat for Billy if he knew what was happening. By the time he found out, Billy was gone and Howard was left holding the bag. The voice-bag, that is, now that the man behind some of the most popular Stern show voices has left the room. This special edition of Steppin' Out will be available November 28. You can call Steppin' Out at 201-358-2929 for information on obtaining this issue when it becomes available.
As for what Billy is doing now, another source tells me that he went to LA to do some free-lance work and NOT to Boston and WBCN. It's not probable that he's working for Infinity's Boston station if he walked out on Infinity's NY station and his bosses.
I am still working on getting a statement from either Billy West or his management, V, along with all the facts involved in Billy heading West. As always, I'll keep you posted!....
Sources extremely close to the situation have confirmed that Stern show voice-master, Billy West, has left the show. Sources say West walked after his contract negotiations stalled over a pay raise and the addition of Thursday and Friday to his contract. "Things were moving to slowly for Billy. He also wasn't to pleased with the way he was being treated by his bosses, so he walked", the source told me. Billy's last day was Wednesday, November 1st, when he was last heard as Red breaking Robert Downey Jr's balls.
Howard first hinted at Billy's departure on Tuesday (11/7) by making a vague reference toward's "a certain other person who is no longer with the show" and that he couldn't "care less" about it. On Friday's show, a caller asked Howard what the story was with Billy, "Billy who?", Howard remarked sarcastically. "There is no story", he added. Another caller asked about Billy still being on the show. "I'm not sure.", Howard chuckled anxiously. Everyone on the show is being extremely tight lipped about this. Howard's obviously not comfortable talking about it and neither is anyone else associated with the show. (oh no, not another thing Howard won't talk about, maybe he's saving it for his next book).
The departure of Billy West, in my opinion, is a great loss to the show and more importantly, to the fans. No more Jackie Puppet, Evil Jay Leno, Red, Mrs. Shott or Jackie Laughs or mocks. Infinity may be reluctant to give Billy more money and expand his hours because Howard doesn't do many prerecorded bits any more. It's contract renewal time for not only Billy but Howard, Robin and Jackie, as well. Howard will most likely be getting a considerable raise since his boss, Mel Karmazin, has admittedly been under paying him. This fact leaves the well drier than expected which puts any extra and unnecessary expenses, as deemed by management, on hold, even if they are considered by some as valuable.
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