Q100’s Bert Weiss told his radio listeners this morning he was deeply upset with one of his best friends, who didn’t tell Weiss he’d be competing against him on morning radio in Atlanta.
That man is Jimmy Alexander, a co-host on the Jack Diamond morning show in D.C. at Mix 107.3. Last Friday, Alexander signed a contract to co-host a morning show with Cindy Simmons on Star 94, a rival of Q100. (Alexander’s start date is not set yet but he should be on air before the end of the year. Cindy herself just had a baby 9n Monday.)
Weiss, who worked on that same Diamond show before he came to Q100 in 2001, didn’t find out about Alexander’s new job until he read about it… on this blog.
Weiss told listeners he was upset that Alexander would even compete against him at all. But he was more peeved that Alexander didn’t call him ahead of time. That was “ultra-offensive to me,” he said.
“We were more than work friends,” Weiss said. “I don’t have a lot of people in my circle that I call best friends. I’m a little guarded that way. Three people I would tell everything and trust them. He’s that close. He’s a guy that I went on vacation with.”
“You consider him family,” co-host Kristin Klingshirn observed.
Weiss said he has a mentor who is older (I presume he means Kidd Kraddock in Dallas). “I’ve been offered jobs in his city. When I’ve been offered, I’ve said, ‘Stop your sentence. I have a best friend in that city. I’m not competing against him.’ There’s no joy in beating your best friend or losing to your best friend… I felt really betrayed… it has everything to do with loyalty.”
He called Alexander Monday night and Alexander explained to him that Weiss had counseled him to leave the Diamond show numerous times and that Weiss should be happy he found a new job.
“He was shocked that I was hurt,” Weiss said. “He feels I’m being very selfish.” He said their competition on Star and Q100 will be like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. Two rivals on the field can be friends off the field.
Plus, Alexander and Weiss are now in the same city and can see each other more. At the same time, Alexander’s agent Norm Schrutt had told him not to say anything to anybody about the job, especially since both Mix 107.3 in D.C. and Q100 are owned by the same company, Atlanta-based Cumulus Media.
What if Weiss told Cumulus executives? That would have jeopardized Alexander’s current job. But Weiss said he would never had said anything.
In the end, Weiss said, “we decided not to see eye to eye with it. That’s how we left it… He did apologize he hurt me.”
Will this affect their relationship? “I’m not at that point. I can’t answer that. I don’t think he did this with any malice at all. He doesn’t have it in him. It’s now what he’s about.”
I talked to Bert this afternoon. He knows the feedback has been mostly negative against him. “People tell me to separate the professional from the personal,” he said. “I’ve never been good at that.”
He felt blindsided. At the same time, Weiss does not want paint Alexander with a bad brush. “He wanted to host a show,” he said. “I’ve been pressing him to host a show for 10 years. When mentor finds out the student is coming to take him on, it’s shocking. It was super surprising to me.” He said he talked about it on the air not because he’s scared of the competition, but because it’s a relatable story about friends having to compete professionally with other friends.
“It’s a difficult decision he had to make,” Weiss said.”I understand why he took it. There are very few opportunities like that in the industry.”
Nonetheless, Weiss said if he were in Alexander’s shoes, he would have undoubtedly contacted his mentor and gotten his blessing before making such a move.
I left a message with Alexander on his voicemail at Mix 107.3 and Tweeted him @alexanderjimmy to get a response. I’m not sure when his final day is there.
There isn’t a lot about him online. This is what he wrote on his page on Mix 107.3:
I’m Jimmy Alexander from The Jack Diamond Morning Show.
In my nearly 14 years on the air with Jack at MIX 107.3, I have lowered the bar for broadcasting.
I think the reason Jack hired me was because at 5ft 6 inches tall I made him look taller.
On air bits like “May I have a bite of that please” and “May I use your shower please” prove I have no shame.