For more than a decade the former ZZ99 and Q104 radio bad boy has been on ice – as in off-the-air – after a two decade career punctuated by high profile firings and paychecks that dwarfed that of other local radio personalities.
Randy Miller was the man here yet at the same time his own worst enemy.
I recall attending a press conference staged by Q104 in 1998 in which Miller inked what was touted to be the largest contract in Kansas City radio. A contract insiders estimated to be north of $300,000. I also remember writing about Miller getting fired by Q104 in 2002 before being fired by the WHB guys for a short-lived run on Hot Talk 1510 AM and sister FM station The Planet.
At Q104 Miller antics – such as an on-air giving away free house painting and then surprising the St. Joseph woman who won with an in-house striptease by the painter – preceded his firing. Police calls about roving, faux convicts in prison jumpsuits ringing doorbells in Mission Hills on Halloween reportedly lead to his departure from the Planet.
Combined with dramatically lower ratings, local radio then turned its back on Miller.
With Miller back in action on tiny Warrensburg station 98.5 The Bar, the jury is now debating whether the once controversial “shock jock” can reclaim his thrown from afar and possibly branch out and syndicate into smaller markets. A feat which both Miller and Rock 98.9 superstar Johnny Dare contemplated – and then failed at – years ago.
Longtime KC radio kingpin Bob Zuroweste‘s take on Miller’s return to area airwaves:
“Eh,” he says. “You’ve got a couple things going on. It’s been 10 years and if he didn’t make it on the Planet with a full signal…Because No. 1, you’ve got to reach the market – and not just in the car – you’ve got to have a good signal.”
“Randy may do well in Warrensburg, but that signal is not going to make an impact on Kansas City,” Zuroweste says. “It can’t. It’s like if a tree falls in the forest, does anybody hear it? Does it make a noise? Of course it makes a noise, but hardly anybody in Kansas City will be able to hear it.”
As for Miller himself, “Certain personalities have star power,” says a source who asked not to be named. “Randy had it, but it’s gone. He doesn’t have it anymore, it’s gone. He was out there; he was creative, but once you don’t have it…How many people have walked out on their own in the entertainment business at the top of their game? Very, very few.”
The odds of Miller playing with fire again at The Bar?
“Who knows?” says the source. “What I think I do know is, what are the odds of Randy being successful? Nil. I mean, if he didn’t make it in Kansas City, what makes you think he’s going to make it in some little town?
“Randy Miller is no longer anybody. His 15 minutes of fame has passed. His 15 minutes of fame in Kansas City is gone and he’s probably not going to make it in Warrensburg.”
The odds of Miller resorting to his old ways – prankwise – and getting fired again:
“Hopefully he’s gotten smart and won’t do that again. At some point you have to wake up and smell the roses. So no, I don’t think he will…but I could be wrong.”