More information on Howard McGee’s axing at WGCI came out in a place you wouldn’t expect it: a party.
It was McGee who made an unexpected appearance at Elroy Smith’s going away bash at the Hyatt Regency in Downtown Chicago Friday night, honoring the soon-to-be OM at Radio One’s urban AC and gospel stations in Philadelphia for his fifteen years of success at WGCI and WVAZ.
The event attracted a who’s who of black media talent in Chicago, including Les Brown (yes, that Les Brown who had a failed syndicated TV talk show in 1993), Greg Mathis, Marv Dyson, R. Kelly, and Jesse Jackson, with musical performances by gospel stars Smokie Norful, Yolanda Adams, and Kirk Franklin.
McGee spoke at the event. From Radio & Records: “I struggled to come tonight,” said McGee. “I didn’t want to talk to people about what you read in the papers.” McGee thanked Smith for hiring him 14 years ago and spoke about Smith’s disdain for profanity then added, “But since I’m out of a job, I guess I can cuss!” Despite his levity during his speech, McGee confided to the audience, “It’s been a tough morning. I’m out of a job, so how do I pay my bills?”
Rev. Jackson also acknowledged the situation. From R&R: “Today we had the shock of Howard being fired without any compensation after reading about it in the Sun Times.” He then left some perplexed when he added, “But it’s not true, he will be on the air Monday morning.”