Radio host Mitch Henck ‘surprised’ by layoff

Madison show lasted more than 12 years
Radio host Mitch Henck ‘surprised’ by layoff
Mitch Henck

Madison talk radio host Mitch Henck said he was laid off after his show on Monday.

The host of “Outside The Box” on WIBA-AM told News 3 he had seen the decision coming but was still surprised when he was told he was let go after his show on Monday. He told News 3 he was called into an office after his show and it happened quickly.

Henck hosted his morning talk show for more than 12 years. He survived a stroke in 2012 that that took him off the air for three months.

Henck said he believes the layoff is a corporate decision and he doesn’t blame local managers. He said he was told the decision was not based on ratings.

“People know in radio when you’re owned by a big company like Clear Channel, which has some red ink issues and they’ve had a history of housecleaning, that it’s really a corporate move, and I don’t blame anybody at this level,” Henck said.

In an interview with Madison Magazine in 2013, Henck compared his show to a good newspaper. The topic of the day often comes from the front page—don’t forget the sports and comics—and he wraps it all in the lost art of neighbor-to-neighbor conversation, all in three hours a day.

He said people don’t want debate, they want reinforcement, and he tried to challenge listeners.

“The days of the local host are waning rapidly,” Henck told News 3.

Henck said he hasn’t decided what he wants to do next, but he will pursue radio jobs.

He said he enjoyed sleeping in late on Tuesday and avoiding the stress that came with hosting a daily talk show.

A message was left with WIBA station management requesting comment on Henck’s layoff.