GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – A mainstay of a popular morning radio talk show in West Michigan is out.
Eric Zane is no longer part of The Free Beer & Hot Wings Show, which is broadcast on WGRD’s 97.9 FM and simulcast to stations around the country.
According to an internal email obtained by 24 Hour News 8, Townsquare Media announced Zane was no longer with the company in a message dated Saturday morning.
The Free Beer and Hot Wings Show posted the following statement on its website Tuesday:
The time has finally come for us to address the extended absence of Eric Zane. We can now confirm that Zane is no longer a part of the Free Beer and Hot Wings Show. Our parent company and he have severed ties which means that it is impossible for us to carry on with him. We had some truly great times together and hoped that it would stay that way until the end, however we’ve been in this game a long time and that’s often the nature of the business. He is still our friend and brother and always will be.
Details are still being worked out between all parties involved which means as of now, we quite literally are not at liberty to give specific details beyond confirmation of his departure. This is not a scenario we ever hoped we’d find ourselves in and obviously didn’t ask for, but here we are. This has been incredibly difficult and weird for ALL involved and we appreciate your understanding. Right now, we ask that you let us handle this like the internal family issue it is. We are all real people with real emotions dealing with real things that affect us all directly. Finger pointing, blame, attacks or misguided speculation are not helpful.
So that’s it. For now. The Free Beer and Hot Wings Show goes on.
We’ll tell you more when we can…unless we can’t. Forward we go. We hope you come with us. We can’t do it without you.”
Around the same time the announcement was published, Zane took to Twitter.
“So the cat is out of the bag, I’m learning. My time with FBHW has ended. I have lots to say, but now is not the time.
“Honestly, I’ve not had the strength to even think. Posting just this set of tweets is very difficult. I’m spending most of my time with family. Thanks to the people who’ve approached them and passed on nice thoughts and words to comfort them.
“I’ll say this: Thank you to the fans of the show for supporting. I never meant it when I said ‘the worst audience in radio.’ Haha!”
Zane also added, “I would be remiss if I didn’t say that I will always cherish my time with fbhw and will always love them very much.”
About an hour later, Zane asked fans to stop threatening “folks who are innocent bystanders on all of this” on Twitter.
Others turned to Twitter to share their support for the radio show host.
“@ericzanefbhw the only person who ever made me shoot mountain dw out of my nose due to extreme laughter. You will be missed brother!!” one fan tweeted.
Some people also pledged to donate money to A-T Cure Team, an organization dedicated to finding a cure for ataxia- telangiectasia that Zane publicly supported during many races he ran.
“You’re in my prayers Eric. You’re a good man with a good heart. You always treated me with respect. You’re smart. You’ve got this,” another person tweeted.
Someone started a petition on change.org to get Zane back on The Free Beer & Hot Wings show. As of Tuesday afternoon, it had more than 2,000 votes.