New York (AP): In a stunning move, Citadel Broadcasting announced that they would be hiring famous television star Alan Alda to its stable of WABC personalities.
Interestingly enough, the personality in question claims that he is actually not Mr. Alda. When contacting him, the man at the other end said that his name "was really Bob Brinker, host of a money show on WABC," and asked us to "leave me alone, or I'll call the cops."
But Citadel insisted otherwise.
"We know that Mr. Brinker is really Alan Alda, there's no denying it," their representative said. "Look at his cast picture near the bottom of the WABC Personalities Page:
When asked the reasons behind hiring the M*A*S*H actor, Citadel cited the punditry success of his former costar, Wayne Rogers, now a financial advisor and occasional cable news contributor.
A WABC official recounts, "One night I was watching Your World with Neil Cavuto, and lo and behold, Trapper John came on. And he was giving all this brilliant advice about the stock market. And I figured, if the sidekick on that show is really smart, then wouldn't the main character theoretically be a genius? I called Farid the next day."
Before they made their hiring decision, the WABC executives holed up in their offices and watched all 251 episodes of M*A*S*H. They were duly impressed.
“There’s nothing he can’t do,” gushed a unnamed talent scout. “Like the time when he mailed the camp latrine to North Korea, that was just brilliant. Or when the 4077th had a string of bad luck, and he hired that voodoo priestess to do an exorcism on the camp. We need those problem-solving skills around here."
"I particularly liked when he dressed in a gorilla suit and harassed his bunkmate," said a senior executive. "That was what cinched it for us."
However, there is a limit to his talent.
"When we hire him, we’re hiring the 'early seasons' version of him," said an unnamed source. “We're not hiring the version towards the end of the show, where he stops being funny and just whines constantly about the war. Because those episodes, frankly, kind of sucked.”