Richard Orr was able to keep his radio career going two years ago despite Federal drug-related charges. But the lagging economy proved too much for the DJ, known to most Middle Georgians as Rick Knight.
Orr was laid off Monday from WMCG 104.9 FM, a Dublin-based country music station. Orr, who also did sales work for the station, said economic factors forced the station, which is owned by State Broadcasting, to make cuts.
“The sales figures were not good,” he said.
Orr had managed to stay on the air in 2007 when he was sentenced to 18 months in prison after a meth lab was discovered in his home, run by his roommate at the time.
WMCG was his employer at the time and even allowed him to prerecord shows and later, call them in from a job he had as a salesman at Wayne Morris Ford.
Orr said he has been clean and sober for nearly three years now, crediting a strong support system of family and friends in helping maintain his sobriety. He said he regularly speaks about his experiences as a drug user to churches and to addiction groups.
Rick Humphrey, general manager of State Broadcasting, said he can’t talk about Orr’s employment status, citing company policy. But he did say that times in all media-related outlets are difficult right now, leading to difficult decisions regarding personnel.
“Because we are friends as well, it makes it tough to be in this situation,” Humphrey said. “I think every media business is going through the tough times. You hear about the tough times car dealers are going through, and it’s tough on all of us because they did a lot of advertising.”
Orr said he bore no ill will toward the station and said he would return to them in a heartbeat should another opportunity with the company arise.
“Rick Humphrey believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself,” he said. “He’s one of the greatest men I’ve ever worked for.”
Orr said he had been taking classes to become a drug counselor, but had to stop in order to concentrate on his radio sales.
He said he hopes to be able to catch on with another radio station in the area and do drug counseling in the future.
Information from The Telegraph’s archives was used in this report.
To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.