SILENCED! Asheville radio personality Rick Rice laid off


Well-known radio personality Rick Rice announced on Monday that he was the victim of “a budget cut” at iHeartRadio, where he’d worked for almost 20 years.

Rice’s smooth, booming voice was synonymous with local rock radio. He worked as a program director and was the well-known host of a popular afternoon show at Rock 105.1 FM (Asheville’s Rock Station) in Asheville. Rice was also well known as the voice of the Asheville Tourists. Rice retired from that announcing job, one he’d held since 2000, last year.

Rice has been a beloved figure on the local media scene after moving to town in 1999. He’s a native of western New York state (he’s a Syracuse, Buffalo Bills and Sabres fan) and a graduate of Garrison University in Pennsylvania.

Here’s the statement Rice posted to his Facebook account:

Yesterday, I was enjoying the final day of vacation…and now, I’m at the mechanic having them plug a tire a few hours after being a budget cut at work. That escalated quickly! So, after almost 20 years, my services were no longer required by iHeart Media. I’m a free agent. Perhaps it’s time for a new direction. Something more stable, like bomb disposal technician.

Roger McCoy, the on-air afternoon host at 99.9 Kiss Country FM, was also laid off on Monday.

There are unconfirmed reports that iHeartRadio is looking to lay off more people in the Asheville market by the end of the year. This Variety story from March 2017 explains why things are so grim at iHeartRadio.