Updated Wed., May 24, 11:50 p.m.: Ron Kuby, the outspoken criminal-defense and civil-rights lawyer and one half of the daily “Curtis & Kuby” radio show with Curtis Sliwa, has been dropped by WABC. It was apparently due to budget reasons. The liberal Kuby and the conservative Sliwa were the radio equivalent of “Crossfire” — but far more gonzo and over the top.
It wasn’t immediately clear if Sliwa — the Guardian Angels founder and chairperson of the Reform Party of New York State — will stay on, but probably so. He couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Kuby, who formerly lived in the East Village, announced the news in a gracious statement on his Facebook page:
“Yesterday I was informed by WABC management, after my show, that I had just done my last show. Those of you who know the business know this is a standard (if unpleasant) way of discharging people. I was told that the reason was budgetary, and I have no reason to doubt that explanation.
“I had already made the decision that this year would be my last, and I informed management in December. The election of Trump and the threats he poses to civil rights and liberties requires more of me than being a part-time lawyer. I feel a moral compulsion to be the best and hardest-working advocate I can be, using the skills I have been taught for over three decades.
“Thanks to WABC management for giving me the opportunity that I have (mostly) enjoyed for the past three 1/2 years. Thanks to my audience with whom I have a love/hate relationship. I will miss at least half of you more than half as much as I should.
“My deepest thanks and best wishes to Curtis Sliwa, who taught me this business and frequently took the matches out of my hands after I splashed the gasoline around. Bryan and Justin — you guys made the show fun to do and you are both deeply decent people. And Hipster Mike, ‘I think I’ll miss you most of all.’ — Ron”
Kuby, for one, said there’s no chance Sliwa will get the ax, too.
“Curtis will stay forever,” he responded to The Villager in a Facebook message. “As we say in radio (and the mob) Curtis is an ‘earner.’ I am not. And when things get tight in radio (and in the mob), the non-earners get whacked first, even if you may like them better.”