“Goumba Johnny” Sialiano has been a fixture on Clear Channel’s dance station WKTU for 15 years. Today, we learned that Sialiano is no longer with 103.5.
Sialiano is most associated for his time working side by side with Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton in evenings and afternoons. He also several years, with several co-hosts, in morning drive.
“I was very surprised,” Sialiano tells FishbowlNY exclusively. “I was surprised because of my performance and the numbers. …Was it about performance? I don’t think so. Certainly, the numbers don’t add up.”
He points out that his shifts had the highest rating and Cume on the station, attracting over 2 million listeners daily.
“Our show had 40 percent of all ‘KTU listeners listening in the afternoon,” Sialiano says.
The popular jock/sidekick is left scratching his head.
“Do I have the answer after that? I don’t, ” Sialiano admits. “This is the type of thing that maybe a year from now I’ll be able to look at it and see it clearly. Right now it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.”
Sialiano is keeping his composure, but is obviously miffed by not working at his beloved ‘KTU any longer.
Not under contract since 2007, Clear Channel execs recently were looking to change that.
“Out of nowhere, I was offered a contract at a reduced salary.”
Calling it a “substantial paycut,” Sialiano took last weekend to discuss it with his wife.
After contemplating, he decided to walk away from WKTU.
“In a nutshell, go where you’re wanted.”
But the Bronx-born Sialiano stresses, he didn’t want to leave the company.
“I was not unhappy at ‘KTU. I was not unhappy with Clear Channel.”
Goumba Johnny also will miss working with his longtime on-air partner Hamilton and the legions of dedicated listeners.
“People say a radio station is a home,” Sialiano admits. “It was more than my home, it was my birthplace.”
He says that made the decision to leave even harder.
“I’ve got tons of friends there [WKTU]. It was a great experience for me,” Sialiano says. “I got to do a lot of great work in the community, and Clear Channel supported me on all my charities.”
Despite the memories, Sialiano says he needs to think about what’s best for his future.
“Just like any professional athlete, I have to determine what I’m worth.”
(Sialiano, actually, signed as a free agent with the New York Jets and New York Giants.)
Providing his services to other New York City stations is the plan, but he’s realistic.
“I don’t think the radio industry is very talent friendly right now. …There’s not a lot of movement. There’s not a lot of negotiations. …I’m Goumba Johnny, I’m not Ryan Seacrest.”
In the end, though, Sialiano is hopeful that 2011 will still find him a wanted commodity.
“I’ve got some great opportunities ahead of me, hopefully, to reintroduce myself to the market and reestablish myself.”
But in the meantime, Goumba Johnny, who also does stand-up comedy, hasn’t lost his typical sense of humor.
“If one more person comes up to me and tells me, ‘When one door closes another door opens up,’ I’m gonna kick ‘em right in the ass,” Sialiano joked.