Conservative talk radio host Howie Carr of WRKO 680 AM has been suspended for a week, effective Friday, for publicly and repeatedly using his program to bad-mouth the station, a company executive said.
Julie Kahn, vice president and marketing manager for Entercom Boston, which owns the station, said Carr’s behavior toward his employer has become increasingly caustic and intolerable.
‘‘His behavior and his anger at the company is unacceptable because he denigrates the company, the medium, the station, the signal, and he’s a highly, highly, highly paid employee,’’ she said.
She declined to comment publicly on the exact trigger for the suspension, or its terms.
But a source with knowledge of the situation said the contretemps with Carr, which dates back to a bitter contract dispute in 2007, has escalated markedly in recent weeks and included verbal attacks on station managers.
Carr’s contract with the station, the source said, pays him in the neighborhood of $1 million a year, meaning the suspension could cost him between $16,000 and $17,000.
Carr, who is also a columnist for the Boston Herald, could not be reached for comment.
A woman who answered the phone at his Wellesley home said the radio host was in bed and could not come to the phone.
‘‘It’s April break next week, so he’ll be off the air,’’ she said. ‘‘There’s no comment.’’
This isn’t the first time Carr has had a public dispute with his employer.
In 2007, he tried to leave WRKO to host a morning drive-time show for rival talk station WTKK-FM.
Then he sued WRKO, alleging that provisions in his contract that forced him to stay with the station were illegal, comparing himself to an ‘‘indentured servant.’’
He returned to the station four months later to resume his show, but has never hidden his hard feelings about some of his on-air colleagues, and how the station is run.
More recently, some station observers say, Carr was distressed when the station dropped the nationally syndicated show of conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh in March after more than 15 years.
‘‘I think Howie is very upset about the way the station let Rush Limbaugh go and how there’s not much left on the air,’’ said Donna Halper, a radio consultant and media historian. ‘‘Howie is just unhappy about the fact that the station is not what it was when he got there.’’
Erin Ailworth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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