Who doesn’t believe in redemption? This morning Sarah Clark of Alice FM 97.3 will be reunited with former co-host Vinnie Hasson, who was fired by the station in 2002 for recurring absenteeism. At the time, Clark would only her partner he was “very sick” and had “serious personal problems.” As radio critic Brad Kava put it, Hasson was terminated for “partying too hard and passing out at a company party.” Kava, writing for the SF Weekly, reports that six years later, Hasson is a changed man:
- He sounded like … one who knew he had miraculously beaten long odds by getting fired and rehired for the same slot on 97.3’s morning show.
“It was a miracle for sure, a trip for sure,” says the 39-year-old who proudly announced that he’s been sober for four and a half years. “I just made a mess of everything around me.”
He said he couldn’t help but drink to excess, “aggressive and over the top” and a binge that lasted some two years straight, all in the public eye. …
He said his friends at Alice tried to get him to get help, but he couldn’t do it. He thought he could take a few days off and fix the problem. It took getting fired and hitting bottom to get him to rehab and then to Alcoholics Anonymous.
Cleaned up, he ended up in Eugene, Oregon, on rock station KNRQ, doing mornings. But he always dreamt of coming back to San Francisco, never imagining he could get his old show back.
He stayed in touch with people from CBS and auditioned for other shows, but nothing worked until Alice general manager Greg Nemitz called to ask him back. …
Here are a few paragraphs from a news release Nemitz put out about Vinnie’s return:
- After much speculation and daily on-air auditions with several different candidates, Vinnie Hasson has rejoined Sarah Clark as co-host of the new morning show at Alice @ 97.3. …
When Alice went on the air in 1997, Sarah & Vinnie were recruited to anchor the station’s morning show. They came into San Francisco as relative unknowns after being unceremoniously dumped by a Philadelphia station following a six month stint.
Within just a few months, their irreverent chemistry made them one of the most popular morning drive programs in San Francisco.
Vinnie departed in 2002 and eventually landed at KNRQ in Eugene, Ore., where he has anchored the morning show for the past four years.
“As we searched for a new partner for Sarah, Vinnie’s name kept coming up,” said Alice Vice President and General Manager Greg Nemitz. “We interviewed several interesting other candidates but it just seemed so obvious that Vinnie would be the best fit. He is known in this market and has undeniable chemistry with Sarah. Just listening to their interaction on the first conference call and we knew that this team could be resurrected.”
Added Sarah, “We had not spoken in years until we reconnected to discuss this opening. It took us about 30-seconds to realize that we still have this unbelievably comfortable rapport! It was like having a conversation with a long lost brother.”