Jerry Phillips, host and creator of WHUR's "The Morning Sound," has been fired effective Dec. 8, and his scheduled appearance as cohost of the WHMM-TV Channel 32 membership pledge drive Thursday night was canceled Thursday by that station's management.
Phillips, a six-year veteran at WHUR, has been off the air since Oct. 24, while contract negotiations took place.
"The management has recommended that I be terminated," Phillips said Thursday. "The reason, I'd have to say, is personal conflicts. There are no substantial grounds that they should fire me; I've been a good employe, very dependable." He added that management had imposed a strict playlist on his formerly free-form show and had cut back on the amount of speaking he did on the show.
WHUR general manager Robert Taylor, who confirmed Phillips' dismissal, said the two sides had reached an agreement, but "then at the last minute Phillips called up and said he wasn't going to sign. The conflict centered around his input or control" of "The Morning Sound."
Taylor said ratings were not at issue. "We wanted his ratings to be higher than they were, of course, but he wasn't doing badly," Taylor said. "As a matter of fact, we brought his ratings up with the changes we had made in the program."
In addition, Phillips was dropped from the WHMM Channel 32 membership drive Thursday by Arnold Wallace, WHMM general manager. He was to be a cohost of the scheduled pledge breaks between programming. "The only thing I can say is it is an unfortunate set of circumstances," Wallace said.
CURRENTS: National Public Radio has announced the cancellation of three information programs due to budget cutbacks by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The NPR vice president for news and information, Barbara Cohen, said the budget for fiscal year 1983 would not be sufficient to cover the cost of the three series: the weekly "Options in Education" and "Communique'" and the twice-weekly "NPR Journal" . . . WETA-FM (90.9) raised $207,574 during its five-day fund-raising marathon last week, a 17 percent increase over last year's marathon total. And WAMU-FM (88.5) pulled in a record $204,600 during its week-long fund-raiser, with two-thirds of the pledges coming from new members . . . WWDC-AM (1260) has begun live broadcasts of the 1982-83 Georgetown University basketball games. The Hoyas battle Brigham Young Friday at 1:30 p.m. . . .