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Local News

Alpha Media fires 'Crazy Ray' before appearance on 'The Profit'

Rayjus co-owner Ray Odom during the show 'The Profit' set to air at 9 p.m. Tuesday on CNBC. Odom plays the radio persona "Crazy Ray" on an evening show on 100.7 WRXQ-FM Coal City, which is a plot point in the episode, according to promos shared on the shows social media pages.
Rayjus co-owner Ray Odom during the show 'The Profit' set to air at 9 p.m. Tuesday on CNBC. Odom plays the radio persona "Crazy Ray" on an evening show on 100.7 WRXQ-FM Coal City, which is a plot point in the episode, according to promos shared on the shows social media pages.

Alpha Media has fired Ray Odom, co-owner of Rayjus Outdoors in Morris, before his Tuesday night appearance on CNBC's "The Profit." He also has been placed on leave at Rayjus.

Click here to read the full story on that appearance.

Odom, who goes by the name 'Crazy Ray' on an evening show on 100.7 WRXQ-FM Coal City, is a key plot point of the show and his self-described sexist, racist persona was the topic of promo before Tuesday's episode.

"DJ Ray Odom, known as Crazy Ray on WRXQ, took part in a national television program," Alpha Media Market Manager Brian Foster said in an email. "We do not condone the views he expressed in the program. The feelings portrayed are that of his own and not of Alpha Media or QRock. After an internal review, we have decided to cut ties. No further information is available at this time."

"Unfortunately, we cannot allow these statements to go unchecked," a statement on Rayjus' Facebook page read. "While an integral part of our organization, Ray will be taking a leave of absence to spend time with his family and reflect on what is in the best interest of his family and company."

On Tuesday afternoon, Odom confirmed he was fired from the job, saying he had worked hard to keep his 'Crazy Ray Styles' radio persona separate from his business, not even using his last name during radio appearances and making sure the radio station's name wasn't mentioned during the show.

Odom said that he doesn't make racist or sexist comments but some listeners could take it that way.

"What I said got taken out of context completely," Odom said. "Now I don’t have a radio job over it."

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"On the radio, this is not me, I’m a sexist, egotistical, racist pig on the radio,” Odom said in promo for the episode, set to air at 9 p.m. Tuesday on CNBC.

Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis went to Rayjus Outdoors to help them turn their business around for Tuesday night's episode of "The Profit."

What Lemonis found is a business with issues and one co-owner who said he plays a racist persona on a local radio station.

“I’m going to say what every other man wants to say, that doesn’t have the (expletive) to do it.”

As for the other Rayjus co-owner, Justin Romines, he made it clear he isn't racist.

“I don’t like sexist or racist things," Romines said during the episode. "Absolutely not."

Promos for the episode highlight business issues at Rayjus, located at 1302 Spruce St. in Morris, including worker conditions it compared to a sweatshop and the owners' regular Friday fishing trips instead of work.

“The company’s on life-support, and I know that,” Romines said on one of the show’s previews. “I’ve known it for several months, several years.”

“I see the numbers, and they suck,” Odom said in the preview.

The name Rayjus is an amalgam of the first names of its owners.

In an interview with The Herald-News on Monday, Odom said he and Romines began talking to the show’s organizers in June, and Lemonis and his crew came to the business in September or October to film and interview.

On a whim, Odom had filled out a form requesting to be on the show last year, knowing, he said, that Lemonis headed Camping World, and Rayjus also is a business that caters to outdoor enthusiasts.

“He’s kind of plugged into the outdoors world,” Odom said.

And Rayjus wasn’t pulling in as much as the owners had hoped it would.

Although sales were good in the busy season, January through June, the numbers went down significantly in the off season.

Rayjus’ staff said on the previews that a couple of payroll checks had bounced.

Rayjus Outdoors manufactures customized athletic jerseys, sun shirts, T-shirts, hats, neck gaiters and other apparel. They also produce banners, flags, lamb blankets, towels and tablecloths, all to the particular specifications of the customer.

Odom admitted the owners do go fishing now and then. He may go on two fishing tournament circuits a month, and Romines might go on one. But he hasn’t taken a vacation in three years, Odom said.

“He did give us some free advice,” Odom said. “He has helped us look at things differently. ... We’ve streamlined how we do some production.”

Odom said the business has also hired a local accountant to help them with their books.

“We’ve had to learn as we grew,” he said. “I’m a disc jockey at the start, and Justin was IT.”

Odom said he was actually glad to hear staff pipe up with complaints.

“We can’t fix problems unless we know about the problems,” he said.

"The facility is literally a sweatshop, the employees are up in arms, and one of the owners has a troubling side gig," promo text for the episode read. "If Marcus can’t get these unfocused owners to make some radical changes to their culture, their company will capsize."

"If they don't make a deal with [Lemonis], we'll all be looking for jobs," an employee said during a promo video for the episode.

Odom said air conditioning is already in the budget for this year.

“The business right now is thriving,” he said. “We’ve gone through some changes, and we’re moving forward.”

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