*Jimmy James ([[Stephen Root]]) is the station's eccentric, extroverted, playful [[billionaire]] owner. His name comes from the eponymous [[Jimmy James (song)|Beastie Boys song]].ref Despite owning a vast corporate empire, he seems to enjoy [[micromanage|micromanaging]] WNYX. He acts as a father figure towards his employees, often helping them learn life lessons. Recurring gags associated with Mr. James include his search for a wife (for which he keeps an extensive list of potential "wife candidates"), his infatuation with Dave's mother, his inability to [[acting|act]], his rivalries with other wealthy entrepreneurs (such as [[Ted Turner]] and [[Bill Gates|"Billy" Gates]]), and his considerable inside knowledge of conspiracies and government cover-ups; he claims to have been [[Deep Throat (Watergate)|]] and is at one point suspected to have been the infamous [[D.B. Cooper]]. In the show's series finale, Mr. James "retires" to [[New Hampshire]] where he buys a news radio station and newspaper, taking most of the WNYX staff with him.
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*Matthew Brock ([[Andy Dick]]) is a [[news reporter]]. Superficially clumsy, awkward, and maladroit, he is the butt of many physical jokes on the show; he is often seen tripping, falling, flying over furniture, or handling electronics that explode or catch fire. Matthew idolizes Bill, who torments him in return. Later in the series, he displays an affinity for [[science-fiction]] and [[fantasy]] media. Matthew holds a in [[dentistry]], but prefers radio journalism. He is also a [[Notary Public]]. He has a crush on Lisa. He at first dislikes Max, seeing him as an interloper who is trying to take Bill's place, but eventually grows to like him.
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=== Recurring characters ===
The only [[recurring character]] to appear in more than one production season was Jimmy's lawyer, Roger, played initially by [[Norm Macdonald]], and later by NewsRadio writer [[Drake Sather]].
During the last season, [[Patrick Warburton]] had a recurring role as Johnny Johnson, Jimmy's nemesis and Lisa's love interest (and eventual husband).
Several other actors appeared in multiple seasons playing different characters, notably Lovitz, [[David Cross]], [[Toby Huss]], [[Brian Posehn]], [[David Anthony Higgins]], [[Dave "Gruber" Allen]] and [[Bob Odenkirk]].
[[Tone Lōc]] and [[Toby Huss]] played security guards Lorenzo and Junior in two Season 2 episodes. The characters were based on the security guards at the studio where NewsRadio was shot.ref[[Lauren Graham]] had a four-episode run as Andrea, an who shakes up the office (firing Matthew, demoting Dave, and promoting Lisa to news director). She is sometimes referred to as "Planbee" after Matthew misunderstands her being Jimmy's "Plan B" for the office. She was intended as a possible replacement for the departing Alexander, but [[focus group]]s disliked the character. She's a needy woman in desperate need of a friend and so she tries to make one of Lisa—but Lisa and everyone else in the office wants nothing to do with her. In a season 4 episode commentary track, Tierney gives the hiring of Graham as a possible explanation for Alexander's departure, which contradicts the idea that Alexander intended to leave before Graham appeared on the show. (When Dave Foley appeared on Joe Rogan's podcast show, they talked about Alexander leaving because she was not given enough lines.) All of the changes introduced during Andrea's time on the show would be restored by midseason to the way things were before her arrival.