Ron Reagan was a big hit with the audience at state Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles annual post-election panel and fundraiser last night, and several people came up to me afterwards asking why 710-KIRO dumped his show. I had no answer, except that radio is a tough, tough business. Former KVI host Bryan Suits knows this well, after being unceremoniously dumped from the dial last week, as does former Los Angeles police detective Mark Fuhrman (of O.J. Simpson murder trial fame,) whose show on Spokane’s KGA was suddenly canceled yesterday, probably to make room for cheaper, syndicated programming.
As an occasional guest of both Suits and Fuhrman, I wish them both well. Suits always treated me fairly, and Fuhrman, well, contrary to his popular image as a tough-talking, racist righty, he was perhaps the most polite and patient host I ever worked with, giving me wide latitude to make my case without interruption. My fellow liberals may cheer their demise, but in both cases their cancellation has resulted in less local content, and that’s almost always a bad thing, regardless of the ideological bent.
No doubt, barring a sudden career change or an untimely death, I will eventually lose my radio perch too — it’s a circle of life kinda thing — and when I do I expect my critics to be merciless in their taunting. Whatever. I’m not sure what’s more amazing, that I got my shot at all (and at a legacy station in a major market,) or that I’m still on the air 15 months later. That Reagan has been silenced while I’m still talking is more a testament to the relative value of our respective time slots than talent or competence, but whether my remaining tenure is ultimately measured in months or in years or in decades, I intend to make the most of the air-time I have.
Tomorrow night on 710-KIRO, The Stranger’s Christopher Frizzelle will join me at 7PM, local comedian Travis Simmons joins me at 8PM, and at 9PM we’ll discuss news and politics with bloggers from around the region. Phil “The News Junkie” will be filling in for me Sunday night.