710-KIRO has canceled my show “for budgetary reasons.” I’m not exactly sure about all the changes to the weekend schedule (I just talked to Bryan Styble, and he too got the ax,) but apparently syndication and reruns better fit the station’s current business model than live, local talk. Ah well.
Coming off a fall book where 710-KIRO weekends placed number three in the market, and a several month streak of jam-packed spot loads, I’d say the weekend shakeup was a bit of a surprise… that is, if Frank Shiers recent fate hadn’t been the handwriting on the wall. Over the past 14 months 710-KIRO has now shed itself of at least
38 44 hours a week of live local programming, and the salaries that go with it. It’s a trend that has been repeated at radio stations throughout the state, and I can’t say it’s one that ultimately better serves the community. For example, I had Gov. Chris Gregoire booked for a half hour this coming Saturday night — where are weekend listeners going to find local programming like that?
Obviously I’m deeply disappointed. I really enjoyed doing the show, and the sudden loss of it leaves me in pretty deep financial doo-doo. It would have been nice to have the opportunity to say goodbye to my audience and thank them for listening, but apparently, that’s not how it works in this business. That said, I remain thankful to 710-KIRO for giving me an opportunity I should have had no expectation of receiving. Special thanks go to former Programming Director Tom Clendening for taking a gamble on me, and to my board operator Chris Powell, who has so generously given of his time to serve as an unpaid, acting producer. It was really great working with (almost) everybody at station. And of course, thanks to everybody for listening.
So go ahead trolls… have at it. You’ve been waiting for the day to rub my face in it, and that day is finally here. Just remember that as you gloat, you’re also talking about a real person with a mortgage to pay and a child to feed, who has sacrificed the better part of the past four years to trying to make a difference, however much you disagree with me on the issues. And, remember that we didn’t just lose a local liberal show… we lost another local show, and that can’t be a positive thing for anybody but the most vindictive amongst you.
As for my readers and listeners, I’m not giving up on the dream of local liberal talk, and neither should you. So if you ever thought about lobbying AM-1090 to put a local host on the air, now might not be a bad time to start.
Word is that they’ve snuffed Carl Jeffers as well, though I’m no longer privy to company emails, so I can’t confirm. (UPDATE: confirmed.)