Howie Carr, columnist for "The Boston Herald" and long-time talk show host for WRKO in Boston has jumped ship and has left his regionally syndicated show in the lurch. I wrote the following as a response in my column last week:
With the departure of Howie Carr from the local airwaves, one wonders who fill his sport on WHYN AM. Hmmm.let's see, like Howie, I'm in my fifties, my hair is thinning and I'm not svelte. I'm a working newspaper guy and I have broadcast experience. Some people like what I do and some don't.
Of course, my politics are different than his and I'm not one of the beautiful people. I'm not making the money nor have the lifestyle Howie has. I actually give out Halloween candy, too. Maple High Six Corners isn't an exclusive neighborhood. I'm not obsessed with gangsters. I actually buy clothes.
That might count against me. And, unlike Howie, I actually love this region.
I know one thing for sure. It would be refreshing if a local radio station actually had original non-music programming during the afternoon drive period. The conventional wisdom in the industry is to put syndicated programming in that time slot.
Now in reality, the chance Clear Channel, which owns the station mentioned, wold invest in a local host is pretty slim. The economics for a syndiacted show are much more attractive. Most syndicated shows are offered on a barter basis...you get the show for free as long as the national commercials play and you have time for local spots. No host is necessary and neither is a producer. All you need is someone at the controls making sure everything runs correctly.
Marky Mark and I have been exchanging some e-mails and responses on other blog postings on this subject. Not to repeat myself (but I will), to me it's more important to have local programming regardless of its ideological bent than to have stuff off the satellite. I know the chance for a local host to be a conservative would be good as it would match the other shows on the schedule. But I care less about that than I do hearing local voices discussing local events.
Would I perfer a liberal or a moderate? Sure. But trying to reverse the trend of the dominance of canned national opinion on local radio is more my priority.
© 2007 by Gordon Michael Dobbs