Skip to comments.KUGN to bounce hard-line talk show (DUMPS SAVAGE IN A BOW TO LEFTIST WHINERS)
Posted on 12/18/2002 8:25:54 PM PST by Clinging Bitterly
www.registerguard.com | © The Register-Guard, Eugene, Oregon
December 18, 2002
KUGN to bounce hard-line talk show
By TIM CHRISTIE
The move follows a chorus of complaints from University of Oregon faculty and students who have argued for weeks that UO football and basketball broadcasts shouldn't share the air with "hate radio" commentators who defy the university's commitment to diversity and equality.
Station officials insisted Tuesday that the campus clamor had no bearing on the decision to dump Savage.
Cumulus Broadcasting, which owns KUGN and six other stations in the Eugene market, had been looking for months to replace the Savage show with a local program, said Michael Donovan, market manager for Cumulus Eugene.
KUGN, which relies on syndicated shows for much of its programming, wanted to get more "live and local," particularly during afternoon drive time, Donovan said.
But station officials had also concluded that the Savage program wasn't a good fit in this market, he said.
"It was our opinion that Michael Savage, in his desire to be noticed and compete in a crowded conservative talk show market place, was growing more and more outrageous as time wore on in order to draw attention and therefore ratings," Donovan said.
Still, he noted, university officials, including President Dave Frohnmayer, went on record that they had no desire to dictate KUGN's programming decisions.
"So consequently, there is not linkage in our suitability to be the voice of the Ducks and the primary outlet for Oregon athletics on the radio, and whether Michael Savage is heard on KUGN in the afternoon," Donovan said.
Last month, Frohnmayer publicly affirmed the university's diversity policies, but said he wouldn't use the contract with KUGN to pressure it into dropping the Savage show. To do so, he suggested, would amount to censorship.
Critics at the UO said Savage went beyond outrageous. They called his program "hate radio," and cited his on-air remarks denigrating women, immigrants, Hispanics and Jews.
Julie Novkov, an associate political science professor at the UO, was among the faculty members who objected to the university's relationship with a station that aired Savage.
She said the departure of the Savage show goes a long way toward addressing her concerns.
"I would hope that it speaks to the power of the market," she said.
"What I really object to about Savage is the gratuitousness and viciousness of his attacks on groups of people that I'm serving in my capacity as a faculty member daily," she said.
"He has the right to say whatever he wants to say, but I have no desire for the university to be affiliated with someone who was saying those kinds of things about people I'm seeing in my classroom every day."
Neither Savage, his staff, nor officials at his syndicator, the Central Point-based Talk Radio Network, returned telephone messages seeking comment.
On the Talk Radio Network Web site, Savage describes himself this way: "Those who listen to me say they hear a bit of Plato, Henry Miller, Jack Kerouac, Moses, Jesus and Frankenstein."
On the air, his favorite targets include liberals, the news media and "Hollywood idiots." He cuts off callers who disagree with him.
On Tuesday's show, he ripped into Sen. Trent Lott for "genuflecting before the minority pressure groups."
Lott, R-Miss., has come under a storm of criticism for his remark suggesting America would be better off if it had followed the segregationist policies Sen. Strom Thurmond espoused in his 1948 presidential bid.
"I am sick and tired of pandering to minorities," Savage said. "You stole my birthright."
He also targeted CNN anchor Judy Woodruff, calling her "Judy Woodmuff," and said: "There's no liberal bias in the media - it's liberal treason."
Savage's Web site said he's on 300 stations and is the fastest-growing talk show host in the country, but Donovan, a 30-year veteran of the industry, said "everyone claims to be No. 1 or fastest-growing."
Controversial, acerbic broadcasters such as Savage, Howard Stern, Rush Limbaugh and Dr. Laura may get great ratings in large markets, but they don't do so well in smaller markets such as Eugene, Donovan said.
And some advertisers simply won't run ads on their programs, he said.
Even without Savage, KUGN will continue to tilt to the right with a program lineup that features Bill O'Reilly and Michael Medved.
KUGN began looking for its own afternoon talk show host last summer, talking to candidates inside and outside the market, Donovan said.
Carlin got in touch with KUGN when he heard about the controversy involving Savage, Donovan said. Carlin knows local issues and his Rolodex is "very up to date," he said.
"It made a lot of sense, and we were delighted when he contacted us and that the timing worked out the way it did," Donovan said.
Carlin previously hosted two other talk shows on KUGN and was a reporter for KVAL-TV and an assignment editor for KABC in Los Angeles. He left KUGN in 1997 to write a book, "The Pinocchio Effect," and to pursue business opportunities.
Carlin, 37, of Creswell, described himself as "fiscally conservative and socially libertarian."
"I want to leave people alone," he said.
He plans to take calls from listeners and interview guests. As for his broadcasting style, Carlin said he won't be sure until he gets on the air.
"I can tell you what my style was five years ago," he said. "I don't know if I'm the same way I was."
But he said he's no Michael Savage. "The guy's a shock jock," he said. "I'm not a shock jock."
Ann Coulter's right, liberals have no sense of humor. They don't get Savage's shtick. He may be coarse, but his humor is fresh and funny, unlike that of unlistenable toilet talker Howard Stern.
"'So consequently, there is not linkage in our suitability to be the voice of the Ducks and the primary outlet for Oregon athletics on the radio, and whether Michael Savage is heard on KUGN in the afternoon,' Donovan [read: station manager] said."
"Last month, Frohnmayer [read: UO President] publicly affirmed the university's diversity policies, but said he wouldn't use the contract with KUGN to pressure it into dropping the Savage show. To do so, he suggested, would amount to censorship."
So there ya have it.
We saw it; but, it wasn't there.
We heard it; but, nothing was said.
It's wrong; but, we're going to say it's right.
Be honest & open; but, honesty & openess will be punished
Oh yea, one more too.
...there is no Liberal bias in the Lamestream media. :o)