I can not honestly say that I am as upset as some of my friends, but that is mostly because I'm in Milwaukee and had never heard their station or met any of them. That said, I think it's a great loss whenever a voice gets silenced like that.
However, my distance from these events gives me the advantage of an objective view and a chance to see the big picture. Here are some of the things I've noticed.
Scott Wittkopf cited Sly's announcement of his termination from the station:
Message to everybody: I just want to inform you that today was my last day of employment at WTDY. After 15 years, I was told that my services were no longer needed. I would like to thank everybody that’s supported my program. It’s been a pleasure to share this wonderful experience with you. I need to take a big deep breath this weekend and figure out what my future plans are. But, old Winter Soldiers NEVER DIE, and I look forward to letting you know what lies ahead. Solidarity!That, in my humble opinion, is class. He was direct, and he was upbeat even though his heart must have been breaking. After all, the man had been with the station for fifteen years, which is forever in radio time.
Then again, Sly's positive message could be because they could not make any negative comments about the station, lest they lose their severance package, as reported by Emily Mills. How that's not extortion, I don't know. But it might be the norm for the radio/TV business.
As one would expect, the right wingers were celebrating eight more people losing their jobs the day before Thanksgiving.
Kevin Binversie, a propagandist in the Kochs' employment, and Owen Robinson, an AFP zombie, both stated the change in format was because of low ratings, even though neither one of them offered any proof for their scurrilous remarks.
They offer no proof because they have none. They have no proof because it's not true.
Here's a few things to keep in mind.
If a radio station is going to change formats, this is the time of year they usually do so.
As noted above, Sly has been doing this gig for 15 years, they don't get rid of them at a drop of the hat for ratings. It would take something really egregious.
Furthermore, their ratings weren't low. Wittkopf quoted another WTDY staffer who was fired, Crystal McKenzie Parker, who said that their ratings were the best in 10 years. The last two years of the illegal and unethical behaviors of the Republicans is fodder for shows like Sly's, so it is more likely true that they have had higher ratings.
While it's true that ratings correlate with how much a station can charge for ad time, it's also true that ratings don't necessarily mean a change in format. If radio stations were only interested in revenue, Clear Channel would have dropped Rush Limbaugh long ago. Limbaugh's history of over the top sexist and racist remarks is having such a negative effect on revenue that it is starting to hurt stations that don't even carry him:
Doug Stephan, president of Stephan MultiMedia and host of the nationally syndicated “Good Day” program, had this to offer:The real reason for the change has to do with two things.
Let’s face it, the agencies and advertisers are how we survive. So to tell them that their clients are stupid for not staying in an atmosphere in which they don’t want to be is akin to the Republicans not reading the tea leaves about changing demographics.
I’m not here to argue the point, but rather to tell you what this ONE incident has cost me as an independent in a sea of big corporate operators, who are obviously losing tens of millions of dollars due to this one event.
So far this year, my losses are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Cancellations, avoidance and decisions to just not buy across the whole format, no matter what the content...
I’m not looking for Limbaugh to send me a check (although that would be nice), but I do think we have to let it be known that his actions have been devastating to our survival.
One, they just brought in a new general manager in June. Odds are that this pinhead was brought in to be a hatchet man or he wanted to make a name for himself by being "bold."
Secondly, the new format will be sports talk, relying heavily on a national feed. This is the radio version of a Bain-type of outsourcing. But the experienced and more costly staff and ship the work to somewhere else where they'll do it much cheaper. Then the general manager can point to the higher profits and try to cover up the lower ratings.
The investors will be happy raking in the higher profit and won't know about the ratings until it's too late.
On an end note, I just wanted to point out the biggest ass regarding this whole affair. No, it's not Brett Hulsey either.
It's the Las Vegas Badger, who was not satisfied with the crew getting fired on the day before Thanksgiving, but wished that Sly had a fatal accident:
To [sic] bad this thug didn't accidentally touch any electrical lines that power the radio tower as he left the building for the last time.No wonder the right is against anyone but them. It's the only way that that buttheads like this, who aren't worth the time of day, can get anyone to pay attention to them.