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For better or worse, Talk media — and conservative Talk radio specifically — has been ‘Topic A’ in the news for the past week. Seems like nobody can get quite enough of talking about Talk radio — and in the end, that’s mostly a good thing for the medium and its personalities. Case in point, KQTH (104.1 The Truth)/Tucson local morning host Jon Justice (pictured) gets himself no less than a page one (!) profile in today’s Los Angeles Times. Acknowledging that there is “no evidence” to support the premise that the suspected Tucson shooter was inspired by heated political rhetoric on Talk radio, reporter Nicholas Riccardi nevertheless recounts listening to the conservative talker debate with those who believe Talk radio is at fault, or at the least responsible for the general breakdown in civil discourse. Responding to a caller lamenting that the nation isn’t really “coming together” in the wake of the shootings, Justice concludes, “I don’t think anything is going to change. When this thing dies down we’re going to be back where we were before. We are a divided community. Most communities are — they’re divided along political lines.”
When it comes to finger-pointing over the horrific shootings in Tucson last weekend, during his nationwide speech last night President Obama seemed to ask those blaming Talk media to cool it. “If this tragedy prompts reflection and debate, as it should, let’s make sure it’s worthy of those we have lost,” said Obama. “Let’s make sure it’s not on the usual plane of politics and point scoring and pettiness that drifts away with the next news cycle.” Apparently Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee (pictured) — who earlier this week banned state workers and himself from appearing on Talk radio during state work time — didn’t quite get the President’s message. Responding to questions about Obama’s call for civility, Chaffee told WPRO/Providence reporter Steve Klamkin, and others covering the governor’s appearance at an event at the Rhode Island Club, that he believes it’s up to advertisers to curb divisive discussion on the airwaves and in publications. “Those that pay — the advertisers — should shut them down,” said the recently elected governor. “My view is that some of these people don’t even believe what they’re saying, but they’re making money off of it. They’re selling this divisive and highly emotional … it sells. So the advertisers have to shut them down. That’s my view.”
You know that a heated and controversial topic is starting to cool down when the comedy parodies begin to surface. Yesterday we alerted you to Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher’s call to ban sales of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey in the wake of all the hysteria over “heated rhetoric.” Today we learn of a new parody from KTRH-KPRC/Houston host Michael Berry (pictured) accepting the premise by some on the left that nationally syndicated conservative talker Rush Limbaugh is responsible for pretty much everything that’s wrong in the world today. Check out some much-needed comic relief produced by the self-proclaimed “Czar of Texas Radio” HERE.
Akilah Bolden-Monifa and Ro Dooley-Webster are both named to the newly created position of Communications Director for CBS Local Media in San Francisco and Boston, respectively … Paul Krasinski segues from COO at Ando Media to the newly created role of President/Digital Media and Analytics for Arbitron .. Approaching it’s first anniversary, the independently syndicated Motley Fool Money closes in on a reported 30 affiliates for the weekly show, and also adds a new 10-minute podcast, MarketFoolery, which is published Monday-Thursday at 4pm (ET) … Salem Radio Network talker Dennis Prager is slated to be the keynoter tonight at the annual House Republican Conference retreat in Baltimore. The only radio host invited to the yearly gathering, Prager (pictured) will speak to all of the GOP’s members of the 112th Congress … Westwood One inks a new multi-year deal to remain the exclusive network radio home of the NCAA Championships, including the Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament and the Final Four. The network is also the exclusive online and mobile audio provider of the NCAA Championships … Ann Marie Cumming is promoted to VP/Communications for the NAB’s communications department, reporting to EVP Dennis Wharton.
Westwood One/Harpo Radio syndicated radio talker Gayle King debuted a video simulcast of The Gayle King Show this week on Oprah Winfrey’s new OWN cable channel. Welcoming MSNBC Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski to the program, King vowed that cameras will not change the atmosphere of her radio program. “I don’t want to hear ‘lights, camera, action,’ she tells Oprah.com. “Radio is a very intimate medium and I want to preserve that even though I’ll be talking to TV viewers now, too. When guests come to my studio they always say, ‘I feel like it’s just you and me.’ It’s conducive to conversation. That’s why I’m not having a studio audience.”