Senator McCain has inspired a flood of literature aimed at our Bounceback mailbox.
As one who has been extremely critical of the mass consolidation of broadcast stations and the effect that it has had on localism, I have to take issue with Senator John McCain's attempt to take the industry back to the Stone Age. His rationale is totally flawed.
Three year license renewals and entertaining the self serving rantings of the malcontents, who's life's work is bitching and complaining, won't do a thing to increase localism in broadcasting. It will create a cottage industry for blackmailers and thugs, much like what happened with the old rules offering tax incentives that were meant to increase minority ownership, but which resulted in rip offs, payoffs, and offers to cure our minority hiring woes, for a large fee. Once the fee was paid the offering party disappeared into the night.
Likewise, it is my belief that the public wants less, not more, political advertising on their favorite stations. Politicians have already polluted the process with their ever growing greed for publicity and making a business, any business, give them free advertising (products) to call each other names and attempt to mislead the voter, is ludicrous. It also speaks to the extreme vanity of those who would propose it. If McCain wants to do something for the American people, let him work for affordable health care instead of confusing the pained expression on our faces as a need to see and hear more of him and his political cronies on television and radio.
Joyner Radio, Inc.
Isn't it just amazing how radio stations are treated as a non-profit...instead of a business...We get the least share of the advertising dollars in the pie, and yet after all the public service and community awareness provided - - John McCain would decide whether we are doing the job well enough...Radio stations should begin monitoring how well of a job the federal government and our elected officials are doing. The idea of taking a business and making it a not-for-profit is just what this country needs. Less paid ads, lower-quality in programming and therefore less tax revenue and employees...a politician running the show...maybe John would become program director. Everyone could just Dummy-Up! Does anyone think the government should begin dictating to the media? Our country is beginning to just amaze me...I actually run into people who tell me God is on our side in the war and God is the reason the world is in the mess it's in and so on and so on...I was always raised that God loved all people and that they are all created by him...I find it hard to believe God would want to lose any of his children on the planet for any reason....the reason for bringing this up is this...it is the same thinking in this country with the above idea of fairness and the censoring of this nation that will be our ultimate downfall if the media doesn't begin to stand up and present the unpopular beliefs and the representation of the minority in this country...the media is only good if the politicians and the warmongers are using it for personal gain or to forward the latest ideas of social security etc....maybe radio stations and newspapers and broadcast tv everywhere should just hand over their licenses to the government and let them run them...that seems to be the ultimate goal anyway...take away as much freedom as possible, in the name of Godliness or Goodness....or now, Fairness.
Oh, and as a follow up to my last e-mail...let us note that the political advertising that we air is typically the most annoying and poorly done of all the ads we air...we're all quite certain that if there were ever a time for loyal listeners to hit the scan button on their radios, it is during political season...oh and don't forget they are receiving the lowest possible rates for these lovely poorly-read and sometimes poorly-produced ads...that really helps...Okay, John McCain...you want free ads for all - - wait until I recruit the local nut who decided to throw his hat in a week before the election while he sings coal miner's daughter on the air for our listeners...even John McCain will be flipping the dial.
The good Senator, once again, seems to be very quick to lead the effort to get free air time for politicians. Is the Senator having problems raising funds? Senator McCain's constant barrage against a media that has served its' viewers well for more than 50 years is not surprising as some politicians seem to have to have something to be bombastic about. My television station, WAGM TV8/DT16, is the only commercial station in DMA 203. For more than 45 years it has served the needs of the local population with LOCAL news and information. We provide an hour of LOCAL news in the morning, an hour of LOCAL news in the early evening, and a half hour of LOCAL news late night. Our 6PM newscast is the highest rated newscast in the United States with an average rating of 39 and a 63-70 share, We focus on our communities and leave the national news to our network, CBS. During the last election period WAGM gave each national candidate in our state a half hour of free air time in access, we also did extensive coverage of all local state level races. In addition, WAGM also provides a tremendous amount of public service air time and is directly involved in many community public service projects.
To have Senator McCain tar all broadcasters with the brush of being "...in defiance of their obligation to act in the public interest." is the same as me saying that all politicians only want FREE, positive media exposure. Perhaps we're both right sometimes, but for the Senator to attack all broadcasters is inexcusable. If I did an editorial ranting and raving about ALL politicians being crooked, self-serving, money grubbing egomaniacs I would be liable. The Senator should start naming specific names of those who he feels are "in defiance" rather than doing his same lame tap dance on the heads of all broadcasters. If the Senator has a problem with a specific group or station he should say so. It would then be up to that broadcaster to defend its' position. As it stands right now, Senator McCain's stances appear to be ill thought out, misdirected, and overly generalized. It is time for broadcasters to fight back against the political opportunism practiced by some politicians.
Gordon Wark, President/GM
NEPSK Inc. dba WAGM-TV8/DT16 & Polaris Cable Services
In this past election, our station, WQOW in Eau Claire WI, provided more news time and free time for local candidates than at any time in our history. In fact, this is not solely a local effort but a company-wide mandate. Quincy News, Inc. has made it clear to all our stations that we serve the public and in doing so we have an obligation to present a FREE forum for local candidates. It's disturbing to me to be lumped in with stations and group owners who do not have a similar commitment. Stations and group owners who in turn create an environment of mistrust leading to governmental intervention and penalties. An effective proposal for change would not penalize the stations and owners who have made a demonstrative effort to improve the political process landscape. What incentive for change is there if everyone gets punished equally regardless of their commitment? I understand this is early in the process but Congress needs to recognize those efforts some stations have in place and provide the incentive to change for those that do not.
John J. Ganahl
WQOW Station Manager/Executive Producer-Northland Adventures
Eau Claire WI