Mark Dayton, the new Democratic governor for the state of Minnesota, is keeping alive a tradition started by predecessor Jesse Ventura (I) and continued by Tim Pawlenty (R) – a weekly radio show. Four bidders are seeking to be the home of the broadcast.
The situation in Minnesota stands in mild contrast to that in Rhode Island, where new governor Lincoln Chaffee (I) has banned state employees from participating in commercial talk radio. However, it just came out that Chaffee considers the ban to be temporary, and further, the ban never extended to commercial or noncommercial radio news programming.
The incumbent in the bidding is CBS’s iconic news fixture WCCO-AM.
Also in the mix:
A website called BringMeTheNews.com, which is said to provide content to radio stations. In the Minneapolis market, that would include Clear Channel Adult Alternative outlet KTCZ-FM Cities 97 and its booming 100 kW Class C signal.
Progressive talker KTNF-AM 950 is also making a play for the Dayton program. It’s owned by JR Broadcasting, and weighs in with 1 kW days and nights, with each daypart using its own directional array.
Finally, noncommercial KFAI-FM, licensed to Fresh Air Inc., has made a bid. It uses its Class A signal on 90.3 MHz to bring diverse music and talk programming to the Minneapolis-St. Paul market.
The bids have already been submitted and are being reviewed.
RBR-TVBR observation: We want our elected officials as available to us as possible, and we also think it is good policy for radio broadcasters to be involved in their localities. We are encouraged both by the eagerness to be available on air demonstrated by Minnesota politicians across the political spectrum, as well as the eagerness of Minnesota radio stations to participate.
Note: Photo of Mark Dayton from Minnesota Public Radio