Ratings Or The Road

WINZ 940-AM has dropped syndicated "progressive" talker Ed Schultz from its lineup -- and Fort Lauderdale graphics artist and gadfly extraordinaire Cal Deal doesn't like it. So he sent the Clear Channel station's general manager, Ken Charles an email:

From: Cal Deal Sent: Thursday, March 27, 2008 10:52 AM To: Charles, Ken; kbrady@ccmiami.com; Sandler, Nicole; Webmaster ( Miami ) Cc: Ed Schultz; James Holm Subject: Ed Schultz gets the boot

I have no opinion at the moment about the merits of Thom Hartmann as a broadcaster, but I do have an opinion about Ed Schultz: I like him a lot. I have been enjoying his program ever since I first heard it on 940. I listen to it every chance I get, schedule my lunch around it if (I can hold out that long), I tune it in while walking my dog, and sometimes stream it into my computer so I can listen while I work.

The news that you are taking him off the air is very bad news. To me, it marks a further deterioration of the station that also got rid of Rachel Maddow, and replaced Jim DeFede with Nicole Sandler (sorry Nicole ... but DeFede is damned good!).

Sadly, along with much of the rest of the world, I have not come to associate the word "quality" with Clear Channel. Lame Lionel and Madman Malloy are not my idea of good programming. Nicole lacks an edge. Stephanie is good, in a light sort of way. And there's Randi who probably will be the next one to feel the Clear Channel quality-cutting ax. On the weekends you hand much of your schedule over to snake oil salesmen. What does that say to your audience?

Excuse me, but I have to go find a station that streams Ed Schultz. At least I'll save some money on batteries.

Cal Deal Fort Lauderdale

Here's Charles' reply:

From: "Charles, Ken" Date: March 27, 2008 10:58:14 AM EDT To: "Cal Deal" Subject: RE: Ed Schultz gets the boot

This is not about Ed the man. He is a smart talented engaging personality in my opinion. This is about Ed the talkshow host and for that I turn to the last few years of ratings. Lionel and Malloy have better ratings then Ed. So they get to stay. Stephanie Miller has better ratings then Ed. So she gets to stay. Sadly, and I do mean that, Ed’s ratings do not merit WINZ giving Ed more time.

As for Defede, same thing. His ratings were terrible. That is why we make changes.

I appreciate you like Ed and his show. Many do. I just hope you are open minded enough to give Hartman a fair chance. You may be surprised that you enjoy that too.


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