The truth is, I am not a fan of Ken Pittman, which I chose not to get into during my earlier post, Ken Pittman Removed From Lineup at WBSM in Fairhaven, MA because of his on air attacks against good social conservative political candidates and activists, I respect. My complaint with WBSM's programmers is with their decision to go with nationally syndicated talk show hosts leaving a void in the coveralge of local issues of concern to the station's listeners.
Nothing against the less confrontational Mike Huckabee who is being put up against Rush Limbaugh nationwide, which is a futile effort anyway on behalf of his syndicators, but it seems to be a clear decision to neglect the local audience which has a thirst for issues that affect life in Southeastern Massachusetts and throughout this part of the country. And Ken was one of the best local talk show hosts I've ever heard on delivering informed, cutting edge commentary on issues that concern the Massachusetts South Coast. I mean local news is more imporatant to most listeners in this area than political commentary on national issues anyway, especially the type with a conservative slant and no one is more conservative than yours truly.
Although I'm a Fox News Channel junkie, even Fox can't replace my love for local television news out of Boston and Providence. The fact is, I need to know what is going on in my city and my state, and that is exactly the way listeners who have been listening to WBSM for years feel, believe me..
After trying to defend Mike Huckabee and Mike Gallager, who I can relate to because of their strong conservative world view, even though their delivery is more conversational and less confrontational than I prefer, I could see my words were going nowhere, so I changed topics to the Red Sox which got his attention quickly again, but his point was well taken.
Whether he is addressing a serious breaking news story about an abandoned child at a local day care center or a city official making an announcement about an "earth day" event, Phil's smooth talking and polished radio voice filled with liberal, touch feely pasions, comes across like pablum for a toddler, or a session with Dr Phil rather than the abrasive and confrontational style that characterized Ken Pittman's approach during his successful run at the station.
Of course, one of the things Pittman did very well was get under the skin of local Democrats which always attracted very upset listeners, and may also have contributed to his being released. Phil, on the other hand, seems to offend no one, from what I can tell, which is not good for that type of show.
His attempt to follow in Pittman’s steps while covering local and political news continues to fall far short of what people have grown accustomed to hearing i.e.raw emotional reactions to stories affecting life in South Eastern Massachusetts; informed, articulate, and direct questioning of guests and rude and arrogant listeners from a host, who demands direct answers and responds directly during heated debates, whether he is talking to average callers or political leaders in the community.
When the story broke that Ken had been let go, New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell was reported in the StandardTimes as saying: The local programming available on WBSM including local news, talk, and sports coverage, is truly valued by the thousands of listeners the station draws from the New Bedford region, He was also reported as saying he had written Lewis W Dickey Jr, president and chief executive officer of Cumulus, urging him to reconsider the decision to reduce local programming in favor of national shows. Of course this was before the decision to sell WBSM to a Conneticutt firm had been reached
And on that point I couldn't agree more. I grew up in the 50s and 60s, listening to a whole series of very opinionated talk show hosts on WBSM discuss matters of concern to area residents, and it was always interesting to listen to the reactions of the listeners, whether I agreed with the host or not.
It occurred to me then, that you can really learn alot about the community you live in, their political orientation, education level, and their values, by listening to talk shows focused on community issues. And in the case of the greater New Bedford area, the image portrayed on air by many of the callers was not always something that made me swell with pride.
But having said that, I think these shows like Ken's offer a valuable community service. We have real problems in this area that are either not being discussed at the moment or if they are the dialogue is presently
being moderated by hosts lacking emotional intensity and expertise, which is a real shame.
And I'd like to hear him finish his rant by saying: "You wanted change New Bedford when you overwhelmingly voted for Obama in 2008. And by God you got it! So, how's that working out for you?"
Make sure you remember how badly your city is hurting, courtesy of the Obama administration, when you walk into the voting booth this November. If you do I'm sure you'll agree that Mitt Romney is the only choice you have, if the present trend continues in the Republican Party Primary nomination process. .
Now do you really think Phil Paleogopolis, is going to use language like that to describe the situation. Not a chance, but I'm inclined to think Ken Pittman would, even though he usually supports political candidates that head for the tall grass anyway, when the topic switches to social/morality issues, as I'm sure Romney will do as well. But that's a topic better left for another day.
Over this past weekend, The Jazz Patriot Blog received over a 100 new visitors from Ken Pittman's facebook page after he discovered my article, and for that we're very grateful, but the truth is we had been receiving a steady stream of traffic all month from curiosity seekers all over the country on this sparsely reported story. Ken just happened to find out about the post, Saturday.
Most of the comments left expressed outrage at the firing and support for Pittman but there were some detractors, who of course didn’t have the courage to use their name, but chose instead to use the anonymous pseudonym when posting as with the following comment:
“Ken is one true American. He is diplomatic and balanced in his reporting. If there is an issue that both sides need to be heard he brings in both sides. To the anonymous coward’ commenting on public issues, study a little more about the US Constitution. Find out the principals onto which our country was founded. Then you’ll see
As I stated in my earlier post, if you would like to express your opinions on Ken's firing and your disappointment with the stations new programming format, you may contact WBSM management through the Business line at 508-993-1767 and on the Open Line at 508-996-0500.
Town Square Media can be contacted at 240 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich, CT 06830. Phone: (203)860-0900. Their website also has information about WBSM's new owners as well as news on their recent acquisition.
The entire press release on the acquisition of WBSM by Townsquare media, as reported by WBSM on their website is as follows: