The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

29 October 2007

WLW Cincinnati, LULAC, Clear Channel Minority Advisory Board


Under Pressure From Minority Groups, WLW Buckles

After earlier appearing to stand reasonably firm in the face of heat from perpetually- offended ethnic organizations, powerhouse Cincinnati talker WLW has finally buckled under pressure and agreed to their demands.

Featuring a primarily local lineup that isn't afraid of controversy, WLW consistently ranks number one in the region.

Now, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer, parent company Clear Channel Communications has formed a new Minority Advisory Board, with representatives from a number of fringe advocacy groups invited to participate:

Clear Channel radio executives here are quietly putting together the community advisory board demanded by local Hispanic groups it offended twice this year.

The League of United Latin American Citizens proposed the panel in May, when WLW-AM (700), the city's No. 1 station, put up the "Big Juan" billboards with a Mexican man and a donkey.

The league's national office repeated the demand to Clear Channel's corporate headquarters in San Antonio in August, after the station broadcast a promotion offering "helpful phrases" to speak to illegal aliens, with Spanish music in the background.

Jason Paul Riveiro, the league's Ohio deputy director, says he has been invited to be in the group.

He has received an e-mail from Clear Channel saying "15 of Cincinnati's most prominent community leaders, including the mayor ... and members of the black, Hispanic, Asian and other minority groups have agreed to sit on a panel with Clear Channel Cincinnati each month to address issues pertaining to their communities and any concerns that they have with Clear Channel."

However, Mayor Mark Mallory's spokesman says "the mayor's office has not be contacted about this."

Chuck Fredrick, Clear Channel market manager, declined to comment. He says he will talk about the panel "when completed."

WLW-AM also has aired public service announcements in October for Hispanic Heritage Month.

It's not as though WLW hadn't been pushing the envelope: for months, its hosts and marketing department have been egging on the eternally- offended through on-air taunts and mildly provocative billboards.

But overall, none of WLW's publicity- generating antics have risen (or plunged) to the level of Don Imus's now- infamous "nappy- headed hos" comment. Most notably, WLW host Bill Cunningham infuriated the Council on American- Islamic Relations (CAIR) earlier in October with this:

"The great war of this generation's time is the war against Islamic fascists," Cunningham said. "... They do not live for life, they live for death. Only through death can they believe they can be with those 72 virgins in heaven and have sex with children for eternity, which is the goal of that religion."

In May, WLW's marketing folks had Hispanic advocacy groups in a tizzy over billboards that featured a play on "The Big One", the station's longtime slogan. Changing it to "The Big Juan" and including a Mexican man, flag and a donkey, it had the extremists at LULAC boiling over in anger:

700 WLW unveiled its new ad campaign last month, first with a photo of a Mexican flag.

Jason Riveiro, the president of the Cincinnati chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens or LULAC tells 9News, "I think many of us felt that well perhaps maybe there was a new Spanish radio station coming on board."

The talk radio station's next ad showed a man dressed in a traditional Mexican costume, but instead of the radio's slogan "The Big One," it read "The Big Juan."

"We came to find out that it was coming from a radio station that has no intention of marketing to the Hispanic population and at the same time is very vocal against immigrants into this area," says Riveiro.

At the time, WLW removed the "offensive" billboards and hinted that it might go with LULAC's demands, but little was said publicly after that point. Now, we've learned the company has been pandering to these fringe "outrage" groups, perhaps all along.

Going forward, what is the significance of the new advisory committee? If Clear Channel gives in completely to their demands, it could mean outright censorship of on- air content. Should fringe special interest organizations program talk radio stations? Is this the new standard for our medium?

FOR Boston- area talk radio updates, see our other site. NEW: Another legal setback for Howie Carr

WHO CARES where Ann Coulter eats?

DIANE SAWYER lectures Bill O'Reilly

60 LEFTIES: US Mil = Taliban

HELP NEEDED for SA hostages still held captive in Iraq

THE TALE of the 400-year old clam

Your Amazon orders that begin with clicks here, regardless of what you ultimately purchase, help to further this site's efforts.

Or, if you would prefer, please contribute at the Honor System box to the right. Thanks again!

Technorati tags:


Post a Comment

<< Home

Page Rank Checker

Powered by Blogger