The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

26 November 2007

Hub Station Blocks Outspoken Blogger From Appearing On Talk Show


Station Blocks Guest, Micromanages Programming

As an outspoken blogger has been barred from appearing on a Boston talk show, the recent trend toward micromanagement of talk radio content by thin- skinned station management has taken another disturbing turn for the worse.

David Scott, a popular Hub- based blogger known for his outspoken (read: non- establishment- suck- up) commentaries at Boston Sports Media Watch, found himself booted from a booked interview on WRKO 680 AM Friday with fill-in host Senator Bob Hedlund (R- Weymouth).

From Jessica Heslam's Boston Herald update:

Entercom execs pulled the plug on sports media blogger David Scott’s guest appearance on WRKO-AM (680) Friday morning with substitute host Sen. Bob Hedlund.

Scott writes “Scott’s Shots” for Boston Sports Media Watch blog and has been critical of sister station WEEI-AM (850) in the past. Check out his post on the subject here.

Hedlund, who was filling in for WRKO morning-drive host Tom Finneran, had asked Scott to come on the show to talk sports from 8-10 a.m. Friday morn. Scott - who was appearing for free - posted the upcoming radio spot on his blog Tuesday night.

After Entercom got wind of his appearance, Scott writes, an apologetic Hedlund called him to cancel. Hedlund didn’t offer him much of an explanation, but asked him to come on his weekly radio show on WATD-FM (95.9) Dec. 3.

“My best guess is that the Entercom Suits didn’t want to have someone who has been critical of WEEI - and its lowest-common-denominator sports talk - on its airwaves at a sister-station in the same market,” Scott told me in an e-mail.

“Admittedly, I have been critical of the personalities and management at WEEI, something that very few in this town are willing to do because of ‘EEI’s pervasiveness,” he wrote. “Honestly, I think their decision to ban me says a lot about the way they do business.”

Program Director Jason Wolfe didn’t respond to an e-mail.

And, in Scott's own words:

In an incredibly predictable and incredibly petty move, the planned Friday morning Shots appearance on WRKO 680 AM with Tom Finneran fill-in, Bob Hedlund, was squashed by the Entercom higher-ups.

Details are sketchy of why the invitation from true gentleman, Senator Hedlund, had to be rescinded, but it doesn't take a Rhodes Scholar to figure out that Entercom officials were non-too-pleased at the thought of Shots infiltrating their airwaves and spreading - GASP! - all of that awful Shots propaganda. Heaven forbid a new voice with divergent opinions appear on the Entercom airwaves! The recycled, mainstream voices are good enough for the Entercommies.

Just to refresh what went down: On Tuesday night, Hedlund and confidant/spokesman Rick Collins were kind enough to extend an invitation to Shots to share studio time (from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. on Friday) as Hedlund sat in for Tom Finneran at 'RKO. Hedlund had been following a Shots' loyalist for some time and was evidently a fan of the work we have done in being one of the city's lone critical voices of the sports media scene.

After a phone conversation with Hedlund in which we immediately hit it off and discussed some of the topics we could touch on, I agreed to the un-paid, two hour stint beginning at 8 a.m. on Friday. In the interest of full disclosure, I also posted the pending appearance in my Tuesday night post.

By Wednesday afternoon, after that Shots post had been widely read, Hedlund called and apologetically rescinded the invitation. Too classy to get involved in the petty politics of Entercom, Hedlund would not divulge any of the behind-the-scenes details of what led to the cancellation of Shots' appearance, but he did invite us on to his regular Monday night show at WATD 95.9 FM for December 3 (an offer we gladly accepted).

While it's no secret that some of America's biggest talk stations are in relatively bad hands these days, WRKO's petty move to block a blogger critical of Boston's elitist media establishment further undermines its already- diminished credibility. That's not good for talk radio.

FOR New England regional talk radio updates, see our other site.

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  • The "local blogger" cohosts a show on a competing station. Even though his listeners probably number in the double digits, it's understandable that the Entercom suits don't want the guy on their airwaves.

    By Anonymous Dave_in_MA, at 26 November, 2007 12:17  

  • Liberals, especially the gutless liberals running WRKO, can't stand any criticism and must crush it at all costs.

    The only way this stops is when these executives are escorted out of the building by armed guards and their belonging left outside of the building in a cardboard box.

    By Blogger PCD, at 27 November, 2007 14:23  

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