Cluster struck

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1170 KFAQ's Chris Medlock is taking a couple of days off and will be back on the air Friday. Filling in for him tomorrow and Thursday will be Pat Campbell, until recently morning host on WFLA 540 in Orlando.

I have absolutely no inside info on this, but it seems reasonable to assume that Pat's visit to Tulsa is the first in what may be a series of on-air tryouts to be KFAQ's morning show host, a position recently vacated by Gwen Freeman.

From his blog, Campbell looks like a solid conservative. In 2006 and 2007, Talkers Magazine named him one of the 250 most influential talk radio hosts in the country. I'm looking forward to getting a sense of his personality and style over the next two days, and I hope he enjoys his visit to Tulsa.

In reading up on Pat Campbell, I discovered that he met a similar fate to that of another conservative radio talk show host, my friend Kevin McCullough, late of WMCA 570 / WWDJ 970 in New York.

WFLA is one of the stations in Clear Channel's Orlando cluster. Clear Channel decided to change the format of a sister station, WQTM 740, from sports talk to "La Preciosa," Clear Channel's Mexican music format. (KIZS 101.5 is Clear Channel's La Preciosa station in Tulsa.) At the same time, they decided to move some of WQTM's sports talk programming to 570, bumping Campbell off the air. Campbell wasn't even allowed to say goodbye to his listeners on air. (To WFLA's credit, they left up Campbell's page on their website, with an explanation of his absence from the airwaves.)

In McCullough's case, his show was split between Salem Broadcasting's two New York City frequencies. Salem's stations in New York City had been about half local and national talk, carrying most of the Salem Radio Network lineup (e.g., Bill Bennett, Michael Medved), but they also carried a lot of paid programming from national Christian ministries -- e.g., Chuck Swindoll, James Dobson, Kenneth Hagin. In January, Salem made the decision to drop all local talk and almost all national talk, because of high demand from national ministries for air time in the #1 market. The only remaining talk on the cluster is two hours of Dr. Laura on WWDJ and 90 minutes of Janet Parshall on WMCA. McCullough, like Campbell, was on the air one day and gone the next, again with no opportunity to bid farewell to his listeners on the air. Thankfully, like Campbell, he could use his blog to let the listeners know what had happened. (Again, to Salem's credit, they've kept Kevin on their site as a columnist and blogger.)

(It's curious, though. Less than a month ago, I was able to use the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine to double-check my memory of the pre-2008 lineup on WMCA and WWDJ. Tonight I find that the website for the stations,, is blocking the Internet Archive. That situation always bugs me when I come across it.)

I hate to see local talk get squeezed out, and I'm thankful that Journal Broadcast Group remains committed to the idea, with over 24 hours of local talk shows each week on KFAQ.

MORE: This morning, KFAQ announced the addition of another local program. Joe Riddle brings his old-time radio show to the station, every Sunday night from 6 pm - 9 pm, sponsored by Humana.

I first met Joe almost 30 years ago, when he was a producer for KRMG's evening talk shows, Sports Line with Bob Carpenter and Night Line with David Stanford. I'd gone with a group of high school friends to visit KRMG's studios atop Liberty Towers at 15th and Boulder. Joe recorded one of our bunch doing his best David Stanford impression.

Joe's old-time radio show is fun listening, and I'm happy that KFAQ has picked it up. (Now if someone would only bring back Riders Radio Theater.)

It's fun to step back 70 years to the good old days of radio comedy and drama, although it'd be nice just to step back 30 years, to the days before cutthroat corporate control of the airwaves, back when local people like Mr. Swanson and Mr. Stuart owned stations.

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Pamela said:

I'm listening to Campbell right now. I agree that they are probably trying out new folk. So far I'm enjoying him. I'm glad that KFAQ is aggressively looking for another host. I'm sure for anyone it would be nice to have a couple of co-hosts. I know that I would prefer to have someone on the air with me:)

eric said:

Big Fan of the former Pat Campbell show on Orlando’s 540 WFLA.
There is still a large hole in Orlando morning drive radio since Pat was let go.
There are 2 other AM stations, one that gives continuous news and traffic and the other that runs the national syndicated Bill Bennet Show. Neither fills Pat’s shoes. Pat is a great Talker and Tulsa will be glad to have him if he gets picked up. Bunch of us Orlando fans will probably listen in via internet if available.

Jan thomas said:

I enjoyed Mr.Campbell this morning. He picked up on the state "stuff" pretty quickly.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on March 11, 2008 9:59 PM.

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