Thursday, November 8, 2001

Aftershocks from
Sept. 11 reach radio

JUST five weeks after starting his latest broadcast endeavor, Sen. Bob Hogue was told Tuesday that he'd done his last morning show for KGU (AM 760).

Producer John Noland and News Director Peg Stewart received similar news; each received severance.

"The way I looked at it was," Hogue said, "Who am I to complain? A lot of people have lost their only job," while he does broadcast sports work and freelance writing in addition to his legislative duties.

"Businesses are forced to make very difficult decisions, and I respect that," he said.

KGU General Manager Doug Campbell told TheBuzz, "Locally we were delighted (by the show)," but, "the decision to make that change came from the corporate office."

KGU and sister stations KHNR (AM 650) and KAIM FM (95.5) and AM (870) are owned by the publicly traded Salem Communications Corp. based in Camarillo, Calif.

The decision, partially a result of events Sept. 11, effectively wipes out local talk shows and independent production of local news at the station cluster.

It "was not so much to eliminate local talk shows as it was to push forth Salem product," according to Program Director Michael Shishido. Station staff will read Associated Press news wire, he said.

"There's a feeling at that level that (Salem has) valuable viable voices," that should be heard in all of the company's radio markets, he said.

The Ollie North show on KGU will be replaced by Salem-talker Michael Medved Dec. 3.

Among other ventures, the company owns 76 radio stations, and its Salem Radio Network offers syndicated talk shows, news and music programming to more than 1,400 affiliates.

The company Monday reported record third quarter 2001 results with income increases in several categories. Campbell said the company's paid religious "block" programming generates steady revenue, but income from commercials has been on the decline industrywide.

"That's going to be seen more in the fourth quarter than the third," he said, which has contributed to concerns about revenue and cash flow.

Isle gas prices crawling ...

Did you notice the local-speak on the CNN crawl yesterday afternoon? It said, "Auwe! Hawaii gas prices highest in nation at $1.91 per gallon for regular unleaded."

It ran briefly, according to the author -- former KITV Headline News Anchor Karen Waygood. Now a writer for CNN in Atlanta, she's "assigned to the crawl" weekdays from 5 p.m. to midnight Eastern time.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin.
Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle,
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210,
Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached

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