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The asinine assassination of KJFK talk radio
by Andrew Barbano
May 01, 2013 | 1840 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
No baby survives if smothered during delivery by parents and doctors.

Thereby hangs the tale of former talk radio station KJFK am (now programming hip-hop).

KJFK's fm sister stations netted a cool $1 million in October of 2006, the month before KJFK launched talk.

Local radio execs had long known that State Senate Majority Leader Bill Raggio and his Republican minions, largely working behind the scenes through law firms, could severely impact advertising sales.

They also knew how much money Raggio could generate for a friendly forum. Only Barbwire printed the story about Raggio handing $30,000 to an unscrupulous local talk station in October of 2004 in exchange for turning the entire enterprise toward trashing the presidential candidacy of John Kerry.

KJFK thus did zilch local programming for its first two years.

Management eventually hired longtime Reno Gazette-Journal columnist Cory Farley, their only smart move, but they put his single hour on their sports-talk sister station.

Later, they moved Cory head-to-head against KJFK's only prime-time local show hosted by Christiane Brown. Suicide.

They then told Christiane that if she wanted to continue, she'd have to pay them, which she did for a year. When she quit, they moved Cory from their 5,000-watt sports station to patchy-patterned 1,000-watt KJFK. The buzzards started circling.

In just four months, a properly formatted local competitor can remove four of ten listeners from longtime moonhowler dungeon KKKOH. The late great Travus T. Hipp and I did it twice and I beat Lush Rambo in the process.

KJFK failed by treating its listeners with contempt.

In their last year, they had a convicted drug money launderer brokering their airtime.

WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND. Talk radio didn't flourish until the 1980s because of the Kennedy Brothers' political philosophy of "don't get mad, get even."

During the 1960 presidential campaign, a southern preacher used his radio network to great effect in supporting the candidacy of Richard the Rotten. So Jack and Bobby got the Federal Communications Commission to impose the vague "Fairness Doctrine," which forced broadcasters to nix all controversial issues.

But the righteous right got the last laugh on the Kennedys in 1980 when Ronald Reagan swept to power and took the U.S. Senate with him. It took the dingbat Democrats more than a decade to figure out the sources of the smears and rumors that took down a host of legendary senators, including Gaylord Nelson, D-Wisconsin, the father of Earth Day.

The Dems never knew what hit them because their people didn't monitor low-audience stations. Christian radio was finally identified as the calumniating culprit, the best place to plant political poison. Lush Rambo was on his way shortly thereafter.

Could KJFK have succeeded? Sure.

"Any spot is tenable if brave men will make it so," President Kennedy once said.

The radio raunches who ripped off JFK's name presented a profound profile in lack of courage.

Be well. Raise hell.

Andrew Barbano is a 44-year Nevadan and editor of  E-mail Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.

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