WTIC: You’re Better Than This


So The Laurel is a site that covers the Connecticut news media, but during the summer we move a little slowly. In fact, quite slowly.  Time to catch up on last week’s WTIC-AM/John Rowland developments and throw in our two cents.

Wednesday 7.9.14: From the Hartford Courant’s Ed Mahony & Jon Lender:

Federal prosecutors said Wednesday they intend to tell a jury that when former Gov. John G. Rowland sold his political consulting services, he was secretly selling the muscle behind his long-running political talk show on WTIC-AM radio.

WNPR’s Colin McEnroe once hosted a show during the afternoon drive time slot that was eventually given to Rowland. Here’s his 7.10.14 Facebook post.

If I were a bigger person, I would just leave this alone.
But I’m not, and both Kevin Rennie and I have been essentially making this point for a long time. At WTIC, Rowland was taking money from a candidate and then allowing it to influence what he put on the air. At some point, WTIC needs to apologize for that and make clear that they did not countenance it. I don’t get how the station can ever have any credibility again if they don’t very clearly separate themselves from what he did.

We like the people we know at WTIC, both management and on-air, and appreciate that many of them have worked in this market for a long time. Plus, the station has maintained a local news department. That alone is a huge advantage to the listening public. But we echo Colin’s assertion that WTIC needs to acknowledge what took place and, we think,  express remorse. We get that if the FCC and lawyers get involved, then the station will be advised to say nothing. That would be unfortunate for a number of reasons.

One more thing; Rowland’s show was unlistenable. Yes, we know, it had good ratings. We credit that to the fact most people were waiting for traffic and weather. When a host does zero research beyond a few internet headlines, and leans too hard on uninformed listeners, it’s not worth the time and you’re better off listening to Country 92.5 . And this isn’t about political leanings; Rush Limbaugh may be a gasbag but he and/or his researchers have done at least a modicum of homework.

WTIC-AM has a proud legacy it can and should reclaim.

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6 Responses

  1. Liberal/Lefty Gasbags are just fine in a VERY BLUE STATE RUNS BY THE UNIONS…I get it!

  2. Note: Author DEMOCRAT POL

  3. It’s a shame that the narrow market in this state for the kind of right-wing group think that WTIC is devoted to is the most attractive commercial opportunity for the station.

    It’s equally unfortunate that the public airwaves on the AM band are dominated by the propaganda that passes for journalism and criticism on these stations.

    If there is any place that AM radio can serve a general audience, it ought to be here. Unfortunately, there is no real countervalent for the extreme right here, or anywhere.

  4. Radio was once an industry that was a good community partner and saw themselves as such. Private citizens and family’s often ran radio stations and they wouldn’t besmirch their name. Deregulation has caused balance, objectivity and the public interest to go by the wayside at many stations. It’s the way it is. I have no problem with left or right but I do have a problem with crazy. A radio station that puts a convicted felon on the air, then the felon does the same felonious shenanigans using their station to perpetrate the crime and then the station keeps him on the air for far too long after he’s been accused lunacy. Rowland was an employee of that station, and therefore isn’t the station complicit and should be held responsible? I see exactly why WTIC is not apologizing. I’m sure the people at WTIC are good people, I know some of them, they are professionals and do a great job. But what was management thinking? They don’t need to change their format–they own the station and don’t need me to be program manager–but they should be smart and offer intelligent discourse. Sadly though, this is the state of 21st century radio. NAB wonders why people are leaving to other media in droves. This is just another reason.

  5. I don’t care about John Rowland. What I care even less about is the 30 million articles the courant writes on him each year. I’m not alone…in fact even with the Rowland overload most people still think he went to jail for receiving a hot tub. So obviously few people read the articles. On one hand duby you say that Rowland was unlistenable yet on the other hand you said he had good ratings. So would your solution be to get someone who was listenable yet got no ratings? You consider yourself an expert but I wouldn’t want you running my radio station.

  6. I think you should through channel 8 news into the same pit at wtic. Just because they have a local news department does not mean they deserve credibility,

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