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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