Thursday, August 11, 2005

Cat's Out of the Bag

The Blotter has just posted "Nick Coleman: Off the leash!".

The article aligns with what Nick shared with me. So, in his own words, and with his blessing "You are free to post.", this is what he told me:
I essentially quit AM950 * refusing to come in for work and asking to be placed on "hiatus" by the station on July 25. My official resignation was tendered Aug. 8. I'll give you a short list of reasons why:

1) Station management increasingly demanded control over "topics, tone and guests" and ordered certain hot button topics off limits, such as guns, gays and abortion. I refused to comply.

2) Station management repeatedly disrupted program development by making mercurial staffing changes without my knowledge or consent. (Last straw: Producer Joe Palan, whose hiring I approved, was fired without my consent on July 25. I went on hiatus the same day. The station told listeners I was still on family leave, but that was not true).

3) The station, despite its on-air support for the "dignity of workers," mistreats its own employees (who have no union protections).

4) I do not like wingnuts, of any stripe.

Now here's a question to mull:
1) Can "liberal" or "progressive" talk radio prosper under an
ownership that is neither?

Nick Coleman

Further info:
Producer Palan was hired in June. Two days later, the station fired Tim Dennis, the show's board operator. This destroyed what little chemistry and camaraderie we had been able to develop. A few days later, the baby was born and I went on leave. I was gone two weeks and returned to the air one day * July 25 * to do my show.

Later that very day, Palan was fired. That's when I called station management to express my anger over the continuing interference and to request to be placed on hiatus. On July 29, I informed the station that I would return only if if Palan and Dennis were re-hired, and only if station owner Janet Robert stopped interfering with the show. For a week or so, things looked like they might work out. But on Aug. 8, I was told that nothing would change.

I resigned.
So it seems that their is some internal battles going on regarding
content. It is no secret that Janet is a Pro Life democrat, so there
may be conflicts with more traditional DFL platform issues. But I
would hope there is a significant level of autonomy for someone who
has their own show. Here is what Janet had to say to 'The Blotter':
Janet Robert strenuously denies most of Coleman's claims. She did not interfere with Coleman's choice of topics, she says, including any criticism of the war in Iraq. (She states that she, too, opposes it.) "We do not censor anybody on this radio station," Robert says. On the Joe Palan matter, Roberts says simply, "He quit." She repeats, too, "I don't discuss personnel matters."
I included Wendy Wilde in my inquiry. I am more curious to hear from her, now.


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