New Host Begins Tuesday
copyright © 1996, Electric Nevada
|For executives at Reno's long-time number-one radio station, 50,000-watt KOH, it was just a basic business decision.|
| But for
lots of fans of afternoon talk-show host J.R. Reynolds,
his Aug 2 firing was betrayal, or worse.
Some fans and friends of Reynolds went so far as to track down the president and operating officers of KOH-owner Citadel Corporation, in Montana and Utah, to complain.
Reynolds himself said he didn't expect the response he received Wednesday when speaking at the weekly meeting in Carson City of the Nevada Freedom Coalition.
"I was so surprised at the tremendous warmth that these people exhibited, saying, 'What can we do? Whatever you want us to do, we'll do it. How can we get you back on the air? You are our voice. You're the only one we can depend on.'
"That really made me feel quite good," said Reynolds. "It's a nice thing to be wanted, but when you're needed, it's kind of special."
Speaking of KOH management, Reynolds said, "The only thing that these people don't understand right now is that firing a DJ is one thing. The people will miss him for a little while, but the music still remains.
"But when you fire a very popular talk show host, now you've got people -- I didn't realize it but -- you've got conspiratorial theorists coming out of the woodwork, saying, "Omigod, the Voice of Freedom has been SILENCED! Pick up your guns!" They're going nuts out there."
From the point of view of KOH, sources tell Electric Nevada, the basic problem was simply that Reynolds' three-hour weekday afternoon slot was not pulling in the number of listeners desired, keeping advertising revenue from the show low.
Reynolds acknowledges that his Arbitron audience ratings, "from the beginning, have been pretty much of a rollercoaster ride.
"I tend to think that in talk radio, it goes [that way] until you stabilize and then you stabilize hopefully [in] a little bit of an upward trend."
He also argues that ".. the fact of the matter is, this particular radio station in this market time slot, has never done anything.
"Nobody's ever been able to sustain this show. My show, for this two-and-a-half-year period, is the longest-running show in the history of this radio station. They go back to, like, 1928."
KOH Program Director Dan Mason would only say "With J.R. there were philosophical differences in how the show should be done that we were unable to resolve. And we chose to part ways."
Reynolds said when he was fired Mason had referred to a job performance report Reynolds had been given earlier, on July 22.
"In that report were some pretty ridiculous things," said Reynolds, "like I had booked Harry Browne, Libertarian candidate for President on
my show without prior approval. Pat McMillan
was another one; he's running for Congress. It mentioned
him in the same breath.
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