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Clear Channel unloading four silent radio stations to minority non-profit; 846 to go

What does Kingsford the Pig have to do with any of this? Read on.

What does Kingsford the Pig have to do with any of this? Read on.

It was definitely a feel good moment last week when Clear Channel announced that it plans to donate four radio stations to the Minority Media Telecommunications Council. The MMTC says it will work with the National Association of Broadcaster’s Leadership Training Program to “use the stations for training and to incubate new minority and women broadcast owners.”

If Clear Channel were giving these stations to me, I’d be, like, “THANK YOU CLEAR CHANNEL. DUDE. WOW. THANKS.” David Honig, President and Executive Director of MMTC, did the formalities with a lot more class. “Clear Channel Radio’s generosity and support creates an enormous opportunity not only for our own training programs, but for minority and women broadcasters who would not otherwise have the means to operate their own stations,” he said. Very well put.

The donated licenses—all silent for now, it appears—include KYHN in Fort Smith, AR, WTFX in Winchester, VA, KMFX in Rochester, MN, and WHJA in Laurel, MS. It’s a good thing that these signals have gone dark. I took at look at where the content has been transferred. Woah. I wouldn’t want anyone to have to clean that up.

Wikipedia reports that the lights went out on WTFX went a while ago and its broadcast operation moved to WRME Sportstalk 1550. 1550’s web portal actually has a cheesecake page. Yes way. The Babe Section includes the “Thong of the Day (updated daily)” and “Wet on the Net.” Ok. You’re thinking Sports Illustrated, right? But “M.I.L.F. of the Day” and “Lez B Friends”??? There’s also a photo gallery that purports to have serious news shots but is really just dedicated to more nookie stuff. A little desperate for traffic, are we?

Then there’s KYHN, which is presently silent but apparently has a twin, KWHN, both located in the Fort Smith, Arkansas market region. My favorite part of KWHN’s site is the Viral Videos and More page. I mean the tube of Kingsford the Pet Pig is sort of cute. But the jokes? Be sure to check out, Why Some Men Have Dogs and Not Wives. I had to read it, so you do too.

1. The later you are, the more excited your dogs are to see you.
2. Dogs don’t notice if you call them by another dog’s name.
3. Dogs like it if you leave a lot of things on the floor.
4. A dog’s parents never visit.
5. Dogs agree that you have to raise your voice to get your point across.
6. You never have to wait for a dog; they’re ready to go 24 hours a day.
7. Dogs find you amusing when you’re drunk.
8. Dogs like to go hunting and fishing.
9. A dog will not wake you up at night to ask, If I died, would you get another dog??
10. If a dog has babies, you can put an ad in the paper and give them away.

Wow. That’s really, uh, funny. Through the week the station airs the views of those great friends of women and minorities, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity. These days Rush is taking a break from calling Supreme Court pick Sonia Sotomayor a racist and is doing predictable cartwheels over the Henry Louis Gates mess. Hannity is taking the high road and doing everything he can to stop health care reform. The station’s local host Gary Elmore seems like a decent sort of guy, actually. How’d he get stuck in that place?

How are these stations doing? Arbitron says that in 2007 WTFX (now WRME one presumes) had less than a one percent Average Quarter Hour share in the Winchester, Virginia market—this despite the “Lez B Friends” photos. KWHN pulled in a 3.4 percent share. That’s on the lower end of the scale, albeit better than competing news/talk signal KFPW-AM, which ranked 1.1 share. But many of the music stations in that market have much higher shares, going up to 11 percent.

WJHA of Laurel, Mississippi (“Blues 890”) is silent. Country station KMFX of Rochester, Minnesota (“102.5 The Fox”) is also shut down—maybe. As you can see, the website is still up. And the Rochester Post Bulletin reported about a week ago that an absent deejay is returning to the station. Then it reported on Thursday that the station’s been off the air for a year. So your guess is as good as mine.

Clear Channel says it is going to give the MMTC even more stations. The company says it presently owns 850 licenses. I say donate them all.


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