07 March 2011

Mrs. Fred Speaks Out About Her WMAL Dismissal

Will WMAL change its call sign to KPLO?
Another followup to this and this in the ongoing WMAL vs. the Grandy's story.

Catherine Mann, aka Mrs. Fred
Mrs. Fred | WMAL dismissal | The Daily Caller - Breaking News, Opinion, Research, and Entertainment:
"I’m not sure exactly what I said that they objected to, but if I had to guess, I’d guess it was how I concluded the show: “If I don’t return next Friday to continue this discussion, you’ll know that CAIR has successfully put pressure on WMAL — and the radical Muslims have won.”

Needless to say, my dismissal bothered me a tad. For a long time Fred and I have both believed the struggle against Islamic extremism is a secret war most Americans don’t even know we are fighting — and losing. We need more intelligence, not less.

Major Hasan
When management disagreed, Fred felt his microphone had also been muzzled and he resigned. That bothered me too. Now he’ll be around the house all day.

But you know what really bothered me? It was waking up not 24 hours after our broadcast careers abruptly ended to learn two American soldiers on their way to Afghanistan had been shot dead at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, by some 21-year-old kid from Kosovo shouting “Allahu Akhbar” — the same thing Major Hassan shouted."
Italicization mine.

While I support the Grandy's in their efforts to get the truth out about Sharia, especially Sharia in America, I also support the rights of the microphone owners.  Property rights rule with me, so it should be no surprise that I find nothing "wrong" with what WMAL did.  They have a thriving business and the popularity of the content is pretty high on the list of items of importance in the calculus of their operations.  They are not exactly The Pacifica Network, The National Review or The Reason Foundation, they operate on a for-profit basis.

The one WMAL source of mine did mention the ratings and how the share of the show would drop when Mrs. Fred began doing the Sharia segments.  Everything else she did was popular, but the Sharia segments lost listeners.  Mrs. Mann-Graham does not mention that directly, but she indicates it in the second paragraph of her editorial.  This is a key element that cannot be dismissed.  Sure, some shows do not need a broad audience to be profitable.  The Imus in the Morning show is probably the most visible example of a drive-time talk radio show that has a very small listenership, however the listeners he has are courted by advertisers who spend great amounts of money for commercial time, segment sponsorships and mentions on the show.  On the other extreme, Rush Limbaugh has had the biggest audience in radio for years and his loyal sponsors pay great amounts of money to reach many people.

All that said, WMAL lost me as a listener when Fred Grandy resigned.  From the online circles I haunt, it sounds like they lost quite a few more than just me.  Granted, the ones they retained may outnumber those of us who moved down the dial to 570 AM WTNT or to internet streaming from other markets and I trust that they were well aware of this when they decided to remove a topic of such importance from The Grandy Group offerings.

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