____        _ _      _   _           
| __ ) _   _| | | ___| |_(_)_ __  ___ 
|  _ \| | | | | |/ _ \ __| | '_ \/ __|
| |_) | |_| | | |  __/ |_| | | | \__ \
|____/ \__,_|_|_|\___|\__|_|_| |_|___/

Bulletin #(s) [1 thru 5], L)ist, N)ew (Press [ENTER] to quit)? l

       1) ***MUST READING!!!*** Tips to make using the News/Talk Radio
                                Forum easier and quicker. (updated 

       2) Welcome: why we're here and what we do. (updated 11/22/87)

       3) Why do trade publications give news/talk professionals short 
          shrift? (updated 11/22/87)

       4) Mutual Broadcasting and Westwood One: Is Larry King Worth 
          Everything You Have To Give Up To Get Him? (updated 11/22/87)

       5) Controversial Guests Are Good For Talk Radio! A response to
          charges of bigotry and racism against many radio talk show hosts. 
          (Published in Electronic Media, February 1, 1988)

* [Ctrl K]/[Ctrl X] aborts [Ctrl S] suspends *

       *                   IMPORTANT INFORMATION!!!                    * 
       *                                                               *
       *      Tips to make the News/Talk Radio Forum more useful       * 

            Now that we have been in operation for awhile, we've been 
       observing the ways in which users actually USE the NTRF. The fact 
       is that many of you are new to computers, and much of the BBS 
       lingo is confusing. Let's simplify things...
            General back and forth conversations through messages left 
       on this "electronic bulletin board" go on in the message base you 
       meet when you first log on. You are offered chances to "E)nter 
       msg" (leave a message of your own), "R)ead msg" (read any of a 
       number of messages by number, or all messages you haven't already 
       read, simply by pressing "*"), and "T)opic of msgs shown" (which 
       allows you to view a list of titles for messages left by others 
       that will give you a hint about which ones you might want to read).
       Generally, what is known as "e-mail", or electronic mail, on 
       other systems, is left on this main board you see when you first 
       log on. If you want to just establish contact with another user 
       or let EVERYONE konw you're out there, do it here.
            Don't leave general messages on the Conference Boards!!! The 
       Conferences (JOBS and IDEAS) work just like the main board, 
       except NOT EVERYONE READS THESE! One user left a "hello" message 
       to another user on the IDEAS Conference, which is primarily read 
       by talk show hosts and producers. This message will probably 
       never be seen by its intended receiver! The Conferences were 
       created for more specific uses, which are explained when you 
       "J)oin" a Conference.  
            Also, if you are in one Conference, and want to switch to 
       another, just type "j;(conference name)", for example,
       "j;jobs". This will save loads of time and confusion.  
            Right now, the NTRF is not equipped for casual users to 
       upload and download files, although in the future, if there is a 
       demand, this feature will be added. A number of useful 
       suggestions have been contributed by users, and your suggestions 
       are always welcome. Just leave them by typing "C" ["C)omment"], 
       and following the various prompts and instructions.
            Read these bulletins often, as they will be updated as 
       frequently as is necessary. And thanks for using the News/Talk 
       Radio Forum!

* [Ctrl K]/[Ctrl X] aborts [Ctrl S] suspends *


            The News/Talk Radio Forum was created out of a need...a need 
       for a feeling of professionalism among the pros in the news/talk 
       radio format. CHR program directors and music directors all seem 
       to know each other. They meet at conventions, trade secrets, and 
       always seem to know where to find the right talent when they need 
       them. News directors have the RTNDA...they meet once a year and 
       feel a certain camaradarie with each other.
            But as a news/talk professional, have you ever noticed how 
       hard it is to find great talent? Or how no one seems to agree on 
       such essentials as hot topics, topic rotation, controversial 
       guests, the need for news or open phones, or a myriad of other 
            Talk radio program directors and talent operate in a vacuum, 
       without a consensus on what works and doesn't work. Unfortunately,
       this format is just too expensive to operate to be guessing at 
       what will work. News and talk formats are the most "people-
       intensive" formats there are, and if general managers don't know 
       what they're doing, tons of money can (and frequently are) lost.  
            We need to be able to exchange information, to forge 
       friendships, and to develop a feeling that we are professionals 
       within a larger profession: radio programmers who operate the 
       most risky and rare formats in American radio today.
            Your sysops are Tom and Christine Leykis. Tom is a 
       controversy-oriented talk show host at KFYI/Phoenix, and has 
       worked at stations in New York City, Miami, and Albany, New 
       York. Christine is a television news anchor in Spanish at KTVW-
       TV 33/Phoenix.       
            Please log on often (there is no charge, of course, except 
       the cost of your call), and leave comments about whatever issues 
       you feel need to be addressed. Also, visit our JOBS (C)onference 
       if you are looking for a job, or looking for some talent. And, of 
       course, leave your opinions on what we are doing.  We want to be 
       the resource for America's news and talk programmers.


            Think for a minute...how many times have you hungered for 
       some sort of information about the news/talk format? Maybe you'd 
       like to know where good people are working or how a David is 
       slaying a Goliath in another market. Or possibly you're a PD 
       arguing with a consultant about which slogans will work or 
       whether guests or open phones work best and in what proportions. 
            So you go to the trades to find these things out. Where do 
       you go? Well, there's "Vox Jox" in Billboard, but not only is 
       much of their information "borrowed" from other sources, it's 
       mostly about disc jockeys. The news/talk column formerly written 
       for Radio & Records by Brad Woodward, and later by Yvonne Olson,  
       was discontinued earlier this year, while Country music seems to 
       take up page after page, week after week. Broadcasting Magazine 
       is great if you plan to buy stations or satellite uplinks (which 
       all of us do, of course, if we ever pay off the bedroom 
            Why is it that the traditional trades basically ignore our 
       format? One reason may be that there are so few news/talk 
       stations around. (The number has been hovering around the 150-160 
       range out of approximately 4,900 AM stations.) We don't hold 
       conventions, have professional organizations or buy a lot of 
       advertising space the way record companies and CHR consultants 
       do. There is no sense of unity amongst our programmers and 
       talent, no set of professional standards in this format.
            CHR programmers meet regularly at conventions like Bobby 
       Poe, news directors specifically meet at the RTNDA. News/talk 
       professionals fly blind, without any help from their colleagues 
       in other markets.
            If you're a news/talk programmer, you probably know how hard 
       it is to find good people. Where do you look? Do you also wend 
       your way through the broadcasting school graduates and jock 
       hopefuls in R&R's "Positions Sought" section? And if you're a 
       talk host, how do you find a job? News/talk stations rarely place 
       ads in the trades...they ask around to see if anyone they know 
       might be interested, then they frequently put just ANYONE on the 
       air until they figure they'll find someone. (One station in Miami 
       put a news anchor in as a nightly host; until recently, another 
       station in that market had a full-time host who used to be a 
       REGULAR CALLER! This is professionalism?) Programmers figure that 
       talent doesn't read the trades, talent knows that programmers 
       don't use the trades.  
            We need to come together like never before. With stations 
       being trafficked like never before, novice owners are buying 
       ailing AM stations at record high prices (sometimes as much as 
       15-20 times cash flow), then install news/talk formats, expecting 
       them to take off like a Z-100 (remember KFYI in San Francisco?). 
       They don't realize how much time it takes for one of these 
       stations to take off (you're not only asking listeners to listen, 
       you're asking them to TRUST you). It costs millions in losses in 
       a major market for up to four years before a profit can be 
       demonstrated, and that assumes you have a decent signal. There is 
       no place for ownership to learn about this, thus an awful lot of 
       good professionals get shot down for not performing unprecedented 
            We need support from the trades. We need to support each 
       other. Hopefully, that will begin in some small way on the 
       News/Talk Radio Forum.

* [Ctrl K]/[Ctrl X] aborts [Ctrl S] suspends *

                          HAVE TO GIVE UP TO GET HIM?

            Every now and then, it's time to stand up and say some 
       things that will ruffle feathers, and this bulletin will 
       certainly do that!
            How many of you have carried or are considering carrying 
       Mutual's Larry King Show? Remember when the King show started, 
       back in 1978? It ran from midnight until 5:30 AM, and many 
       stations gleefully accepted the idea of a nationwide network talk 
       show because it would reduce costs, specifically, the cost of 
       hiring radio's equivalent of the loss leader, the overnight air 
            The show perked up the moribund Mutual network, whose news 
       product has notoriously been considered among the worst of the 
       major networks, a fact that has been only whispered amongst 
       friends, as long as Mutual could continue cranking out this cheap 
       solution to the expense of overnights. Many stations merely 
       carried the spots and refused to carry the newscasts, and, 
       especially in markets where inventories are large, and costs must 
       be kept small, the tradeoff was happily accepted.
            The last thing that many in the industry expected was that 
       Larry King would become the national institution he seems to be 
       becoming. The guest list became prestigious, the Peabody Award 
       was bestowed, the TV gigs, including a syndicated show, a spot on 
       NBC's NFL pre-game show, and the CNN nightly program, keep 
       coming, newspaper columns in USA Today and The Sporting News, and 
       on and on and on. All of a sudden, this cheap overnight 
       alterative became a hot property, probably Mutual's first hot 
       property since the Golden Age of Radio.
            It seemed almost as if the King show was the salvation of 
       the network, and, it retrospect, it probably is the singular best
       reason why Norm Pattiz, through his Westwood One concern, decided 
       to buy Mutual from the Amway Corporation in 1985. (When is the 
       last time YOU bought anything from Amway???) When WW1 bought 
       Mutual, Pattiz and Company decided to take full advantage of the 
       product he had bought. The spot rates on the show were hiked 
       dramatically. The inventory stations must carry has shot up 
       beyond 400 minutes per week. And, most disturbingly, Dr. Toni 
       Grant's psychology show, which never in three years on ABC's 
       Talkradio network ever proved any appeal beyond the borders of 
       California, was grafted onto Mutual's schedule and rammed down 
       the throats of stations who knew better, but wanted to get the 
       King show. 
            In our opinion, the Grant show is merely another spot 
       carrier which stations are generally loath to promote and which 
       will probably ultimately die out from neglect, as well as audience 
       disinterest. The spot load required by Mutual is the largest of 
       any radio network. And Mutual News, although it has improved 
       under President Ron Nessen, still has no image in the minds of 
       the public, and is therefore not promotable like a CBS, or a Paul 
       Harvey. And with Larry King's heart problems (including his late 
       November open heart surgery), the roster of fill-ins has been 
       disasterous and worrysome, and the ratings here in Phoenix for 
       the program have dropped dramatically.
            Our prediction is that once Larry King has retired or gotten 
       a better offer, the network will be right back where it started, 
       unless it begins to deal with these issues NOW while it can. What 
       do you think? Enter a message and let everyone know. Let the 
       dialogue begin!

* [Ctrl K]/[Ctrl X] aborts [Ctrl S] suspends *

                                 by Tom Leykis
       (An opinion piece in the January 11, 1988 edition of Electronic 
       Media assails talk radio hosts who allow racists and bigots to 
       appear on talk shows. It also attempts to make a comparison 
       between controversial talk radio and the "shock radio" practiced 
       by a number of disc jockeys around the country. We submitted this 
       response to Electronic Media, and it was published in their
       February 1, 1988 issue.)

       A number of sanctimonious opinions have been published in industry
       trade papers recently (including Electronic Media) regarding the 
       wisdom of programming controversial issue-oriented talk radio. 
       Electronic Media's recent piece by Harold Applebaum, special 
       assistant to the executive vice president of the American Jewish 
       Committee, contained terms such as "shock radio", "problem", and 
       "deterioration", all of which are designed to provoke and concern 
       station owners just as much as any expert practitioner of 
       combative talk radio knows how to poke and prick his audience 
       into responding.  

       It is fascinating to note that, while many folks such as Mr. 
       Applebaum like to consider themselves First Amendment advocates, 
       they are the first to howl when the opinions being expressed 
       don't agree with their own points of view, and to demand 
       "responsibility" on the part of broadcasters. But the 
       "responsibility" they are demanding is nothing more than good, 
       old-fashioned censorship.
       No responsible broadcaster likes to "pander to prejudice". What 
       makes a great talk show host great is the ability to dissect the 
       convoluted logic of the most abhorrent fascist or racist. Inviting 
       individuals such as David Duke of the National Association for 
       the Advancement of White People or Tom Metzger of the White Aryan 
       Resistance to appear on talk shows is valuable when a skilled 
       surgeon proceeds to slice and dice them. Yes, if it's done well, 
       it's entertaining. What's wrong with that? It certainly gets an 
       anti-racist point of view across to more folks than a stack of 
       handbills on a street corner. Are we better off letting these 
       folks fester under their rocks? I think not.  

       Why shouldn't a talk show host have the right to object publicly 
       to the Pope's visit to the United States? Why shouldn't ethnic 
       stereotypes be examined on the air? If someone wants to tell the 
       old lie about the "Holocaust Myth", why not let a talk show host 
       go after him? The mere fact that a representative of a racist 
       organization appears on a radio talk show does not legitimize him 
       anymore than does being listed in the telephone book. The idea of 
       limiting the subject matter of radio talk shows under the guise 
       of "responsibility" is positively chilling.  
       Should radio talk show hosts give out the telephone numbers of 
       private individuals on the air? No. Should they engage in 
       slinging ethnic slurs at their adversaries? Of course not. It is 
       distressing, however, when individuals use the excesses of an 
       industry to prove that the entire industry is no good. For 
       example, there is an insidious effort afoot to link the bathroom 
       or locker room humor of disc jockeys such as Howard Stern or the 
       Greaseman with bona fide interviews of Americans with unpopular 
       views on radio talk shows. Just lump it all together as "shock 
       radio". But is there really a connection? The fact is that a good 
       talk show host could have a field day tearing apart a disc jockey 
       who uses minorities as the butts of jokes just as much as he 
       could by tearing apart the garden-variety goose-stepping guest.
       For every Neil Rogers asking little boys to call in and tell him 
       what they look like with their shirts off, there is a Gene Burns 
       who eloquently articulates the rage of his listeners with wit and 
       grace. For every Ed Tyll referring to a black Congressman as 
       "Buckwheat", there is a Jerry Williams, often outraged, 
       frequently outrageous, but always getting his listeners involved 
       in their community with campaigns such as the one that got the 
       seat belt law repealed in Massachusetts. And let's not forget 
       that most news/talk radio stations, including those that engage 
       in controversy, attract the most attractive demographics of any 
       radio format there is. Folks with high incomes and higher 
       education are listening to these verbal battles. Are these people 
       just a bunch of rednecks who run looking for a pencil when the 
       White Patriots' Party is giving out their address? Hardly.  

       The Great American Free Market will rid broadcasting of 
       broadcasters who promote dangerous opinions or who do not 
       broadcast in the interest of their communities. "The Aryan Nations 
       Hour", a radio program on KZZI-FM in West Jordan, Utah that 
       promoted white supremacy, was whisked off the air in just two 
       weeks. Why? Because the good folks of West Jordan, including the 
       station's advertisers, threatened to end their support of that 
       radio station. Fantastic! Free speech and the free market working 
       But if radio listeners want to hear Morton Downey Jr. call a Nazi 
       a "fat slime", or to hear Tom Leykis debate Louis Farrakhan, and 
       if advertisers want to support this kind of programming, why 
       should anyone, including pressure groups, federal regulators, 
       self-serving protectors of the public taste, or anyone else have 
       the right to hamper this process?  

       The fact is that controversy-oriented talk radio is good business 
       for many AM station owners with once-declining audiences. It is 
       bringing listeners under 55 years old back to the AM band. It's 
       informative. It's interesting. It's entertaining. And the folks 
       who work at it know that it gets the public involved. Involved 
       in the news. In the political process. In the radio station. It 
       is hard to see what is wrong with something like that.