Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Continuing the McBride story

This is the e-mail sent to a WTMJ-AM listener:

I appreciate your thoughts and comments. I would like to just clarify a couple of things. Jessica was not fired because of a certain ideology. She wasn’t even dismissed over the Eugene Kane piece she aired, although I believe it was an inappropriate attempt at comedy. We decided to move up a decision we had made weeks ago (The addition of the Dennis Miller Show) rather than see Jessica and the station have to endure the negative publicity while she remained on the air for a few short days. WTMJ has a great tradition of allowing our talk show hosts to say what they believe. We also have a great record of standing behind our people when it gets “a little hot in the kitchen”. I’m sorry you feel we didn’t do that this time.

I can respect your decision to take your listening, viewing and reading anywhere you choose……I just thought it was important to represent our position clearly. Thanks again.

Jon Schweitzer
Sr.VP/GM
Journal Broadcast Group
"I'm sorry you feel we didn't do that this time"? Okay, WTMJ-AM fired her. But Schweitzer shouldn't think he can pretend McBride's firing and the timing of it had nothing to do with the Kane bit. Does he think WTMJ-AM listeners are stupid? Incapable of reading?

Schweitzer told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Tim Cuprisin that it hastened her firing, and he even says in the e-mail they let McBride go early "rather than see Jessica and the station have to endure the negative publicity while she remained on the air for a few short days."
WTMJ has a great tradition of allowing our talk show hosts to say what they believe. We also have a great record of standing behind our people when it gets “a little hot in the kitchen”.
Clearly that tradition just took a hit when they pulled down the radio bit in question and fired McBride

But even more disturbing than Schweitzer's dissembling on the issue was the revelation today on WISN-AM by Mark Belling that WTMJ-AM asked Jessica McBride to back off from talking about politics as much as she did and talk about more "life-style issues". I'm waiting for outraged leftys and feminists to march on WTMJ-AM and demand to know why the same request wasn't made of the male on-air personalities. I thought we were past the days when the women on-air personalities are asked to do "lifestyle" stories instead of real commentary. I guess I was wrong.

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