Monday, March 3, 2008
Melanie Morgan gone from KSFO
The first big name layoff came down today, when morning show cohost Melanie Morgan was let go this morning and said farewell during her 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. show. (Correction, from Melanie: She didn't get to say goodbye: my source on this was wrong.)
I'm shocked by this one. Not only is she the wife of KGO operations manager Jack Swanson, but she is a very compelling, very prolific talk host in her own right, who as she says, "leads with her chin out."
As a late convert to conservatism, Morgan has had a convert's zeal for the political right side of the dial. Yeah, she could be shrill and run on emotions more than facts.
But you have to admire the fact that she organized protests and led groups of soccer moms and political zealots whose actions were as loud as their words.
It wasn't just talk for Morgan, and for that I admire her. You could argue with her facts; not her passion for her beliefs.
I don't doubt that she is hugely marketable. If KNEW-AM had some money, she'd be a huge asset over there, where their morning team is a pair of old music radio deejays who are simulcasting in SF and Sacramento, and who, to me, are not that compelling. There is always an amateurish tinge to their show, like they know they are in way over their heads.
But add Morgan to the mix...and it could be incendiary.
Morgan hates the fact that I always allude to her husband when I am talking about her, but he is one of the most powerful men in radio and was for a time the program director of her station, as well as sister station KGO. Now, Ken Berry oversees KSFO and Swanson told me today that he didn't know his wife was laid off until 10 a.m. when she told him.
As much as I have trouble believing that, I do tend to believe Swanson. I don't think he's ever lied to me.
And I think it's scary to see someone of her caliber and notoriety go.
Can radio attract more listeners by getting rid of good talent? Answer: No.
Have you heard of any other layoffs?
More on Morgan here: A press release she sent out.
SAN FRANCISCO) – Renowned radio personality and national conservative leader, Melanie Morgan, delivered her final broadcast on talk radio powerhouse KSFO 560 AM today – Monday, March 3, 2008.
The owner of KSFO radio, Citadel Broadcasting, decided not to renew Morgan’s contract as part of the company’s announced across-the-board financial cost cutting.
Melanie Morgan has been a fixture on KSFO for the past 14 years, enjoying a run from 1994-2008 that far exceeded industry standards for longevity.
During that time, Morgan emerged as one of the nation’s most dynamic conservative activists, using the radio airwaves to motivate listeners who shared her passion to take action and fight for causes important to them.
Morgan’s on-air activism included an effort that removed the carcinogen MTBE from gasoline in California, launching of the historic Recall Gray Davis campaign that led to the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger as Governor of California, and co-founding the nation’s largest pro-troop organization, Move America Forward (website: www.MoveAmericaForward.org).
“It has truly been an honor for me to work at KSFO for the past 14 years. What I loved most about my time at KSFO was that it allowed me to connect with listeners and take action to make real changes in the world,” said Melanie Morgan.
“We never had a one-way dialogue with our listeners, and we never believed that we had to resolve ourselves to accept the status quo. We got out of our chairs, left our homes and offices, and circulated petitions, rallied for our troops and met with government leaders.
“We did all this to make sure that we left an even better world for our children than the one we had inherited from generations before us,” Morgan said.
As part of her ongoing conservative activism, Morgan has traveled to the Middle East twice to interview U.S. Troops stationed in Iraq and Kuwait. Her broadcast efforts from Iraq resulted in her winning the Associated Press’s Mark Twain Journalism Award, and The Peninsula Press Club’s award for Best Interview or Talk Show.
“Meeting our troops who are on the frontlines of the war against terrorism stands as the most powerful experience in my broadcast career,” said Morgan.
Morgan’s career with ABC began in 1981 when she was a television reporter for KGO TV. In 1984, she became an on-air personality for KGO radio where she worked for six years before switching over to ABC-San Francisco sister-station, KSFO 560 AM, co-hosting the Lee Rodgers and Melanie Morgan show. In 2006, Citadel Broadcasting acquired the ABC Radio group. She has reported on the scene from the Marine barracks bombing in Beirut, Lebanon; the Mexico City earthquake; and the Tiananmen Square massacre in China.
Melanie Morgan says her focus in the days ahead remains unchanged: She will remain a conservative activist leader.
“My commitment and dedication to serve as a leader in the movement to support our military men and women continues to grow, and I am very proud to serve as Chairman of the pro-troop non-profit group, Move America Forward,” Morgan said.
Melanie Morgan is not compensated for her work with Move America Forward, a fact since the group was first launched in 2004.
Morgan will also continue her weekly column for the news website www.WorldNetDaily.com and will continue to serve as a television analyst on news programs on cable and broadcast television stations and networks.
“My passion and commitment to the troops who are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world are foremost in my heart.
While I will miss my good friends Lee Rodgers and Officer Vic, and our great producer Sheri Yee, I am excited to stay close to the conservative grassroots. And I’ll always lead with my chin out,” Morgan concluded.