Concerning the removal of the Laura Ingraham Show.
We have terminated our affiliation with the Laura Ingraham Show for the simple reason that her radio show is not long for this world.
If you are a regular listener, you may have noticed that she is very frequently absent. On many occasions – to a degree unlike any other network program with which we ever been affiliated – Ms. Ingraham either does not do her show at all or departs from the show early, leaving a guest host to finish it out for the day.
Despite complaints about this from us and other affiliates, Ms. Ingraham recently announced that she will be absent from her show every Friday.
To cover the frequent absences, the producers of the show have been doing one or another of three things:
1.) Bring in substitute hosts, the majority of whom have been terrible, to put it bluntly (but accurately).
2.) Air “best of” shows, i.e. replay shows that have already aired. By the very nature of the program and its topics, this has resulted in shows that have been conspicuously out of date. As an example, one day recently they aired a “best of” show that originally aired on the day that Tom Petty died. Yet, on that “best of” day months later, listeners were hearing Ms. Ingraham speak of Tom Petty’s death as if it had just happened.
3.) Pre-record shows in advance of their scheduled airings. This has much the same effect as airing “best of” shows – the subject matter has been conspicuously out of date.
Ms. Ingraham’s frequent absences began concurrently with the beginning of her weeknight television show on the Fox News Channel that airs live beginning at 11:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
Before coming to the decision to end our affiliation, we had several conversations with the executives at the network that syndicates her show. They were candid and forthcoming and understanding of our concerns. We are not the only affiliate with which they have had such conversations. They expressed their own doubts that Ms. Ingraham’s radio show will last much longer under the current circumstances.
It boils down to this, in my opinion. Ms. Ingraham, who frequently filled in for Bill O’Reilly on the Fox News Channel, was given a shot at her own Fox News Channel show in the wake of their big programming shakeup last year. The money is huge and she went for it. She decided to give doing a daily morning radio show and a daily late evening television show a try to see if she can make it work.
It’s not working well. I don’t think it can ever work well. There is no practical way that she can be live on the radio for three hours every day beginning at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time (which means you get to the studio about 7:00) and then live on television every day beginning at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time (which means you don’t get home until after midnight). That just can’t be done on a sustained basis.
And in fact, many days it’s not being done as evidenced by her frequent absences from the radio. One of the two shows is being pushed aside and, in all cases, it is the radio show.
Affiliates and listeners deserve better.
I, like you, like the show when Laura Ingraham actually shows up for work. But I can’t live with the sub-standard product that the show is when she’s not there, which is an unacceptably high percentage of the time.
Accordingly, I (along with a growing list of other stations) terminated the affiliation.
Thank you for listening and for taking the time to write.
Paul L. Gleiser, President
KTBB FM/AM • KRWR • KYZS • ATW Creative Services
(903) 593-2519 • firstname.lastname@example.org