Bill Wayne's Political Pages - The Gadfly
Gadfly 102
Submitted to the Warrensburg Gazette for August 30, 2001

The Gadfly is a series of letters offering commentary on local issues and published in the Warrensburg Gazette.

It appears that Warrensburg is entering a real radio daze. Unfortunately, I am not optimistic that any changes will work to increase public awareness of local issues, such as the fact that Warrensburg R-VI raised its levy while some other local districts actually reduced theirs.

I read that KCMW (FM 90.9), CMSU’s local public station, has changed its name to KTBG “The Bridge.” It has shifted from its mostly-jazz format to something called “Adult Alternative Album,” whatever that is, and I hear it is in danger of being closed down if it doesn’t gain some audience share. It seems that there was a lot more jazz on the radio than there is jazz audience. Certain PBS stations missed a great opportunity to get together and carve up the classical market when the commercial classical station in K.C. changed format. Some coordinated scheduling could have helped all of the stations move into an under-served niche and gain some market share without directly competing. I doubt that the university will close down the radio station if it doesn’t gain share; they’ll just subsidize it with other taxpayer dollars.

CMSU has again awarded the sports broadcasting contract to KLRQ (FM 96.1) out of Clinton. The athletic department gains several advantages to this arrangement, as their game broadcasts reach a wider area and they receive revenue from selling the rights. The fact that the athletic department gains as CMSU’s radio station languishes is, I guess, not relevant.

KOKO (AM 1450) is once again locally owned. We may actually start getting Warrensburg news again; I was becoming more familiar with what’s going on in Sedalia than I cared. Perhaps KOKO will resume some of the more interesting contests it has sponsored in the past, such as the Treasure Hunt that got everyone delving into Warrensburg history.

The growth of talk radio nationally shows that controversy and opinion sell. In these days of miniscule voter turnout, perhaps one of our stations could make money by hosting a regular local-issues talk show – and help people become more informed while they’re at it.

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