There’s a story posted on the WickedLocal/Watertown site about Nick Iannuzzi – an independent candidate for Governor’s Council in the Third District challenging incumbent Marilyn Devaney. Iannuzzi plans to appear on a local Saturday morning radio talk show to promote his campaign. There is a twist to the tale. Apparently Iannuzzi has paid $490 for a 25 minute segment on the highly popular Warren Shaw Show on WCAP 980-AM. Shaw regularly hosts and interviews elected officials and candidates for office – figures both local and regional as well as national. As far as I know these interviews and talk sessions have been gratis. Interestingly, history will show that on WCAP in the 1950s into the 1970s – Saturday was a popular time for paid political programs – some of great length. They were not part of a “talk show” format. Many locals will remember Lowell City Council candidates “John F. Carney of 21 Blossom Street speaking to you straight from the shoulder” and Fred Doyle usually attacking “Sun flowers.” They lit up the Saturday morning air waves with their political diatribes. I think they laid the foundation for the loyal Saturday morning listening audience for WCAP.
In the article radio station co-owner Clark Smidt explains the situation this way:
WCAP owner Clark Smidt says it’s standard practice at his station to sell airtime in the 60 days leading up to an election, when a great many candidates request time on the station.
Smidt said requiring payment was a way to “level the playing field” and avoid creating a situation where the station would be required to give free time to every candidate in every race. He said there would be full disclosure during the show that it was a paid appearance.
“This is a paid political program,” he said, “and it’s subject to all the normal rules. It must be paid for in advance before the person comes on, and it will have the appropriate disclaimers that this is a paid political interview.”
As for Warren Shaw – he says that he’s been asked to interview a paying guest:
“It’s not the kind of talk show that we look to beat people up, whether it’s compensated for or it’s not,” Shaw said. “We try and provide opportunities for everybody to tell their story, and that’s pretty much what I’ll be looking to do with this gentlemen.” He said, though, that this is the first time in 15 years of hosting that he’s been asked by the station have a paid guest on the show.
“I don’t have anything to do with those,” he said. “If someone schedules an interview for me on Saturday morning, I do it.”
If you are interested, you can catch the Iannuzzi appearance on the show hosted by former Dracut Selectman Warren Shaw on WCAP 980-AM from 8:05 to 8:30 a.m. on Saturday moring October 9th. What do you this about this arrangement? Let us know.
Read the full article here.