Saturday, November 17, 2007

Aww! I just got comfortable.

Why does it seem like change comes just when you get comfortable? Those who know me best know that I really enjoy talk radio. Hannity, Ingraham, Larson and Limbaugh can help me relax as much as any comfort food. In the past year I've become a fan of KSL's Nightside Project. I started with a hearty dislike for the offbeat young adult oriented news and talk show which had bumped Lars Larson whom I had become, well, comfortable with. After a couple months I started to become enamored with the new program and particularly with the show's host Michael Castner.

I didn't always love everything he said, but I loved the way he said it. He has an on air personality to rival Larry King and Rush Limbaugh at once. He is the only guest host that I have ever thought I might some day enjoy seeing take over for Doug Wright (KSL's popular local day-time host.) Soon The Nightside Project was the #1 rated program in the time slot and I felt the recognition was well deserved. After starting a late job driving pizza I found myself getting comfortable again with the radio.

Given the history you'd think I'd have been concerned when my favorite host wasn't on the air this past week. I guess ignorance is bliss but it doesn't soften the blow when the truth comes out. It turns out that KSL has released the host based on monitary concerns. However, considering the early November ratings bonanza for KSL and the show (again placing the program at #1) I'm left stunned as Castner appears to be:
“I don’t know how they make these decisions,” says Castner. “I’m just the meat in the seat. But the math doesn’t add up as far as budgets go. We’re in the middle of a ratings book. We’re the No. 1 show in [the 7 p.m. to midnight] time slot in this market. I don’t know what you say to someone—‘Sorry, next time we’ll try to be No. 2 or 3?’”
- From a Holly Mullen article on
Turns out that Castner was the magic in the program, the glitter glue that help the program together. Listening to the show with Ethan Millard (whom I've come to respect recently) as host is ok, but the edgy, fun, vibe that previously had my finger on the KSL preset is nowhere to be found. The familiar segments seem lackluster with perhaps the exception of the Nightside Edition. This high point seems to be moot considering a report on RSLFM that KSL already intends to cancel the program in early 2008.

Michael if you're listening (though I can't imagine why you would be) I hope you stick around Utah so I can hear your next show on the radio while I deliver my pizzas. If Rod Arquette, Bruce Reese or any of the other directors and execs at KSL and Bonneville are listening (which I find an even more remote possibility) I hope this decision brings you the result you were hoping for because right now I'm not sure if KSL is going to stay my first choice after Hannity signs off at 4PM.

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