Curious what was going down in the Mile High City- I tuned to their 50000 watt AM station KOA and that's when I first heard the dulcet tones of Rick Barber.
You see- Rick had an overnight talk show on KOA- in fact had been on their air since 1983.
Through the next 17 years- I would tune in Rick whenever the overnight scanners were silent enough- then the station made Rick's shows available on KOA's Web site in MP3 form that I could listen to at any time.
Rick's philosophies on politics and pretty much his views on life itself surprising mirrored my own- and callers to Rick's shows- for the most part- were as equally informed and as entertaining as Rick himself.
This morning- I went to KOA's site to download his Tuesday morning show and was surprised to not see any shows for this week.
Down the page a bit was a Facebook interface- and comments on there were saying things like "sorry to see you go" and generally berating KOA.
So I Googled- and found this article in The DENVER POST.
Rick and another talk show host I never listened to had been "let go" by Clear Channel- the corporate owners of KOA and many radio stations across America.
The reason given? Beancounters: To cut costs.
Rick's last show had been last Friday- but the MP3 of his last hour where he was going to give his farewell wasn't included.
Rick's replacement? That para (ab)normal 'Coast to Coast' syndicated show that was formerly hosted by Art Bell- now hosted by George Noory.
A syndicated show that can be heard virtually everywhere in America overnight (Yes- I've seen 3 "UFOs" but so what?) and adds no substance at all to the issues facing this country.
Needless to say- I was upset- but that was what Corporate America has done to virtually everything in this country.
Homogenized America- sameness- beige-drab- with Clear Channel- no local connections to the local stations they own too damn many of.
The FCC used to issue licenses based on the promise that the applicant serves it's coverage area.
Corporate radio (and television) really does not "serve" the communities they are licensed to anymore- they axe local talent in favor of cheaply-obtained syndicated shows of dubious substance.
It about money- not quality or REAL local service to those who REALLY own the airwaves- The People.
Mr. Rick Barber- thanks so much for your light of moderatism and logic in an industry overrun by right-wing extremism.
Thanks for your great guests over the years- my faves were Dr. John Curtis- Al Lewis Scott Fuller- among many others.
Thanks too Rick- for your intelligent- entertaining listeners like Ivan in Montana (RIP)- Jim in Nebraska- "West Texas-" and Mark in Oklahoma City.