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August 16, 2005

Was Nick Coleman censored by KTNF AM 950?

KTNF is Air America Minnesota, and Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Nick Coleman participated in their morning drive show from January until early July. Then, he apparently took a vacation, which soon turned into a "vacation". Now the truth can be told, via this email received from the pundit himself:
I essentially quit AM950 * refusing to come in for work and asking to be placed on "hiatus" by the station on July 25. My official resignation was tendered Aug. 8. I'll give you a short list of reasons why:

1) Station management increasingly demanded control over "topics, tone and guests" and ordered certain hot button topics off limits, such as guns, gays and abortion. I refused to comply...
The management in question disputes this account:
[Station general manager] Janet Robert strenuously denies most of Coleman's claims. She did not interfere with Coleman's choice of topics, she says, including any criticism of the war in Iraq. (She states that she, too, opposes it.) "We do not censor anybody on this radio station," Robert says. On the Joe Palan matter, Roberts says simply, "He quit." She repeats, too, "I don't discuss personnel matters."
A local disputes Coleman's spin as well:
Anyone who spent any time listening to the Coleman show may find the claim that he was restricted from talking about Iraq or "gays" to be highly curious, as they were his twin obsessions for conversation topics.
The Pioneer Press' Craig Westover says:
However, having been the butt-end (playing straight man for Nick here) of his tirades, I'd point out there is a big difference between control over topics as in censoring certain discussions and demanding that controversial topics be handled in a civil and respectful manner. Nick has a tendency to confuse "conflict" with "controversy" and "controversy" with "relevance." A journalist takes the chaos of conflict and distills it down to the basic issues of controversy so people can have a relevant discussion. From my experience, Nick views conflict as an end in itself and thus makes himself irrelevant...
Now, here's where it gets interesting. The same site that got the email from Coleman was sent an internal Air America Minnesota memo, containing this:
JR Broadcasting will not permit discussion of the issues of gun control, abortion, or gay marriage.
However, Roberts says that was just a draft and Coleman was never censored.

OK, that's enough Minnesota coverage for a while, eh.

Posted in Meta at August 16, 2005 09:34 PM


Monitoring Air America Radio [TM] so you don't have to.


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