Sunday, October 19, 2008

Anti-gay Radio in the SF Bay Area?

Anti-gay radio?
Shame on San Francisco classical radio station, KDFC 102.1. They have betrayed a huge portion of their loyal listeners. Once again they have thrown gay and lesbians under the proverbial bus. KDFC is the one of the top three radio stations in SF and the most popular classical station in the country. They are a large media supporter of the arts in the bay area providing advertising, in-kind trade, PSAs and calendar listings. But they care more for the money they can get broadcasting the deceitful, hatful, fear mongering lies of the “Yes on Prop 8” campaign. They played the “Yes on 8” ads three to five times an hour. I never heard the station air a “No on Prop 8” commercial. The “Yes” ads call for removal of constitutional marriage rights for a group of California citizens. It denigrated and disparaged a minority group. It promoted intolerance, bigotry, and discrimination. It was commercial hate speech.

KDFC was instrumental in supporting a despicable campaign of lies, misinformation and fear mongering. They approved and aired ads that deceived the public into thinking that same-sex marriage would hurt children and punish churches.

I contacted the station manager and requested that they stop playing fraudulent advertising, the station manager, Bill Lueth, refused. He says although many may find the ad to be “repugnant”, they feel “it is inappropriate for us to filter them in any way”. I responded with the questions: How can you justify accepting money for repugnant and fraudulent advertising? Would you accept similar ads that called for restricting rights for Jews or blacks or of another race or minority? I sure hope not. Why do you allow the bashing of gays and lesbians on your classical musical station?” I have not heard back.

I also filed a complaint with the FCC. They have an on-line form here.

Every arts organization in the Bay Area (symphony, ballet, theatre, museum, etc.) advertises or does promotional give-aways on KDFC, presumably because the station is so cultural. I recommend contacting these arts organizations and their executive directors to let them know that their organization is helping to support a radio station that ran an aggressive "Yes on 8" campaign to take rights away from gays and lesbians. Maybe they can put some pressure on the station to change their homophobic ways. At the very least it could start a dialogue on educating them on the consequences of their questionable decisions and policies.

This is not the first time that the classical station has shown it bigotry towards the gay community. In January 2005, KDFC refused to sell advertising to the gay dating service "8 Guys Out," while taking advertisements for the heterosexual dating service "Table for Six". Wikipedia also reported that: "In March 2007, KDFC pulled an ad critical of the Christian Right. The advertisement for a book by Chris Hedge was tailored to play only in the Bay Area to promote local appearances by the author. Bill Lueth, KDFC's operations and program director insisted that pulling the ad was not a free-speech issue. ‘We don't have any issue with their right to advertise this book. It simply doesn't fit the expectation of our listeners on this particular radio station,’ Lueth said."

Until early 2008, the station use to be owned by Bonneville, which is part of the Mormon Church. They are now owned by a company called Entercom Communications, the forth largest radio company in the US. I don't know why the station is still beholden to homophobic Mormon values.
We use to listen to the station from 6 am until mid-day, five days a week. We have now switched to KQED, a PBS station and to KFOG and KNGY. After being a loyal listener for many years, I refuse to listen to the station anymore.

[Entry revised and updated 2/09.]UPDATE: Local radio personality Michael McGurk and family were contributors ($250.00) to the Yes on 8 campaign to discriminate against gay and lesbian couples. McGurk is presently Production Director at KRTY/KLIV radio. He has also been a radio DJ for KPEN, KEZR and KARA.

[Updated again 10/09]
In May 2009, KDFC laid-off their only openly gay DJ, John Evans. He use to be the afternoon drive time host. He is now doing news on KCBS 740 AM.
In September 2009, “Energy 92.7” (KNGY-FM), a San Francisco station that targeted the gay community, was sold. The entire staff including out morning team Fernando & Greg were fired. The gay friendly radio station and its staff were big supporters of GLBT events and non-profits organizations throughout the Bay Area. Fernando & Greg were even listed in Out magazine’s list of top 100 most influential people in gay culture. Their morning show was the first commercially broadcast gay morning show in the US.
[Update 1/10] In November 2009, Fernando & Greg's morning show found a new home at "MOViN 99.7" in San Francisco.

During the weeks leading up to the election, I killed the Google Ads I had running in the right column. They kept displaying a fraudulent “Yes on 8” ad. I don’t know how to change the settings so I don’t get anti-gay ads on my blog.


Unknown said...

Thanks for the heads up.

By the way, speaking of Google Ads, apparently SurveyUSA uses them, and the page for their new poll re: Prop 8 has a Yes on Prop 8 ad, which further degrades the credibility of SurveyUSA in my opinion. California Majority Report talks about it here.

Reuven said...

I'm a CHRISTIAN and I'm voting NO on 8.


Because it seems that all the funding has come from false Christian groups like ROMAN CATHOLICS and "MORMONS" both of whom are idolaters (worshiping Men, Mary, beads, little statues of saints, etc).

IDOLATRY is a worse sin. Voting yes on 8 supports idolatry.

See the War On Savings

Anonymous said...

I am having the same issue with a local radio station (KZST)up here in Santa Rosa. They have been playing the "Yes on 8" ads for the last 2 weeks and I have sent repeated emails to their station manager(Tom Skinner)about the false information in these ads. I have even sent them copies of the Supreme Court document that shows the information in the ads are lies, but they don't feel any responsibilty to research the issue any further or pull the ads.
I have emailed the FCC with a complaint as well, perhaps if enough of us complain they will actually look into it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for getting the word out.

I sent a letter to all the KDFC staff. I am also trying to get KALW to do a story on it....

Anonymous said...

Thank you for calling for a Boycott of KDFC. They (and their Mormon owners) led a campaign against our Civil Rights and sadly they succeeded for now. But this fight is not over. We must hold KDFC and their advertisers accountable.

The fight for Civil Rights does not only happen in the voting booth – the fight for Civil Rights must take place in our everyday actions.

So Please take an act for Civil Rights and turn off KDFC and stop shopping at the businesses that support them…

Anonymous said...

KDFC is having their holiday party in downtown San Francisco on the evening of Friday, November 21. It would be great if there were more people showing up to protest than actually attending the party!

barefootguy said...

I am so with you on the boycott of KDFC. Not only have I hated this station for years, when they started to dumb down their programming, but the political controversies are just too much.

For those who don't know, back in the day, there used to be two classical radio stations in the SF Bay Area, KKHI and KDFC. KKHI was the better of the two, but they were both "pretty good," in that they played a wide range of interesting classical programming, and did not stoop to a Top-40 style. Eventually, KKHI bit the dust, sadly, and Bonneville International, a Mormon-owned media corporation took over KDFC. They switched the programming to one that played a narrow range of classics, while consciously eliminating or greatly restricting certain genres such as opera, solo vocal music, 20th/21st century music and chamber music. The reason was to attract a larger following; in particular, people who like to think they like and/or appreciate classical music because it's "classy," and not because they really want to learn about the music itself, or are particularly moved by it. They're the one's who say that classical music is "so relaxing," or it "puts them to sleep."

Now, Bonneville traded away KDFC to another corporation called Entercom, who isn't much better. The station, although very popular in the Bay Area, continues to allow biased advertising while maintaining its current format of dumbed-down classical music. Not only does it do a huge disservice to the classical music community in one of the most culturally enlightened regions of the world, it promotes discrimination against already marginalized communities.

Boycott KDFC, indeed.

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