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I got a response from KOGO 600’s program director Cliff Albert today.

Wade Douglas, the reporter whom KOGO laid off had told me that only two reporters and one anchor were left at the station. Albert clarified that he must have meant two reporters and one anchor had left the station because more news talent remains than that at the station.

He continued:

Sally Hixson is going to stay with us a part-time as an anchor, a reporter and on-line correspondent. Even with Wade and Marilyn leaving, we still have a full news team of 6 anchors, 3 full-time reporters and 3 part-time or freelance reporters all of whom now provide stories for both the radio and our on-line site. We remain the only radio station in San Diego with local news, traffic and weather 24/7.  By the way, our research shows us that while our listeners stay updated with our around-the-clock news updates at the top and bottom of every hour, they also say they get the news from our local talk shows….with local hosts Chip Franklin and Roger Hedgecock debating the relevant issues of the day every day with local newsmakers.

Our new morning talk show with Chip Franklin includes news updates at the top and bottom of every hour as well as headlines at the quarter-hour with LaDona Harvey, veteran news anchor in San Diego. Chip, as host of the show, is a mulitple winner of the RTNDA’s Edward R. Murrow Award for Writing.  Chip does a news topic based talk show and regularly interviews local and national newsmakers.  Just last week, he got an exclusive San Diego radio interview with Sen. John McCain.

We are adjusting what we do to be competitive in a world these days with more on-line news and information sources than ever before along with TV and people who still read newspapers.  That means news and information has to be presented with what I have always called the Three E’s:  Engaging, Entertaining and Enlightening.

To be successful as a news-talk station, you have to provide not only 24/7 news updates, but also a reliable on-line product as well as an analysis and discussion of the issues…and yes, the opinions as well, in our talk shows. Just watch cable news channels…some news and some opinion which helps people formulate their own opinions and make decisions that they have to make as an informed voter.

I certainly wouldn’t be one to say that opinion doesn’t fully complement news.

SCOTT LEWIS

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