Mark Levin Show Yanked In Toledo By Ron Paul-Supporting Program Director

It’s a stupid business move, but it’s fine. Stick with me here…

I first read this posting at The Examiner today and had two reactions. The first reaction was toward WSPD Toledo’s Lew Rockwell, the Ron Paul-supporting program director (and on-air host), for what on its surface smacks of personal pettiness. Rockwell decided to not renew the syndication agreement for The Mark Levin Show, effectively pulling it from the air after 5 years.

Without knowing at the moment what Mark Levin’s numbers are in the Toledo market in his time slot, he is #1 nationally – and by far. There is little reason, short actual numbers in Toledo, to suspect he is not #1 in his Toledo time slot. This would mean that the decision to not renew him had nothing to do with business, profit or advertising dollars. So what, then?

The Toledo talk show host used the power of his Program Director’s position to “re-program” the Levin time slot with someone less likely to criticize Ron Paul.

Levin said that his team received a note from Wilson basically saying that unless Levin apologized for comments made about Paul and some of his supporters and changes his attitudes, he would not be renewed.

“It’s one thing to drop a program and to add a program, and everything in between.  It’s quite another to try and censor a program,” Levin said, in order to control what he says on the air.  Levin said that rather than wait the 90 days, “we quit,” and excoriated Wilson for using “Stalinist tactics.”

From a business perspective, this is nuts. Especially in a business as tight as broadcast radio, where revenues have always been far less than what most people presume. You don’t just whack the #1 show and its ad revenue generating power. Especially in Toledo.

Unless, apparently, the show offends your political sensibilities.

The second reaction to the posting at The Examiner was towards something the author wrote about the (very poor) decision at WSPD.

But when it came time to renew his contract with the station, Wilson decided to cancel Levin because of his political views, a tactic similar to that used in the former Soviet Union.

Now, he’s borrowing from Levin’s own words, and the attempt at political censorship is indeed that to a degree.

However, demanding an apology or some other action for offending one’s favorite politician under threat of termination is one thing coming from a private business or businessman. It’s “Soviet” and “Stalinist” truly, in my view, when it comes from the government. From a whining twerp like Rockwell, who looks to preserve the Ron Paul electoral PowerBloc of Toledo, Ohio? Eh… not so much.

To further make the minor point, here’s what will happen. Lew “The Shrewd” Rockwell’s brilliant business decision will be justly rewarded when one of WSPD’s competitors scoops up The Mark Levin Show and whatever local advertising dollars it once had for the #1 evening drive slot. Mark Levin will have the last laugh, if there’s anything to laugh about, because his audience – transient to whatever frequency he transmits at – will leave WSPD with him.

What Lew Rockwell did was maybe “Stalinist” on a personal level. But more importantly, what he did was stupid. Perhaps suicidal from a business perspective. What’s most amazing is that there was no broadcast executive at the Toledo station to sit Rockwell down and provide a lesson in distinguishing politics from business. No one stopped him. Not one. As a former program director in television, I find this difficult to comprehend. And as a consequence, the #1 national host in his slot is about to carry his A Game to a local competitor and eat WSPD’s lunch.

And that’s how it should be. A free market – free for hosts to speak their minds, free for program directors to make smart and insane decisions, and free for listeners to consume what they want, when they want and where they want. Listeners determine who is and is not on the air, ultimately. No need for any “Fairness Doctrine,” which in practice is truly “Stalinist.”

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OIE22UZSQ362ZK246R3NJZ3JD4 Brett

    I would guess that this got out of hand more quickly than the cooler heads at the station could handle. I also suspect that the PD will be gone in a few days and Levin will be back on the station in short order. PDs are a dime a dozen, #1 shows are not. 

    The only way this doesn’t happen is if the owners are also Paulbots. 

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

     If it’s THE Lew Rockwell, of course he was joined to Paul at the hip for years.  But this is a Clear Channel station which far outranks the other two minor talk stations in the market. 

    Of course, all you have is Levin’s word, which is worthless.  He has never admitted a mistake or issued a correction that I’ve heard of. 

    • Gmacr1

      Being as Levin’s show is an ‘opinion’ show and not a ‘news’ show one would think that expresssing one’s opinion was a 1st Amendment issue not subject to the whims of a PD who happens to be a Laup Nor zealot.

      • Commander_Chico

        If the government’s not involved, no 1st Amendment issue. 

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OIE22UZSQ362ZK246R3NJZ3JD4 Brett

          As much as it pains me to say it, Major_Zero is right. This is entirely within the rights of the people at the station. They are private citizens running a business.  They have no obligation to provide a platform for anyone.  It’s absolutely not a First Amendment issue. 

             The only governmental connection is that the use of the public airwaves falls under the jurisdiction of the FCC, who requires them to broadcast in the public interest or lose their license. The feedback mechanism is the public comment associated with license renewal. Dropping Levin will not result in loss of license. 

        • herddog505

          I agree.  While I think that the First Amendment ought to be upheld / observed by individuals as well as the government, it is not binding on individuals who are therefore free to shut anybody up if they can.

        • Gmacr1

          True, but if the PD screws the pooch financially its his ass that will get canned because ad revenue leaves to follow the audience.

  • MunDane68

    Look, either we are for people allowed to make bone-headed business decisions or we are not.  If not, then the bailout of GM is okey-dokey.  But if the business owner should be control of their own business, then they have to be able to make dumb moves, including letting the radiant intellect that is Levin go and find another station to broadcast on.

  • herddog505

    [D]emanding an apology or some other action for offending one’s favorite politician under threat of termination is one thing coming from a private business or businessman. It’s “Soviet” and “Stalinist” truly, in my view, when it comes from the government.

    Exactly.

    MunDane68[I]f the business owner should be control of their own business, then they have to be able to make dumb moves…

    Very true.  And people – customers or mere interested bystanders – have the right to say, “Dumb move, champ.”

  • http://otisthehand.blogspot.com/ OTIS the hand

    I like quite a few things about Rockwell, and disagree with him on quite a few. This seems quite a paradoxical position for a libertarian that some describe as “crypto-anarchist” and a proponent of the Austrian school of economics, which essentially posits that free markets are capable of solving all inequities sans authoritarian interference. Rockwell fails to practice what he preaches by a long shot here. Look who bares the authoritarian teeth when it suits him. Very disappointing.

  • Commander_Chico

    The Lew Rockwell is a radio station program director in Toledo?  Run this through Snopes.

    Maybe don’t need to, it appears that the story is here:

    http://freekeene.com/2012/02/17/wkbk-drops-hatemonger-talk-show-host-mark-levin/

    Local talk radio listeners have probably noticed that hatemongering neocon Mark Levin is no longer on the air on WKBK. Program Director Dan Mitchell explained that Levin has been dumped off of all of Saga Communications’ talk stations nationwide. (Update – Saga’s WGAN told me they still have Levin. So, that was inaccurate.) Unfortunately, WKBK did not opt to replace him with Keene’s own “Free Talk Live“. Thankfully, Clear Channel’s WSPD in Toledo, OH did just that.

    To give you some idea of who this Levin character is, I submit the following: In a stunning example of poor customer service, Levin attacks WSPD Program Director Brian Wilson in an email he angrily sent upon discovering his show was canceled by Wilson. In this YouTube video, a listener has cribbed clips from a recent episode of Free Talk Live, where we read the emails, which I shall also paste below:

    Etc. Good riddance to Levin, another warmonger.

    • herddog505

      Shorter cite:

      “Dirty, filthy, disgusting, contemptable son of a b*tch loses radio spot for calling somebody else a dirty, filthy, disgusting, contemptable son of a b*tch!  Serves that dirty, filthy, disgusting, contemptable son of a b*tch right for calling somebody else a dirty, filthy, disgusting, contemptable son of a b*tch.”

      • Commander_Chico

        Now that we settled the Lew Rockwell question, I guess the only question is whether the Brian Wilson is the same one from the Beach Boys.

        Could change the headline to:

        “Mark Levin Show Yanked In Toledo By Ron Paul-Supporting Psychotic Songwriter and Theremin Player”

        • herddog505

          I wondered if it was the reporter from FNC.

    • http://scum-and-villainy.blogspot.com/ Evil Otto

       Etc. Good riddance to Levin, another warmonger.

      You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

      Yeah, yeah, Chica, everyone’s a warmonger if they don’t agree with your incoherent beliefs on foreign policy.

      • Commander_Chico

        If Levin’s not a warmonger, neither was Goebbels.  He was a cheerleader for attacking Iraq just as he’s beating the drum for war on Iran now.

        See this for a critique of his statist warmongering from Taki:

        http://takimag.com/article/the_tyranny_of_mark_levins_liberty#axzz1mjxGopTY

        • Evil Otto

           Really, Chica? You’re going to compare Levin to Goebbels?

          You’ve gone beyond crazy. You’re into full-fledged parody at this point. I’m supposed to take you seriously when you write things like that, right?

          Oh, and for the record, kook, I’m not clicking your link. Make the argument yourself. I don’t care what this “Taki” (whoever he or she is) thinks.

          • Commander_Chico

            Ok, maybe he’s not as bad as Goebbels, I went too far there, but Levin’s one of those guys who never saw a war he didn’t like – as long as he didn’t have to fight in it. 

            He whipped up his rabble audience for war with Iraq, now he’s doing the same thing for war with Iran.   I call that warmongering.

          • herddog505

            Did that “rabble audience” include Hillary Clinton and the rest of the democrats who voted for the war in Iraq?  Or the majority* of Americans who thought it a good idea at the time?

            ====

            (*) It is difficult to say exactly how large that majority was.  There were many polls taken in the years – incuding during Slick Willie’s administration – about what to do with Iraq.  Depending on who did the polling, what questions were asked, and when, the support varied from the high forties to the middle sixties.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popular_opinion_in_the_United_States_on_the_invasion_of_Iraq

          • Commander_Chico

            Hillary Clinton was, of course, a portrait of political cravenness on par with Kerry.

            The sheeple who were in favor of the Iraq war were led there by relentless propaganda, 90% of which was total bullshit and 10% not enough to justify the war.  “We can’t wait for the smoking gun to appear in a mushroom cloud,” aluminum tubes, Iraq assisted in 9/11, the anthrax had chemicals from Iraq in them, etc.  Colin Powell now says he’s ashamed of his UN Security Council presentation.

            Now, it’s deja vu all over again as now Iran is connected to Al Qaeda, Iran is making WMDs, Iran is the big scary threat to the USA.  The hyping of the “threat” by the MSM is relentless. If you critically watch CNN, Fox, etc., you can easily parse the bullshit.

          • Evil Otto

            I’ve always felt that anyone who uses the word “sheeple” is an arrogant idiot. THEY, of course, aren’t “sheeple,” they know the truth, and anyone who disagrees is a mindless fool led by “relentless propaganda.”

          • SoBeRight

            If the wool fits, wear it. Here’s my favorite “sheeple” quote.

            “”There exists in Society a very special class of persons that I have always referred to as the Believers. These are folks that have chosen to accept a certain religion, philosophy, theory, idea or notion, and cling to that belief, regardless of any evidence that might, for anyone else, bring it into doubt.

            They are the ones that encourage and support the fanatics and the frauds of any given age.

            No amount of evidence, no matter how strong, will bring them any enlightenment.

            They are the sheep who beg to be fleeced and butchered, and who battle fiercely to preserve their right to be victimized.”

            –James Randi

          • Evil Otto

             That’s nice. Not sure what it has to do with anything, but whatever works for you.

            People who use the word “sheeple” never, of course, believe themselves to be among that lot. No, THEY understand, THEY are enlightened… it’s everyone else who is being manipulated. Never themselves.

            Personally, when I think of Ron Paul supporters, I think No amount of evidence, no matter how strong, will bring them any enlightenment.

          • SoBeRight

            That’s nice too.

          • herddog505

            Yes, I call those people “liberals”.  Or lefties.

          • Gmacr1

            I prefer the word ‘Eloi’ as defined by H.G. Wells.

          • herddog505

            That “relentless propaganda” started years before with Slick Willie and even Bush Classic.

            Saddam was unquestionably a bad guy.  Whether he was bad enough to warrant the steps we took to get rid of him is a matter for debate.  But do not make out that people were suckered, as they were not.

            BTW, I seem to recall reading the Churchill was branded a “warmonger” and similar because he wanted to oppose Hitler and Mussolini with much more vigor.  Was he a “chickenhawk” and a “warmonger” too?  Did those Britons (and French, Americans, etc.) who wanted to take action against Shickelgruber and his big-chinned sidekick prior to 1939 succumb to “propaganda”?

            If you think we ought not have invaded Iraq, fine.  If you think we ought not invade Iran, that’s fine, too.  We disagree.  Nice to live in a country where we can do that.

          • Evil Otto

             “Maybe” he’s not as bad as Goebbels? Chico, you didn’t just go too far there, you went into absolute batsh*tcrazyland, and your half-hearted retraction shows you don’t really mean it. This seems to be a problem for you Ron Paul supporters… you just can’t dial back the crazy rhetoric. An opponent isn’t someone you disagree with, he’s a Nazi.

            Now, please prove your statement that “one of those guys who never saw a war he didn’t like.” What, exactly, are you basing that on… other than Levin’s support for Iraq. Oh, and for the record, he didn’t “whip up” his “rabble audience.” He presented his OPINIONS, which just happen to differ from yours.

            Y’see, Chico, by your definition, I’m a warmonger. So is virtually everyone here. And why? Because we supported the Iraq war. Being in favor of going to war does not make one a “warmonger,” whatever you may think.

          • Commander_Chico

            war·mon·ger    noun

            definition: one who urges or attempts to stir up war

            Levin is constantly “urging” war.  Not only is he not keeping his opinion to himself, he’s on the radio doing so and telling his followers to put pressure on Congress.  That’s “urging war.”  He did it for the futile, counterproductive and wasteful Iraq war, and he’s at it again with Iran repeating the same BS, as if Iraq never happened.

          • Brian_R_Allen

            Comrade_Chico says he calls The Great One a “warmonger.”

            (To the nice man who comes around with the diapers and the meds, maybe) 

            But reminds me of Abe Lincoln having allegedly admonished one of his era’s Comrade_Chicos on the subject of insults and lies. To whit, that a man may, if he so desires, call a dog’s tail its leg. And having done so, the man may then truthfully say the dog has five legs. But it will not, for no amount of calling a dog’s tail, a leg, will make it so. 

            Where is Mister-Tea????

    • http://otisthehand.blogspot.com/ OTIS the hand

      Good to know. Mark Levin is a great American. A nuclear Iran is symptomatic of a suicidal world.

      • Commander_Chico

        The likes of Levin will lead to the end of America in war, debt, and tyranny.

        • http://otisthehand.blogspot.com/ OTIS the hand

          You truly live in a fantasy world. Levin has no power to do anything, and he is certainly not responsible for our rising national debt. Look to Dear Leader. This probably understates the trend:

          “The debt was $10.626 trillion on the day Mr. Obama took office. The latest calculation from Treasury shows the debt has now hit $14.639 trillion. [Old news, it now surpasses $15.3 trillion.]

          It’s the most rapid increase in the debt under any U.S. president.

          The national debt increased $4.9 trillion during the eight-year presidency of George W. Bush. The debt now is rising at a pace to surpass that amount during Mr. Obama’s four-year term.”

          and

          “Our government is, right now, according to the General Accountability Office, making $99.4 trillion in promises to today’s Americans that it has no way of paying for,” Ryan told Hemmer. “We’re making $37 trillion in promises to people for just Medicare alone that we have no way of paying for.”

          • Commander_Chico

            Well, two or three trillion of that debt has “Iraq” and “Afghanistan” on it.

            You fool yourself if you think Levin has no power.  Anyone with a national radio program has a great deal of power.  He can tell his zombies to call their representatives and phones will be ringing off the hook.  That’s what he does to promote war.

            War leads to debt and terrorism, debt and terrorism lead to tyranny.

          • http://otisthehand.blogspot.com/ OTIS the hand

            Military spending is dwarfed by entitlements. National defense is constitutional, the latter is not. I don’t know why I bother presenting facts, since it is impossible to argue an insane man out of his insanity.

            Hear Bob Beckel explain how the deficit does not matter. ( http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/06/09/bob_beckel_why_does_the_deficit_matter.html )

            On the other hand Levin is upset about it.

          • Commander_Chico

            Sorry, the Supreme Court disagrees with you on “entitlements” if that is what you mean by Social Security and Medicare – taking care of our elderly.  They are constitutional – “general welfare” clause.

            At least that money stays in the USA rather than going to the corrupt Arab and Pakistani contractors we pay for war supplies.

            It’s a perverse sense of “conservatism” when shedding blood and pissing away money in the desert is OK, but taking care of grandma is bad.

          • http://otisthehand.blogspot.com/ OTIS the hand

            Mandatory spending (excluding TARP) in FY10 was $2 trillion, almost three times the $689 billion spent on defense.Spending on Social Security alone was greater than defense spending

            in FY10; and when adding in Medicare and Medicaid, these entitlements cost twice as much as defense.

            Defense spending in FY15 is projected to be $756 billion, while mandatory spending will hit $2.3 trillion—more than triple defense spending.

            Discretionary spending will decline over the next 10 years under the Budget Control Act, but that decline is “more than offset … by increases relative to GDP in both mandatory spending and net interest payments.

            ”By 2021, defense spending will amount to 3.6 percent of GDP, while mandatory spending will jump to 13.8 percent of GDP.

  • Gmacr1

    I suspect the station owner will step in and make the final call on this action.
    Its about the bottom line, not political beliefs and being butthurt.

    • Commander_Chico

      According to the emails I linked to above, his ratings weren’t good in Toledo.

      • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

         There aren’t any current ratings available – smaller markets like Toledo are only ranked twice a year, and I can’t find the fall numbers.

        But there is certainly no reason to assume the show was top-rated in the time slot in Toledo just because it is top-rated nationally.  If anything, the fact they were willing not to renew the show due to content issues tends to argue the opposite.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

       It’s a Clear Channel station, and they are all about the money.  So if it was a dumb move ratings-wise and revenue-wise, heads will roll.

      But the heads knew they were on the block all the time if they work for CC, and they made the call anyway.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Bill.in.Albuquerque Bill InAlbuquerque

    I wish to point out that Lew Rockwell is NOT the program director. The program director who made the decision is a man by the name Brian Wilson. Brian does write articles on Lewrockwell.com, however.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XEAOBJASSZL37NBG6X5JVI3ZLM YoM

    They did it because he is a liar and a muckraker. You can be bold in your opinion but when people know the person is purposefully telling a lie about someone. You shouldn’t promote them.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XEAOBJASSZL37NBG6X5JVI3ZLM YoM

    They did it because he is a liar and a muckraker. You can be bold in your opinion but when people know the person is purposefully telling a lie about someone. You shouldn’t promote them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tom-Gulch/1292705493 Tom Gulch

    Can we really trust anything written in this article as facts if the author cannot even conduct proper research and report the correct program director?

  • http://www.facebook.com/christine1969 Christine Thompson

    Whoever wrote this article, please check your facts before hitting the Enter button! The program director that made this assinine decision is Brian Wilson 
    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1336040115 NOT Lew Rockwell. Wilson is a Libertarian who fully supports and defends Ron Paul. WSPD recently did a poll to see who should drop out of the GOP race and the WSPD listeners said Ron Paul..so i suppose he didn’t like that either. Bring back Mark Levin!!!!!!   

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