I’m almost a month late on this one, but without Tom Taylor or Al Peterson, following the radio industry’s day-to-day isn’t quite as easy.
I was surprised to learn this afternoon (by accident while researching a separate radio story) that KIRO Radio in Seattle abruptly ended the popular Ron and Don Show. Even though I have spent my entire life in the Chicago area and have absolutely no ties to Seattle, I came across their show in around 2009 or 2010 and became a quick fan.
It was around that time when I began listening to news/talk radio stations in other parts of the country, quickly developing an appreciation for hearing new or sometimes familiar issues discussed in other cities.
Ron and Don did a fantastic job at discussing the news of the day, both locally in Seattle and nationally. Their show reminded me in some ways of the old Roe (Conn) and Garry (Meier) show back on WLS-AM 890 from the early 2000s.
Sadly, routines in life change and it has been several years since I’ve listened to their show (the last time, quite possibly, was during my one and only visit to Seattle in March, 2017).
Though no elaborate explanation has been given by either KIRO Radio management or by Ron and Don themselves as to why the show came to an end, that sadly isn’t all too surprising in the radio business.
Foolishly, I would still like to think that competent radio management should have trust in allowing popular personalities to say goodbye on air as long as they are decent people and won’t trash the station on the way out.
Such situations serve as a reminder of just how brutal the radio business is. Such instances, while jarring for the personalities receiving the bad news, are unfair to the show’s many listeners. In this case, KIRO Radio management released a statement that essentially said the bare minimum. That really ought to provide closure to Ron and Don’s loyal audience…
Far too often, radio (and television) station management think too much about advertisers and the bottom line at the expense of their listeners. Listeners shouldn’t be taken for granted. Ron and Don’s audience deserve more of an explanation by those that made the decision.
I hope there is a radio future for Ron and Don. I have absolutely no idea what the talk radio scene in Seattle looks like asides from KIRO Radio, so I don’t know if any opportunities might exist there or if they have the aspirations to move to another city.
Either way, I hope it isn’t long until they resurface some place else.