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Letters to the editor - 6/5

June 05, 2003

We'll miss Will's talk



To the editor:

I have been listening to WHAG 1410-AM since 1991. While I listen to many radio stations, including WARX, WJEJ, and others, I was comfortable with the scheduled times that things occurred on WHAG. It was a consistent, and credible news/talk operation.

I understand that Arbitron ratings noted WHAG's "cume" at 10,500 people (but it had a small "share" of the over-all market). However, WHAG has been a welcome and positive part of the news reporting community, in my opinion.

I feel that something has been lost in the community. Change is sometimes good, of course, and it's the right of every business to make decisions concerning what product to offer. I understand, however, that the decision came with little, or no local input. I'll bet the phones have been ringing at WHAG and at Dame Broadcasting.

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Having been a program and news director of an all news/talk station in New York, I certainly understand the challenges of changing a format. While I worked in radio and marketing for many years, I know that programming decisions are based on revenues and costs. With the new satellite format, and now only one live on-air person having to be present (only in the mornings), WHAG probably saves a great deal of money.

The talk shows will be missed, but some of them probably cost the station's ownership dearly (I read recently that Rush Limbaugh cost $30,000 to air on medium-sized market stations). All of the talk shows were informative, and were good to listen to once in a while...especially when driving.

It would be assumed, looking at how Dame Broadcasting has had a history of buying and selling stations, that perhaps WHAG (et al) is being positioned to be sold. By reducing costs, the station would be easier to be marketed to potential buyers. Dame's local stations include Mix-95, WILD, and WQCM.

I shall miss Will Kauffman, and it's a shame that he is gone, after about 20 years at WHAG. Kauffman is a professional, and seems to have been a class act.

"Music of Your Life" has been a successful format for some low-expense stations. However, it's too bad that the information and news that WHAG was known for is now gone. I know that at many businesses, the Rush Limbaugh show was the advertising venue of choice, for local advertisers (along with a mix of other times and slots on various stations).

On a positive note, WFMD 930 AM and WHP 580 AM also carry Rush, and many of the talk shows that came in clearly on WHAG. However, these stations do not have the local flavor, or news, that WHAG was known for.

I wish all the very best to the folks who have left WHAG, and best wishes to all the radio stations in the Hagerstown market.

Tom Riford

Hagerstown




Show Reese the door



To the editor:

Much of what Charley Reese says in his column is not true. A good example was his claim that the U.S. killed 3,000 innocent civilians in Afghanistan. The official figure at that time was two.

More recently, Reese claimed that Saddam Hussein didn't gas his own people. The truth is the opposite. About 5,000 Kurds were gassed to death by Saddam.

Up until now, many have complained about Reese's anti-Semitic and anti-American statements but the papers continue to carry his column.

Now it is up to you, The Herald-Mail, to decide whether you wish to lose your credibility by associating your paper with Reese's falsehoods.

Doug Delmont

Waynesboro, Pa.

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