Sponsoring an Anti-Christian Bigot: WKLH Responds
Hi John,We talked to Bellini after receiving this e-mail, and the people who run WKLH will be meeting later today to decide what to do about this situation.
Thank you for contacting us regarding the Bill Maher show. I’ll call you shortly, but first a little background about our promotional involvement.
Our agreement with Pabst/Riverside was a term agreement whereby we partnered to promote several shows within a calendar window.
We are involved in actual artist booking & recommendation ONLY for those shows that benefit station-specific events or charities such as our Christmas for Kids benefit or Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin fundraisers.
At the time of the arrangement Mr. Maher had not made his insensitive remarks, although we will not hide behind that circumstance as an excuse.
The vast majority of shows we have promoted have been well received and non-controversial, including the many that have supported our Dave & Carole Miracle Marathon for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Christmas for Kids.
Mr. Maher’s comments have obviously offended many people. While we usually let the market dictate the success or failure of a given show, we will reconsider our promotional involvement with this show.
Thank you for sharing your comments.
96.5 WKLH Milwaukee
Bellini made it clear that he is no fan of Maher.
WKLH could simply “pull its sponsorship” of Maher, although Bellini pointed out that “the horse is out of the barn” in some ways. Promotional materials already printed can’t be unprinted.
But he conceded that WKLH could, if it wanted, stop giving away tickets to the Maher performance and take the promotional blurb off its website.
Such actions, while not large in the entire scope of things, would at least send the symbolic message that WKLH does not condone or support Maher’s anti-Christian bigotry.
A call to 414-978-9000, or an e-mail to Tjoerres@mkeradiogrp.com (station manager Tom Joerres) with a civil statement about how the station should distance itself from this kind of bigotry would be in order.
We can’t imagine WKLH promoting or supporting a comedian who was famous for attacking blacks or gays. Attacking Christians should be equally embarrassing to WKLH.