Talk Show Kicked Off the Air
Press Release from Peter Werbe
Station Swamped with Phone Calls and Emails Protesting
Cancellation, Station Owner Hysterical on Air
After broadcasting for a year on a Santa Cruz AM station,
left-of-center talk show host, Peter Werbe, had his program
suddenly yanked from KOMY-AM without even notification to
him or his network. The many listeners who called the KOMY
management were told that the show had no sponsors and few
listeners. The station never sought ads for the program, but
the management said it aired Peter's program to balance its
bevy of right-wing show. However, even without any promotion,
the show had a growing audience as evidenced by the high number
of calls Peter's program received daily from the station's
Facing with growing complaints from the Santa Cruz audience,
on Oct. 6, the KOMY station owner took to the airwaves and
denounced the show and its host, and "apologized"
to the people of Santa Cruz for having him on "his"
airwaves. On Oct. 18, station owner, Michael Zwerling, called
Peter an "asshole," because the station was receiving so many
complaints. Local residents are considering a license challenge
and a complaint for the owner's language.
Also, Alice Nutter, lead singer of the Brit pop group, Chumbawamba
("Tubthumper"), has weighed into the fray, sending a letter
of protest to the station, and placing this release on the
group's extensive international email list.
Peter broadcasts on the ieamerica Radio Network based in
Detroit, and is one of only two left of center nationally
syndicated programs on the AM band. The other liberal host
is Mike Malloy. See www.ieamericaradio.com
Werbe is a veteran talk show host from Detroit with 30 years
experience in talk radio. See his web sites at www.ieamericaradio.com/peterwerbe
Peter's show is broadcast on the AM band in 14 cities and
on the Internet from the ieamerica web site.
Finally, dogged by what was becoming a community issue in
Santa Cruz, KOMY owner's mother, Kay Zwerling, the power behind
the throne, similarly denounced the show and Peter during
an on-air editorial, October 16, to explain why the station
had dropped the program. She specifically mentioned its left
of center content, Peter's criticism of the Bush administration,
and his questions about the attacks on Afghanistan. This undisguised
attack on freedom of speech, and clear violation of the station's
license, which obligates it to serve the community, not the
owner's right wing politics, must be fought!
Please call the station at 831-475-1080 or email KOMY owner,
Michael Zwerling, at firstname.lastname@example.org
and tell them politely this assault on the 1st Amendment is
unacceptable and inconsistent with their FCC operating license.
Also, please pass along this information to any email list
you have and inform any media outlet which may be interested
in this issue. Peter is available for interviews: reach him