Democratic Underground

Liberal Talk Show Kicked Off the Air
October 19, 2001
Press Release from Peter Werbe

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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 broadcast area.

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 and Werbe is a veteran talk show host from Detroit with 30 years experience in talk radio. See his web sites at and 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 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 at or 248-414-5687.