In Ascension Parish, La., there's exactly one radio station, little KKAY at 1590 on the AM dial.
Now the station is being sold, and Donaldsonville is afraid it will go away -- become yet another "move in" for a larger city, like nearby Baton Rouge. Folks fear they'll lose local radio. Lose local voices on 1590 AM. Lose the "glue" of the community.
THE GOOD PEOPLE of Donaldsonville may well lose all that. But it won't be without a fight, as evidenced in the above video from WAFB television in Baton Rouge, and in this account from The Advocate:
Nearly 100 people joined in a rally and prayer vigil on Saturday to demonstrate community support for the only radio station in Ascension Parish, now in the process of being sold to a new owner.THE STATION MANAGER can read the signs of the times. Why, though, do I come away with this whole valiant-but-doomed-resistance vibe?
In November, a deal to sell KKAY-AM to an incorporated partnership, Stafford & Starr LLC, was reached, and radio announcer Kirk Landry and others are worried that the group plans to relocate the station.
“Basically, we want to give the community a chance to show its support for keeping the station in Donaldsonville,” Landry said. “We are just asking to be heard by the FCC.”
The sale is pending Federal Communication Commission approval of the application, which was filed Nov. 28, to transfer the station’s license.
Harry Hoyler, station manager, said on Thursday he is concerned that the new owners are not interested in the station’s future in the community.
“All radio is to them is a commodity,” Hoyler said. “It is our love, though.”
Probably because I can read the signs of the times, too. Today, the "little people" -- and especially the kind of radio they love, like KKAY -- are just so many bugs to be squished by venture capitalists. And squished, they likely will be.
Also, James Starr, majority owner of Stafford & Starr LLC, domiciled in Baton Rouge, said Friday that his company does not want to move the station.BEWARE "ENHANCED SERVICE." The money men are going to "enhance" all the local programming off of 1590 AM, and they're going to "enhance" all the traitorous DJs out of their jobs.
“It is not our intention and has never been our intention to move,” Starr said in a phone interview. “We will continue to broadcast from Donaldsonville and provide the kind of service that the audience in the parish deserves and demands.”
However, Don O’Bear, who has been an announcer with the station for 26 years, said he remains skeptical because station employees have not heard from the buyers.
“Most of the time, the new owners will tell us their plans,” he said. “We haven’t seen or heard from them.”
O’Bear’s colleague, Michael LeBlanc, agreed, and added that he and others who gathered Saturday want to make sure the owners and the FCC understand the value of the station.
“It is a vital part of the community. It’s the heartbeat,” said LeBlanc, who has been with KKAY for 18 years.
Starr, of Slidell, said he and his minority partner, Zach Stafford, of Baton Rouge, plan “enhanced service” for the station but are not ready to publicly discuss their strategy.
Because, ultimately, these guys are all about cutting costs to enhance their bank accounts.
And Donaldsonville just happens to be in the way.
So, what will it be? Yet more sports talk? The C-team of right-wing talkers? Adult standards off the satellite? Brokered religious hucksters offering autographed pictures of Jesus Christ?
Stay tuned . . . if you dare.