KNFT’s new owner: working to win the hearts and minds of listeners

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The new owner of KNFT radio, Ted Tucker, is not off to a very good start in Silver City, at least from a public relations perspective.

Most people are aware that one of his first acts as owner was a format change at the KNFT-AM station, which resulted in the cancellation of the Morning Show. The morning show was one of the longest-running programs in Silver City. Dianne Hamilton did the show for decades, and Nick Seibel took up the slack after she left.

Lori and Gwyn
Last KNFT Morning Show
For the last several years, it’s been manned by Gwyn Jones and Lori Ford. In addition to their witty commentary, listeners tuned in to hear the latest on Silver City happenings and events. It was also the only local programming on the air (aside from sports) on that station.

The show was pulled, and Lori and Gwyn invited community listeners and friends to come visit one last time as the show went the way of the dodo.

Ed Conley, of Community Access Television of Silver, was on hand to tape the final show, and the segment has been running on CATS since. Well, word comes today that Ed was forced to pull the segment after Tucker found out about it:

[O]n Monday morning I received a call from Ted Tucker Sr. that was, to be polite, a less than friendly demand that I pull the show from rotation since I didn’t obtain permission to air it from him or his agents. In order to avoid further conflict I agreed, at which time Mr. Tucker attempted to continue his diatribe and I reminded him that I said I would pull the show and no further discussion was necessary. He continued to blabber on and I hung up on him. I immediately contacted John Waters, CATS general manager and asked him to remove the program from rotation and he assured me it would not air again.

This is simply absurd, but it lends some insight into Mr. Tucker’s plans for KNFT (and perhaps KSCQ) in the future. He’s already eliminated the only local talk show on the air, and is now threatening community television.

Now, say what you will about previous owners of KNFT, but you cannot deny that there was a local focus, and, more importantly, a dedication to providing community service. What Mr. Tucker has done is establish a reputation as an anti-community, bottom-dollar businessman. I’ve also heard reports that Mr. Tucker and his attorney bullied a KSCQ employee into signing a severance package agreement.

As a former KNFT employee, I’ve refrained from pursuing a story on KNFT with the Daily Press, but another reporter has. When we first received sale of Tucker’s application to purchase KNFT, the Daily Press contacted him for comment. This was several months ago, and, though public record, something Tucker did not want out in the open. He asked that the Daily Press keep a lid on the sale until final (that won’t happen until the FCC gives its approval).

Tucker is notorious for his aversion to the public spotlight (do a Google search) but I would urge you call or e-mail and voice your concerns over this blatant affront to community media.

Ted Tucker Sr.
Managing Member of SkyWest Media
KNFT Radio: (505) 388-1958

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