I spoke with Ted Tucker this evening regarding my earlier post on KNFT, and he questioned the version of events I outlined. Tucker assured me that neither he nor his father, Ted Tucker Sr., placed a phone call to CATS to request that the video of the Morning Show’s last airing be removed from circulation on the network.
According to Tucker, John Brooks, an employee of Runnels Broadcasting, made the call. Incidentally, Tucker is NOT the owner of the stations (KNFT-FM, KNFT-AM, and KPSA) — he is operating the stations under a time brokerage agreement with Runnels Broadcasting.
Tucker said the only negative feedback he’s received regarding programming on KNFT-AM was one day last week when Rush Limbaugh was off the air due to a technical problem. He said the station received about 500 phone calls from listeners wondering why Rush had gone off the air.
According to Tucker, the Morning Show was pulled from the lineup because of consistently poor ratings, and because it lost money.
He also challenged my claim that he is an “anti-community, bottom-dollar businessman.”
“If I am, I haven’t been eating my Wheaties.”
He said he’s contributed money to the Mimbres Region Arts Council and has sponsored a Little League Team, all during a time when cash-flow is not stellar.
“I’m doing everything I can with the resources I have.”
In addition, Tucker said he had asked the Daily Press to hold off on publication of the story concerning KNFT’s sale because he was not the owner, and that anything he said would have contributed to speculation.
Finally, he said that he had not removed the only local programming on the air waves. Tucker said Mike Rowse holds a community talk show on Saturday mornings. He said prominent community members have appeared on the show, and that U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman will be a guest on the show this Saturday at 9 a.m.
So, my apologies to Mr. Tucker. While I still don’t believe he should have cancelled the Morning Show, which I view as something of a Silver City institution, I was wrong about several aspects of this situation. That being said, the information I received this afternoon (which I also confirmed with other people this evening) came from sources I trust, and I did convey that during my conversation with Mr. Tucker.
I hope that he is in it for the long haul in Silver City and Grant County, and that he holds true to a commitment to community. From what he’s done thus far, it appears that may be the case.
I must also apologise to you, my readers, for not getting both sides of this story before typing up a blog entry. I assumed, from limited interaction with Mr. Tucker in the past, that he would be unreceptive to speaking on the record. That was an assumption I shouldn’t have made, and, even still, I should have provided him with the opportunity to say “no comment.”
Personally, I think this experience has shown that, even though this site is not a “news publication” per se, I cannot abandon my journalism skills or principles in the pursuit of providing personal commentary on news and events.