Thursday, August 17, 2006

Sources: Talk Radio Outlet Flames Out; Pearce Agrees To Debate; Plus: Koffi Cancels, Big Bill Hit On Wal-Mart Money, And: In Praise Of Mickey B 

The end is apparently near for 106.3 Talk FM radio in ABQ/Santa Fe, with media insiders reporting that the station, which features interviews with a wide array of NM politicos, will switch formats as soon as the end of August after more than a year of unsuccessful struggle to eat away at news/talk leader 770 KKOB-AM.

Just Wednesday we reported that Dianne Anderson, paired in the mornings with longtime talk radio host Larry Ahrens, had abandoned ship and will go back into TV news at KRQE. Larry, who hosted the morning show on KKOB for nearly 25 years and made a run for the GOP nomination for Governor before heading to the FM dial in March of 05', recently formed an alliance with ABQ PR man Tom Garrity to book guests on media outlets.

The beginnings of KAGM were like a political campaign, with the station running attack ads against KKOB and other targets of their anger, but to little effect. The last ratings book had 106.3 ranking nearly last in the big ABQ market, only garnering a 0.7 share of the average audience 12+. No word yet on what the new format will be at the soon-to-be-shuttered FM talker.


Big Bill's foes are scoring some points while the Guv is touring Iowa this week and taking part in a meeting criticizing corporate giant Wal-Mart. They point out that he has received nearly $12,000 in campaign contributions from the company in the last two election cycles. Veteran GOP operative Greg Graves was quick to jump:

"I am glad you mentioned Governor Richardson's Wal-Mart Iowa trip, but don't you think you should have included this bit of hypocrisy. The Guv has taken over $12,000 the last four years from Wal-Mart. Perhaps he should send that money back!" Scored Graves, a former executive director of the NM GOP.

And the counterspin is, as usual, quite clever. "This shows that the Governor is not influenced by campaign contributions and is willing to criticize a company that has supported him," rebutted a Dem Alligator.

Iowa will hold the first Dem Prez caucus in 08'. The state party is heavy with populists and an anti-Wal-Mart stance plays to that crowd. By the way, that anti-WalMart tour hits ABQ Aug. 23 and 24. Do you think the Guv will show up? We're just asking.


GOP southern NM Congressman Steve Pearce has moved to take the "debate or not debate" issue off the table. That word from Las Cruces blogger Heath Haussemen who checks in with the news that Pearce, heavily favored for re-election, has agreed to one debate with his Dem opponent, Rev. Al Kissling. The Dem hopeful has been needling Pearce over a face-to-face face-off. The catch is that the debate will come August 22, long before voters are engaged and plenty of time for Pearce to recover from any mistakes he may make, and there's no live TV coverage planned for the afternoon confrontation, limiting the size of the audience.

But that Pearce has agreed to debate, means one less arrow in the quiver of the longshot challenger. Still, the Kissling camp is hopeful they can get the conservative lawmaker to make a stumble that they could take into the fall battle. Not likely, but where there's life there's hope.


Koffi has cancelled. U.N. Secretary General Koffi Annan will not be taking a summer vacation in New Mexico after all, reports the Guv's office. The Monday night dinner with the diplomat at the Guv's mansion is off. We don't know why Koffi can't come here now. Maybe he looked at the invitaiton list for that dinner, which included a bunch of media types, and concluded that meeting with Hezbollah would be more relaxing.


And a follow-up to our blog on lawyer-lobbyist Mickey Barnett winning a slot on the Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service. His nomination was fought by several ex-state legislators who were longtime foes of the ex-NM GOP national committeeman. But as as far as the current leadership of the state GOP is concerned, Mickey's the man.

“Mickey Barnett has been one of New Mexico’s leading political and legal minds. His intellectual curiosity, business knowledge and commitment to reasoned discussion make him an ideal choice for this position. We’re thrilled at his confirmation and we’re confident he will enjoy much success in this new phase of his life.” So said the state GOP in a news release.

Does that "new phase of his life" mean he will not be involved in any internal GOP power struggles of the future? Say it ain't so, Mickey. We've got a blog to run around here.

How about a Friday blog for a change? OK. Stop by tomorrow and let's wrap up the week together.

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