No local media outlets are good enough for Governor Dayton's radio show [UPDATE]

Categories: Media is dead

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Dead air for Dayton.
Jesse Ventura had one. Tim Pawlenty had one. But Gov. Mark Dayton has decided that he won't have his own radio show, even after sending out a 16-page form to local media so they could bid on the project.

Even reliably lefty AM950, where "what's left is the truth," didn't make the cut for our DFL governor.

"The Good Neighbor" WCCO-AM, which carried T-Paw and Jesse, was also shut out, as was KFAI, the Minnesota News Network, and BringMeTheNews.

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Off the air. [Full letter here.]
Here are the requirements Dayton's office said mattered most in any successful proposal: [full document here]:

Capabilities and Audience
  • The desirability of the time slot(s) offered
  • The length of the program offered
  • The radio provider's current ratings in the offered time slot
  • The broadcast coverage area for the radio provider and any joint participants
  • The size and diversity of audience
  • The completeness of information provided about the likely audience

Programming Elements

  • The nature of equipment and staff support offered for remote broadcasts
  • The level of programming flexibility provided to the Governor's Office
  • The minimization of interruptions to the Governor's Radio Show
  • Promotion of the Governor's Radio Show

Dayton's office sent out a rejection letter to each of the bidders today, gave no explanation for the decision, and didn't offer any hints about other options.

Does Dayton not think any local media are good enough to carry his signal? Or does he have something else up his sleeve, like maybe an Obama-esque weekly address from safe within the confines of his own office?

Update #1: It sounds like WCCO, which was happy to give T-Paw a regular Friday morning slot, wasn't really interested in putting Dayton on the air at all. They offered him Saturday mornings, with the caveat that his show could be pre-empted at will. Braublog has the dirt.

Update #2: Dayton spokesman Bob Hume confirms to MPR that none of the applicants met the governor's requirements:

"We were very clear that we were looking for a vehicle for people in every corner of the state to have access to the governor," Hume said. "None of the proposals that we got back gave us that opportunity. So we have decided not to proceed with contract negotiations."

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Does anyone on the Governor's office know the term, "live webcast?" Why rely on the narrowcasters of traditional media who's physical reach is limited when you can fire up a laptop and reach every corner of the state? Add Skype™ to the mix and people without internet connections could at least listen by subscribing over the phone. Time to embrace last year's technology instead of trying to rely on FDR's fireside chat model.


Possibly meaning that no local media outlets would give Governor Daytons handlers a kill switch in case he starts rambling on.

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