Melanie Morgan — the conservative radio talk show host who chairs Move America Forward, the group which has led efforts to shame and boycott Berkeley for its anti-U.S. Marine Corps recruiting stand — has lost her job at KSFO 560 AM.
Morgan, 51, delivered her final broadcast there today after 14 years at the microphone, she says in a news release. KSFO owner Citadel Broadcasting decided not to renew her contract as part of the company’s announced across-the-board financial cost cutting.
“The ratings were terrific and I got to connect with a lot of passionate conservative casues, and I’m really grateful for that,” Morgan told me just now. “I don’t know what’s going to happen to the show, I don’t know what’s going to happen to KSFO.”
She’ll not be bored, though. She said her e-mail is already overflowing “with all kinds of very, very nice emails of support” and work offers. “I think I’m not going to have very much time to grieve this job.”
Among Morgan’s more incendiary moments:
She also helped launch and grow support for the 2003 gubernatorial recall, and rallied grassroots support to convince California to reverse itself and end use of the carcinogenic MTBE additive in gasoline.
Morgan started out as a television reporter for KGO TV in 1981. She worked at KGO radio from 1983 through 1990, then moved to Seattle for a time; she returned to the Bay Area in 1994 and went to work at KSFO. She has traveled to the Middle East twice to interview U.S. troops stationed in Iraq and Kuwait; her broadcast efforts from Iraq resulted in her winning the Associated Press’s Mark Twain Journalism Award, and the Peninsula Press Club’s award for Best Interview or Talk Show.
In her release today, Morgan said it has been an honor to work at KSFO for 14 years: “What I loved most about my time at KSFO was that it allowed me to connect with listeners and take action to make real changes in the world.”
“We never had a one-way dialogue with our listeners, and we never believed that we had to resolve ourselves to accept the status quo. We got out of our chairs, left our homes and offices, and circulated petitions, rallied for our troops and met with government leaders,” she said. “We did all this to make sure that we left an even better world for our children than the one we had inherited from generations before us.”
She’ll continue writing her weekly column for the news website World Net Daily; serving as an analyst on various television news programs; and working as a conservative activist leader, she said.
“My passion and commitment to the troops who are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world are foremost in my heart,” she said. “While I will miss my good friends Lee Rodgers and Officer Vic, and our great producer Sheri Yee, I am excited to stay close to the conservative grassroots. And I’ll always lead with my chin out.”
UPDATE @ 4:04 P.M. MONDAY: Here’s some info on Citadel’s (and thus, KSFO’s) dire financial straits.
UPDATE @ 6 P.M. MONDAY: Karl Frisch, spokesman for Media Matters – the watchdog group from which I culled the three controversial Morgan quotations above — just got back to me.
“A lot of people say these are just fringe characters that deserve no notice whatsoever. We take a different opinion because, whether it’s Melanie Morgan or Rush Limbaugh or Michael Savage, these people are communicating to a large audience and it has a ripple effect,” he said. “It’s important that these people are held accountable for accuracy and for the kind of fear-mongering and hate speech that they use on so regular a basis. And just because Melanie Morgan is off the air doesn’t mean she’s off our radar.”
UPDATE @ 9:15 A.M. WEDNESDAY: Go see what Spokco, the San Francisco blogger who’d convinced advertisers to pull their accounts from KSFO by reposting controversial sound clips from Morgan and her cohosts, has to say about Morgan’s layoff.
UPDATE @ 6:07 P.M. WEDNESDAY: See my newest posting on this, with comments from KSFO’s marketing director and other info, here.