OTHER OPINION: MEDIA
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— Post Bulletin. March 11, 2011
Governor should be on the air
On Nov. 12, Gov. Tim Pawlenty ended his seven-year run on WCCO radio. Former first lady Laura Bush called in to wish Pawlenty well, and he offered friendly advice to his successor — whose identity at that point was unknown.
As the show was winding down, Pawlenty was asked what he’d do with his time now that his radio career was ending. He quipped, “Now I get to sleep in on Fridays.”
It appears that Gov. Mark Dayton will get to hit the snooze button, too. He and WCCO, which is the only commercial radio station with true statewide reach, have failed to reach a deal that would put the governor on the air.
We’re not going to tell another media outlet how to go about their business, but the terms of the “deal” WCCO offered to Dayton aren’t exactly attractive. Rather than Pawlenty’s 9 a.m. Friday slot, Dayton was being asked to take the 7 a.m. slot on Saturday. That’s about as far from prime-time radio as you can get.
Dayton called WCCO’s offer “insulting to the people of Minnesota” and rejected it out of hand.
But we hope discussions continue behind the scenes. If WCCO and the governor can’t reach a deal, perhaps other radio stations statewide can team up to do so. Given the current situation in St. Paul, there certainly is no shortage of things for Dayton to talk about.
Perhaps his first call-in guest could be Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. That would be great drive-time entertainment.