|Luckoff and Owens. Credit: Flickr
It’s been a tough week for KGO-AM host Ronn Owens. First, Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman backed out of a debate on his show that the station had heavily promoted. Then on Tuesday, he was scheduled to talk to Mickey Luckoff, who had resigned a day earlier after 35 years as general manager of KGO-AM in a dispute with the station’s owner, Citadel Broadcasting.
Owens promoted the hour with Luckoff at the beginning of the 9’o clock hour of his show.
Then, 48 minutes into that hour, he came back from a commercial break with a short announcement: “Our 11 o’clock program, which would have had Mickey Luckoff on, has been canceled by management. Period.”
He went on taking calls as if nothing had happened. But apparently KGO was swamped with calls.
At 9:55, Owens tried to explain the situation: “Freedom of speech is the ability to say what you want in public. For what it is worth, this is still a publicly owned [station] but still a business. And they have a right to make business decisions.
“Mickey’s ability to speak out anywhere has not been limited, it is just been limited on this station,” Owens said. “On one hand, I think [putting Luckoff on the air] the right thing to do. It would have been edgy and a good way to just people talk, and on the other hand, I am an employee and I understand the other side of the equation too. … But Mickey will always be my friend.”