Local Political Activist Tim Price Gets Boot From Talk Radio

Thursday, April 24, 2008
Tim Price
Tim Price
- photo by Wes Schultz

Local political activist Tim Price said he was told Wednesday his Saturday show on WGOW Talk Radio was being canceled.

Mr. Price said Program Director Bill Lockhart told him that "it was not in their best interest to continue their relationship with me, and they were canceling the contract."

Mr. Lockhart said, "The management of WGOW and Citadel Broadcasting chose to end our business relationship with Tim Price after he impugned the integrity and credibility of our station and employees."

He added, "John Wolfe (who co-hosted Straight Talk Radio with Mr. Price on Saturdays) can continue. We have some great people and friends of the station in the Saturday morning lineup. I can't imagine people like Steve Ray or Tony Sanders impugning our station."

Mr. Lockhart said, "We made a decision and decided to stand fully behind Kevin West, Robert T. Nash and Wally Witkowski."

Mr. Price said the call came after he was critical of the way News Director West handled a story about School Board member Rhonda Thurman and after a confrontation with on-air personality Nash.

Mr. Price said Mr. West, in an e-mail, "absolutely exploded on me," and he said Mr. Nash "pushed his finger in my chest" during a run-in at the station a few days ago.

Mr. Price said, "I think I am being attacked because we are making strides against the special interests that are running the school system, and I think the radio station is being used by people like Davis Lundy. The schools are a $330 million business, and there are a lot of fingers in the till."

Mr. Price, who operates a chemical firm in Sale Creek, is heavily involved in running a team of candidates to try to get control of the School Board. Team members include Mrs. Thurman, Joe Dumas and Gregg Juster.

Mr. Price said he had a contract with the station through January. He said the station owes him $300 that he had paid for this coming Saturday's program. He also said he is going to invoice the station $26,880 he said he is owed because the station aired other commercials during time he had paid for.

Mr. Price said he questioned the way Mr. West handled a news story about whether Ms. Thurman had violated school policy by vowing to go door to door to try to unseat fellow school board members Chip Baker and Debra Matthews.

Mr. Price said, "I put a lot of importance on reporting the news correctly. I questioned the way he reported it." He said of the return e-mail from Mr. West in which he said he was called numerous names, "I thought it was unprofessional."

He said the run-in with Mr. Nash came on Monday when he went to the station to record a promo for the upcoming show. He said Mr. Nash was on air at the time, and he said Mr. Nash began talking about him "coming in here throwing his checkbook around like Bob Corker."

Mr. Price said an employee suggested he hold his wallet up to the window of the radio booth, and, when he did, he said that angered Mr. Nash.

He said Mr. Nash "came storming out of the booth and chastised me."

Mr. Price said a short time later, Mr. Nash "profusely apologized and wanted to have his picture taken with me."

Mr. Price said the station "has some good people, including his account representative and station official Chuck Wilkins, but he said he "plans to go to Citadel corporate" over the cancellation.

Mr. Price also said he will likely try to find another radio outlet for his Straight Talk show.

He said other on-air personalities "have called me a 'dumb---' and all kinds of names. Instead of hurting my reputation, they should have been building me up."

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