Mickey Mouse versus Eugene V. Debs

Louis Proyect lnp3 at SPAMpanix.com
Tue May 8 11:25:40 MDT 2001


[The call letters EVD stand for Eugene Victor Debs, whom the station
honored at its inception. It has been the voice of liberal/radical Jewry
for many decades.]

Friends -

In NYC, there's a similar struggle unfolding at another independent radio
station fighting a corporate takeover. WEVD, a news-talk station owned by
the Jewish newspaper Forward, features several liberal hosts, and has
welcomed on the air (among other issues) our movement to take back
Pacifica. We should link up with the listener group Save WEVD Radio and see
about the potential for some joint work. Check out their Website and give
them a call. If anyone is interested in making contact with them, please
email me at ledererbob at usa.net, as I have some strategy suggestions.

Bob Lederer

====

>From the website: www.SaveWEVD.com

If you have suggestions about what next steps to take in our fight to
maintain WEVD as an alternative news-talk radio station on the AM dial in
New York City, e-mail savewevd at mail.com or phone 212-726-1385


For Immediate Release Contact: SaveWEVD
May 7, 2001
Chuck Zlatkin 212-726-1385

Owners of WEVD 1050 AM Stonewall Rumored Sale to Disney/ABC/ESPN The
Forward Association Ignores Lobbying Effort By WEVD's Listeners Listeners
Group Intensifies Efforts

NEW YORK - MAY 7 - Listeners to radio station WEVD-AM 1050 in New York City
have been lobbying the owners of the station, The Forward Association, not
to sell the stand-alone, news-talk radio station to Disney/ABC/ESPN. The
rumored sale price is considered to be in the neighorhood of $80-85
million, with the new owners using the freqeuncy to be the flagship station
of the growing ESPN sports-radio network. The efforts by the listeners
group, SaveWEVD, and the creation of the web site www.SaveWEVD.com has been
ignored by The Forward Association.

The members of SaveWEVD concentrated their efforts on generating letters,
e-mails and phone-calls to the Forward Asscociation detailing what the
station meant to them as an independent, alternative voice in New York
City, countering the dominance of right-wing and hate radio on the dial. It
was felt by the members of SaveWEVD that the owners of WEVD were honorable
people who were committed to progressive social and political issues. The
tenor of the effort by Save WEVD was respectful and civil.

As time passed, it became increasingly clear that the strategy of The
Forward Association was to ignore the efforts of SaveWEVD and not respond.
A formal request was made by representatives of SaveWEVD to meet with
Samuel Norich, President of The Forward Association. This request was also
ignored.

A number of rumors have surfaced in the press that the sale has already
been made. There is speculation that the announcement of the sale has been
delayed for tax purposes.

SaveWEVD has decided to intensify its efforts by forming two new
committees. The first committee is a Legal Committee to explore options for
taking legal action to stop the rumored sale of radio station WEVD. The
second committee is a Research Committee to find out the true history of
how The Forward Association gained control of the license to WEVD, and how
its business affairs have been conducted in recent years.

*********************************

Here are several articles from the website -- check it out:

The Inside Radio Fax, 04.20.2001 Inside Radio is a trade publication that
is faxed to subscribers.

ABC's acquisition strategy turning out to be shrewd-eyeing a big market
next. Disney is bearing down on a major market for its ESPN Sports Network.
Waiting to purchase WEVD-AM, New York from Forward Broadcasting.

Forward has taken the station off the market due to issues relating to how
the sale of WEVD-AM would affect the newspaper trust which operates their
Jewish daily newspaper.

Sources close to the situation say those problems can likely be worked out.
ABC wants WEVD-AM for its missing piece of the puzzle for ESPN Radio. ESPN
has stations in Los Angeles and Chicago. New York is a must. WEVD-AM makes
sense.

But it may not be that easy. Infinity really wants WEVD-AM, too. And so
does Clear Channel. Forward is asking $80 million for WEVD-AM.

Can afford to wait until the market comes back because as one broker put
it, "nobody is buying anything right now." That is expected to change.
Maybe as soon as fourth quarter.

ABC's Michael Eisner never sold his radio properties while he sat out
consolidation. No doubt had some good offers for ABC's top market stations.
Instead ABC "rented" stations for Radio Disney's children's format and now
ESPN. Only buying in critical markets where clearance issues would make it
worthwhile."



Louis Proyect
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