Friday, April 15, 2005

WORD-FM Issues Its Official Line

I received a form letter response from my email letter of protest to WORD-FM over their firing of Marty minto. I know it's a form letter because I received two identical letters in response to two different emails sent to two separate email addresses for WORD. Here is the official line as of Friday, April 15:
Thank you for your email. I’d like to respond to your concerns.

The story in Thursday’s Pittsburgh Tribune Review would lead you to believe that we ended Mr. Minto’s program because “He questioned if the pope’s Roman Catholic beliefs would impede his entry to heaven.” This statement did not come from the management of WORD-FM. A similar headline accompanied an AP wire story that unfortunately was not fact checked. We have never placed any restrictions on subject matter for the talk show. Mr. Minto knows that. The decision to release Mr. Minto had been under consideration for an extended period, primarily because of our concern that he tended to unnecessarily alienate listeners; and was finalized well before the pope was in the news. The conclusion that he was released because of his views on the pope is completely without foundation. We regret that you were left with a perception that is false.

We always appreciate hearing from our listeners. Again, thank you!
At this point, I'm not buying it. It sounds too much like the station is attempting to cover its actions. There are still too many questions left unanswered. In what way was Mr. Minto "alienating listeners"? Just who are the listeners he was alienating? Do they happen to be the Roman Catholic and evangelical sympathizers of Roman Catholicism who have been posting their parting shots toward Marty Minto at the weblog of the show's Roman Catholic producer, Shaun Pierce? And why did Chuck Gratner, the general manager of the station, feel a need to call the Roman Catholic diocese to inform them that they had fired Minto? If there's a legitimate reason for the firing, why not be forthcoming about what it is? Why all the secrecy? Come clean, WORD FM--you still smell bad.