Uh oh. The live in-studio phones at talk stations KFBK (1530 AM) and KSTE (650 AM) went silent this morning, throwing the sister stations on Ethan Way into panic mode.
Armstrong & Getty did their entire show - five loooong hours - without a single phone call, which is amazing considering how reliant A&G are on listener interaction. The noon news had no stories from reporters out in the field. And, as we write this posting, afternoon host Tom Sullivan is going it solo in an extended monologue. Phil Cowan, the mid-morning talker on KSTE, was smart and brought guests into the studio.
"We're just doing a lot of talking without any outside contact from reporters or guests," says Alan Eisenson, the frantic operations manager for both Clear Channel stations. "Tom might decide to go with a 'Best of' show after a while. We're hoping to get the phones back before the afternoon drive time and (Bruce) Maiman (at 7 p.m.)."
So, what happened?
"It's still unclear," Eisenson says. "The phones just went down. And no one has come yet to fix it."
In other (non-related) KFBK news, the station has taken Rush Limbaugh's evening replays off the air and replaced him in that slot with "Coast to Coast With George Noory."
"Noory's ratings were explosive on KSTE, No. 1 in Sac at that time slot, and we figured it'd be better to get him onto a station with a powerful signal at night," Eisenson says. "At night, KSTE is only 1,000 watts."