Update on Christine Craft, who last week annouced she was departing lefty talk radio station KSAC (1240 AM):
KSAC owner Paula Nelson, whom we couldn't reach last week when we posted the news about Craft, has piped up now.
Nelson says she didn't want to oust Craft, but said it wasn't financially prudent to keep her on the air for three hours during afternoon drive-time with what Nelson called low ratings.
"One of the things people need to understand is that shows come and go, but this is a very competitive market and when you have one of the lowest-rated shows in the afternoon drive, you have to reassess," Nelson says.
"(Craft) made it sound as if we were having financial problems. No, the problem was paying someone whose numbers were in the toilet.
"Morning and afternoon drives have to be the strongest parts of your day. Now, if she’d wanted the midday (slot), we could’ve negotiated that."
Craft's ratings against other Sacramento stations in the 3-to-7 p.m. hours were not available. (Arbitron doesn't release its figures to the media.) However, The Bee recently acquired the Arbirton figures showing how Craft performed against KSAC's syndicated liberal talkers in the 25-plus category.
Stephanie Miller, the morning host, finished ahead of Craft overall, but Craft rated higher among 25-plus women listeners. Craft's numbers were better than Ed Schultz (late morning) and Randi Rhodes (midday).
Nelson says she understands listeners' concerns about not having a local voice for liberal views on Sacramento radio.
But will she replace Craft with a new hire rather than a syndicated talker?
"I’d like to," she says. "I'm keeping my ears open. I’m hoping somebody who can be a good fit and bring in some good numbers will contact us."