Smith’s departure a sign of talk radio’s slow death, by Cory Morgan…

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Danielle Smith

“Media is in undergoing a huge, evolutionary transition right now. The technocrat class is playing whack-a-mole as they try to de-platform conservative and libertarian voices while new platforms keep springing up.”

By Cory Morgan

January 11, 2021

While working as an oilfield surveyor in the ’90s, talk radio was a must. Whether standing next to my tripod in a wheat field or trying to stay awake while driving across the endless plains of Kansas, the radio was always tuned to the local talk radio station. It kept me up to date on issues and let me hear from different sides.

Talk radio back then was gritty and informative. Here in Alberta, I would listen to Dave Rutherford in the morning, and Dave Taylor in the afternoon. One was conservative and one was liberal. I enjoyed both because they were entertaining and informative. They didn’t just have guests and callers – they took them on. They engaged, they questioned and they opined on everything. I didn’t always agree, but that didn’t matter. It was engaging and it made one think. Peter Warren on the weekends was legendary. Those days are gone.

The beginning of the end around here came when Dave Rutherford was fired for being critical of his own radio station over their poor coverage of the Alberta floods in 2013. One could tell that this was a final straw of sorts, as Rutherford had been increasingly chafing under increased efforts to control his show. As a veteran broadcaster, Dave simply wasn’t going to take it.

After Rutherford’s firing, the station floundered through a number of hosts and formats. Those all pretty much failed until Danielle Smith was hired and put into the prime daytime slot. Many conservative listeners were hesitant to embrace Smith after the unfortunate end of her time as Wildrose leader, but she won them over as she continued the talk radio style and tradition in much the same style as Dave Rutherford had. Like Rutherford though, the pressure from to control her content became too much.

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