The station airs the Rush Limbaugh radio show.
Radio station WIOD, AM 610, has been the official channel for emergency information from Broward County government for the past year. The County Commission, all Democrats, balked at renewing the deal Tuesday, unable to stomach the station also being home to Limbaugh's talk show.While that may indeed be true, why not simply bid the matter out like any other governmental contract? What about all teh people in Broward County who are used to going to that station for official news? Linbaugh responded:
Commissioner Stacy Ritter said she did not want to support a station that's out of step with area politics. Ritter, a Democratic stalwart in the state Legislature before being elected to county office, cited talk shows hosted by Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and WIOD's partnership with Fox News.
"They have every right to speak, but we don't have to do business with them," she said.
"They are politicizing the delivery of emergency news, which is non-partisan," said Limbaugh, who lives in Palm Beach. "They are making weather a partisan issue."Indeed, it seems to be a petty reason at best.
Limbaugh has long been a fixture on WIOD, but no county official raised an issue about him or the other shows when the deal was approved for the first time a year ago.
The deal with WIOD would ensure that news conferences are broadcast start to finish live from the county Emergency Operations Center in Plantation. Emergency managers became concerned during hurricanes in 2004 and 2005 that radio and television stations preempted their announcements in favor of news out of Miami.
Ken Charles, WIOD's director of AM programming, said Tuesday the station's talk show lineup has no relationship with its news coverage and that the county should focus on the benefits of teaming with the station.
"It's a shame that people would let politics get in the way of saving lives in a hurricane," Charles said.