According to a couple of friends KVOL has been hosting a rerun of the same old FUD attacks on the fiber optic network LUS is currently building. It's August and, I suppose, they can't find anything real to cover in these hot, lazy summer days. The latest bit of retread nonsense came yesterday when one of the 3 antifiber guys during the referendum, Neal Breakfield, was on the afternoon drive-time show. (He's supposed to be on again this afternoon, so if you want to tune in and put up your two cents worth try 1330 AM from 4 to 6...It would be useful to remind him why his argument lost back during the fiber fight.)
The folks at KVOL are trying to make a go of this talk radio thing. (And not too successfully apparently: The last Arbitron rating has the station bringing up the rear with a 24 out of 28 rating in our market based on a .5 market share.) They've apparently decided that being anti-everything is the formula for success in talk radio—but it's not working so far. Maybe only about .5 percent of people of Lafayette are that negative.
Be that as it may, the current jihad they're apparently carrying on against the LUSFiber build is a nonstarter that is guaranteed to put them on the wrong side of most of the community. The whole issue was thoroughly "talked" out 3 years ago and the fiber advocates won a resounding victory at the polls. KVOL would do better to go after the nearly 2/3s of the population that voted for the idea and leave their .5 percent antis to the pleasant pursuit of complaining about unprofessional dress of the guys that cut grass along the highways and their neighbors' chickens.
Update 8/15/08: Neal Breakfield has said in the comments that my remarks about KVOL's Arbitron rates were "baseless." They are not. Though Todd Elliot called and tried to demand that I take this post down and Stephanie Ware tried to make the same plea the truth is the truth. Arbitron does ranks KVOL at the bottom of the barrel in listenership. Neither Todd nor Stephanie tried to deny that what I said was true—they just didn't, contrary to their fearless-truthtellers on-air personas, want the public (or their advertisers, I presume) to know this inconvenient truth about their own organization.
KVOL may well be on to something regarding their redflex crusade. I don't think automated, privatized "policing" is wise public policy either. It might even do something for their ratings. But whatever good they do the community—or themselves—by pointing out real problems they lose when they make the common criticism that they are just "anti-everything" credible. Attacking even the good things this community is doing for itself is a sure-fire way to give ammunition to those who would criticize KVOL as merely anti-everything. Lafayette is pro-fiber. We proved it at the polls 3 years ago. Lafayette went through a huge public battle over fiber, the community was as well-informed as one can be over a complex public infrastructure issue. There were full page ads filled with the names of people and businesses that were willing to publicly support our fiber initiative. And the community decided to do for itself what the incumbents plainly said they would not do for us. The vote was 2 to 1. The people know what they want and they know what they voted for and hearing KVOL attack it only serves to confirm the idea that KVOL is anti-anything. I'm giving good advice here: if you have a good cause stick to it. Don't muddy the waters.
The reader who wants to confirm KVOL's rankings for themselves can travel to the Arbitron radio page and in the pull down menu on that page labled "market" select "Lafayette, LA." There you will find that I was actually as generous as possible in my characterization of KVOL's ranking in my original post. In the latest rankings, in Spring of '08, Arbitron ranked KVOL as tied for last place with with KPEL and WYPY among ranked stations with all 3 clocking in at a .5% listenership.
Other corrections: I had mispelled Arbitron in the original post. That is now corrected. I've also included the link to the radio page in there.