Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

For those of you in the Birmingham market who might have been wondering: Beaner & Ken in negotiations with station

Steven Mackay

Fans of Z100.5 FM's "Beaner and Ken" show may have noticed the absence of the on-air radio station hosts Monday morning. The station - owned by Apex Broadcasting Inc. - instead played non-stop music during the 6-10 a.m. slot.

The show is still on, says station officials. The radio show hosts are renegotiating their contracts, which expire Dec. 31, with Apex. The duo began their stint with Apex in April 2003, according to company operations manager Greg Thomas.

"We hope to keep the show ... but we don't know what will happen," Thomas says, adding that the two men - real names Guy Patton and Ken Heron - still are employed.

The show's format consists of radio chatter, listener call-ins, prankster calls and skits such as a game-show trivia "hosted" by the Vulcan statue that sits atop Red Mountain in Birmingham. The duo are not strangers to Birmingham: They once hosted a similar program on 107.7 FM, now home to the "Tuttle & Kline" show.

It was not known Monday if the hosts will return to the air or if the show will fall back to a "Best-of" format later in the week. The hosts were not available for comment Monday.

I was always a big fan of B&K when they were on the X, and missed them while they were split up and going their separate ways, so it was nice to have them back in this market. They and their new station did very well in the ratings over the past year, going from nothing to third among 18-34 year olds, despite what seems to have been a management crew as stingy with promotional money as WKRP. And then there was the resignation in October by the manager who initially brought them on board, who had been the good-natured butt of a lot of their mockery about the shoestring-budget stinginess. It also didn't help things when the local paper noted that Beaner is still living in New Jersey, and links up with Ken in Tuscaloosa via some sort of electronic voodoo. The effect is seamless, but some folks probably took offense about the broadcast arrangement.

No matter, they still have done very well, and offer a pretty good mix of entertainment. I will say they seem to have coarsened a bit since they were first on the air--hey, I like juvenile potty-related jokes about as much as anyone, but after a while it wears thin. Michelle, their newswoman (who was added to the mix after their OTHER newswoman jumped ship) has also been an interesting addition. She's funny, and has great stories about her son and her husband and the rest of her family, but when the topic turns political, she and the guys are a little too quick to see black helicopters with Halliburton painted on the side flying everywhere.

Having a differing opinion is fine, telling a story from one point of view is fine, but deliberately ignoring facts isn't, most especially when you put yourself forward as a reporter. There have been several times when I just had to turn the radio to another station, just like I do when the somnambulant gasbag Daniel Schorr comes on. Why? Well, not because I CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH, but because when that mess starts, the show is no longer entertaining.

Well, aside from all of that, I still enjoy their show, and have missed them the last couple of days. I would hope that the station would understand the tremendous amount of affection listeners around here have for their drivetime folks, and see clear to quit yanking everyone around about whether or not they'll stay.

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