Monday, April 03, 2017

How Corporate America Loses

Civic involvement ultimately killed Sacramento's FM 107.9:
From her home outside the no-stoplight settlement of Fiddletown, Sue Wilson tilted at a corporate windmill, and a funny thing happened.

Sue from Fiddletown won, on our behalf. You can hear the sound of that victory at the end of the FM radio dial in Sacramento. Where there once was commercial pop music, hooting deejays and stupid radio stunts, there’s static.

“We the People own the air waves,” she said, and repeats: “We the People.”

The start of this story probably is vaguely familiar. On a Friday in January 2007, Jennifer Strange, a 28-year-old mother of three and a regular listener to 107.9-KDND, The End, entered a contest called “Hold your wee for a Wii,” the Nintendo gaming console that was all rage at the time. ... The person who gulped the most water without having to urinate would win.

...“Can’t you get water poisoning and, like, die?” one of the disc jockeys asked, 16 minutes into the show. A caller who identified herself as a nurse practitioner warned that a person could die from water intoxication.

...A friend of Strange’s called the station with word of her death. Rather than call the other contestants to check on their welfare, the station’s management called Entercom headquarters in Bala Cynwyd outside Philadelphia and spoke to company lawyers. When the deejays arrived for work on the Monday after Strange’s death, they were told to hire attorneys and were fired.

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