Wally Wonders Why No editor, no publisher, you get what you get

March 26, 2008

Who will be next on the milk carton?

I sent an email to Rick Staeb, GM of Cascade Radio Group suggesting they communicate with their listeners about what’s going on at KGMI.

First the mysterious and super secret new radio station.
Next, Debbie Chavez disappears with all references to her existence erased like a cheap spy movie.
Now Lynne Rainey?
A lot of people continue to arrive at my blog via a search for Debbie and more recently Lynne. I’m sure some are rubber neckers, but I am also sure that many are genuinely concerned.
Your station’s silence and secrecy is certainly not an endearing quality. If you feel your station’s actions regarding these situations is on the up and up, then you might want to explain to your listeners what has gone on and what changes might be expected in the future.

7 of 10 KGMIA week later now and no news nor email reply. I didn’t really have any expectation; just hope that perhaps he would explain where they are going with people and programming.

I’m not implying that Cascade has any legal responsibility to inform their audience of how they conduct business, but they may just want to show some level of concern for how their audience may be feeling. Maybe something along the lines of we are doing some restructuring due to personalities leaving the station for personal reasons, or we are dropping some local programming in favor of more profitable national show. We don’t know; the guys at Cascade do, and that’s the whole point.

And people haven’t stopped searching for what happened to Debbie Chavez. There was only the short blurb in the Herald with rumors filling the comments, and frankly if her situation was an isolated incident I’m sure people would have dropped it by now. But rather than being isolated, it was a part of a string of weird stuff.

One day I was entertained to find that someone Googled “Lynne Rainey sucks.” In fact I emailed her, thinking she might get a laugh. But the next day I saw that people were Googling “Lynne Rainey fired.” And Poof! She’s gone, and PM Bellingham goes from conservative leaning, to Joe Teehan. Not even outrageous, but entertaining, liberal Joe Teehan, but some bland tasting Joe you would expect from a Saturday morning show. And what happened to the Liberal Outpost? It recently seemed missing from both KGMI and KBAI. One thing I heard people were concerned about after Debbie’s disappearance was that conservative shows were getting the axe, but now it seems to me it is local programming that is on the chopping block.

As a Whatcom County resident I’m a little unhappy to have less local programming, but as a conservative, I’m certainly happy to have more national conservative radio programming. Local conservative programs may not fare well against nationally produced progressive shows but, across the board, national conservative radio stomps the national liberal/progressive programming. Again we don’t know what kind of wrangling is going on in the Cascade group, but if it shapes up to conservative KGMI and progressive KBAI, then I foresee conservative values taking a sharp rise in Whatcom County and Bellingham.

That’s my happy thought for today.


  1. My thoughts on KGMI…

    The Debbie Chavez situation was not handled very well. Most people weren’t aware that she was fired until the Herald story came out. KGMI should have at least posted something on their web site before the Herald story broke.

    Is it possible that Lynne Rainey is just on vacation or leave and wasn’t really fired?

    As far as KGMI moving away from local programing. It’s pretty obivious that they only thing they care about is money. They had an opportunity to make a KGMI a really solid local station but I guess they are going in a different direction.

    Comment by Mark — March 26, 2008 @ 11:27 pm

  2. Anything is possible; Her picture is still on the banner, but no email address, so as far as I know she could be there right now sweeping floors. Who knows?

    I do know that I have a hard time saying local talk radio. What ever Debbie did or didn’t do and even you didn’t agree with her, she did bring in locals.

    This all appears to be the opposite of think local buy local, but it’s a private business so their business is their business, not mine. I’m still happy that conservative radio has come to Bellingham.

    Comment by wally — March 27, 2008 @ 5:10 am

  3. KPUG is the only station to listen to of the Cascade radio group.
    It’s Baseball season!!!!!

    Comment by Indian Aaron — April 1, 2008 @ 3:19 pm

  4. I thought you were busy working. Have you just been listening to baseball?

    Comment by wally — April 2, 2008 @ 5:40 am

  5. I am so shocked to hear Debbie and Lynne are gone! I’ve been listening to Debbie since middle school 20 years ago. We’ll probably all find out some day what happened to Debbie and Lynne some day. These types of things eventually get out but long after theres any serious interest. Like you said though Wally, this is a private business and they have the right to run it any way they like.

    Comment by Ryan — April 6, 2008 @ 2:12 am

  6. Looks like Bret Bonner is next. He just announced on air that his last day is April 22nd. He said he is retiring from radio after doing it for 28 years. I wouldn’t put him on the milk carton because it sounds like he’s leaving on his own volition. I don’t blame him. If I worked for a company that was laying off good people in such a poor manner as CMG has done I’d leave to. Still, I’ll be very sad to see him go.

    Comment by Bellinghammer — April 9, 2008 @ 8:32 am

  7. I was very surprised to hear that Debbie was let go! I, too, listened to her (I guess I still think of Schuitema {spelling?}instead of Chavez) for a long time growing up. And now Brett – I guess change is always in the air. I haven’t been in Whatcom County for a couple years now but I still keep in touch with what is going in in my old home. I grew up on KGMI – the Ed Brown show (who was he co-host with?.. can’t quite bring the name to mind..) Bill Querhn, (hello Bill ~ what a gentleman!) listened to Brett & Bonnie and then Brett & Debbie. (Dunked Brett & Bonnie in the dump tank at the fair years ago.) Joe Teehan was just on a year or so when I moved in 2005. I guess change is part of life… but I appreciated them when I was there! Thanks, Matthew

    Comment by Matthew L. Aamot — April 9, 2008 @ 9:21 am

  8. It was with suspicion that I surmised that Brett was the next one out of the door – although I am a conservative and love the new programing setting KGMI to the right of center I too am disapointed with the lack of local programing – when they did away with the obits I knew that KGMI had become a local station with misplaced aspirations – Lynn is working for Debbie on her new show – and why would they replace Monica Crowley with neo conservative Dennis Miller – as to Debbie’s show I always kind of thought that was a mix of two non comatible metaphors – a soft core Christian show that had one foot in the world and did not want to offend anyone – KGMI gets kind of sadder and sadder – who rembers Haines Fey??

    Comment by michael smith — April 30, 2008 @ 1:24 pm

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