On Thursday morning, February 18th, with one minute left of his popular San Francisco Bay Area early morning talk show on KSFO 560-AM, veteran radio host and dedicated conservative, Lee Rodgers, received his pink slip without warning for refusing to. “…say nice things about Muslims.”
Rodgers, a 25 year veteran of ABC Radio and a 15 year veteran at KSFO with his highly rated and profitable Lee Rodgers Show, was in the normal process of renegotiating his contract for renewal in July when he was fired last week. In a clear violation of his contract, Rodgers said that his leaving, “…was forced upon me, with no notice.”
ABC Radio is owned by Citadel Corporation and is in bankruptcy. Its move to terminate one of its highest rated and profitable hosts in a major metropolitan market seems counter-productive but is not unusual under Citadel’s current management. Earlier in the month Chicago sister station, WLS-AM 890 fired in mid-week the abrasive but entertaining libertarian, Mancow Muller, and his co-host, Pat Cassidy, for, as Muller put it, “no rhyme or reason.”
In an email sent to his fans, Rodgers wrote, “The top management of Citadel, led by a CEO named Farid Suleiman--widely regarded as the most incompetent executive in broadcasting--decided that I was making too much money after 25 years with ABC and fifteen as morning host on KSFO, taking no note of the fact that I've generated large sums of money for the company.”
Rodgers then went on to say, “I WILL tell you, in all candor, that thanks to Mr. Suleiman's Citadel management, I could no longer proudly say that the company had never told me what to say or what not to say. There was an obvious cave-in to some ultra-left and pro-Muslim groups, making it unlikely that I would have ever renewed my contract with the company, anyway.”
Rodgers’ co-host, Melanie Morgan, lost her slot in what ostensibly was a cost-cutting move on the part of KSFO in 2008. However, immediately before she was let go, Morgan was war reporting directly from Iraq and was one of the leading charity organizers in the nation for sending goodie packages to our frontline fighting men and women in the WOT. Morgan was pro-Bush and a major cheerleader on the Iraqi and Afghani fronts. Even though her husband, Jack Swanson, was then and still is the manager of KSFO, it was not enough to ensure that her contract was renewed.
Over the 15 years that Rodgers was morning host, he was famous for not suffering fools gladly and holding firmly to conservative principles. He repeatedly stated that the last, true President of the United States concerned with the actual welfare of America was Ronald Reagan and that the Islamic nation building conducted under President Bush II was a disastrous waste of American manpower and money. Rodgers advocated secure borders, reported on Islamic terrorism, cultural jihad and creeping sharia within the USA, and repeatedly hammered on the Obama Administration over its gross incompetence, corruption, conflicts of interest, bailouts and willful shredding of the Constitution.
Rodgers’ co-hosts, Melanie Morgan and Officer Vic (Tom Benner), followed his lead but Rodgers left them in the dust with his show preparation and research that was so extensive he operated on only four hours of sleep a day. Rodgers never accepted second-rate thinking from anyone including his guests and nationally syndicated conservative talk show host, Mark Levin, cut his radio teeth with Rodgers as a call-in debater when Levin was a patent attorney in the South Bay/Silicon Valley city of Sunnyvale.
Rodgers is not registered with the Republican Party and, unlike many other conservative radio talk show hosts, refuses to carry water for the GOP. Rodgers could easily translate into national syndication and would give Levin and Rush Limbaugh major competition for listeners.