Yesterday, as pretty much everyone who is reading this already knows, Carmichael Dave of KHTK was fired from his job. Tom Ziller at Sactown Royalty had a good piece on this already that sums up a lot of the issue's that exist with the cronyism between the Kings franchise and 1140 (owned by CBS radio).
The issue, of course, that there is a major conflict of interest between the station and the franchise and for a fan seeking commentary relatively unbiased and reasonable, the fan can no longer expect any of that from the radio. For the most part, the Bee has their hands tied as long as they expect to get information from the franchise. One of the problems with Geoff Petrie is that he holds information in a strangehold, and if you expect anything from him in the future you have to play by his rules. If you are the Bee, what choice do you have but to play ball?
I've talked about a conflict of interest before with all of this, and it's certainly nothing new. While what happened to Dave was exceptionally unfortunate, and Dave will find work elsewhere because he's both exceptionally talented and hard-working (as Ziller noted), what this really does now is leave a lot of fans looking for reasonable Kings talk out in the cold. There is nothing on talk radio for a Kings fan that wants more than a biased red-head mouthpiece spouting off the company line because he's too afraid to do otherwise.
The truth, and the truth is often a rather fickle subject naturally, is that a lot of fans like myself have never seen 1140 as the beacon of the light for Kings coverage. I sure didn't 10 years ago let alone now. I never saw how a station with so many radio show hosts tied to the Kings could offer unbiased coverage. How that isn't a conflict of interest I'll never know. Maybe it doesn't bother other people, but I don't enjoy that. On top of that, I find talk radio boring to begin with. It's simply not my medium. There's nothing wrong with that, nor is there anything wrong with enjoying talk radio. It's for some and not for others. That's not a big deal. What I find disheartening is that so many fans will be turned towards either Bee coverage, or, worse, coverage on an internet web site such as Cowbell Kingdom or Sactown Royalty. Lots of people already do that to begin with; more will have no choice. Eliminating the choices for fans to enjoy a medium they feel comfortable with is simply one of the ironies of Sacramento media that isn't available anywhere else in a city of it's size. You wouldn't find this crap in Portland or Salt Lake City for instance.
Make no mistake as I'm not complaining about fans having to turn to web coverage for news. For the last several years at a bare minimum, typically the online sites have been the best places for fans to get information that will help them understand an issue better. As always, it always depends on the person to want to understand and seek the knowledge. There are plenty of people who want useful information in a talk radio format. Repeatedly, KHTK has failed these Kings fans who would like nothing more than to turn the dial and listen to intelligent Kings talk. Why is that so hard to achieve?
KHTK doesn't care enough about it's listeners to actually provide coverage that would make it valuable to them. KHTK fired one person who cared enough about the station and Kings fans to try and have that very conversation. I don't mind sports radio dying myself as I don't value it, but lots of people do. You would think folks at KHTK might notice that more and more people are finding online websites run by fans as a threat and might be working a bit harder to attract listeners more than they are. Nope, apparently that's not how Sacramento sports talk radio works. Good riddance and thanks for killing yourself willingly. Bon voyage suckers!