Letters Column

Week of April 27, 2006


Feature, April 13, 2006

Radio, Radio

Hammered: As a former news anchor at KTRS (550 AM), I have to say that Chad Garrison's "Foul Frequency" really hit the nail on the head. Tim Dorsey does not have a clue as to how to run a radio station. After hiring Darrell Ankarlo to boost ratings for the morning show, he failed to realized that Ankarlo's sidekick, "Francine," was part of the deal. Francine was to anchor the news during Ankarlo's show, something Dorsey apparently didn't realize.

During her first newscast, Dorsey calls the newsroom and asks me, "Who is that on the air?" "Francine," I told him. "She sounds like Minnie Mouse," Dorsey replied. When I asked if he had listened to a tape of Francine before hiring her, he said he had not!

In one eighteen-month period, Dorsey fired twenty-three people.

I could go on and on. Unfortunately for Cardinal fans, the team's owners have hitched their wagon to a loser.
Bill Phelan, managing editor, Suburban Newspapers of Jefferson County, Affton

An unsatisfied customer: The body of this letter was sent to Mr. Dorsey at KTRS. Perhaps he deserves my apology. Your article confirms my suspicions that the new Cardinal management has made poor decisions and perhaps do not understand their own local audience.

Sunday, before turning in, I tuned in KTRS to catch some trivial tidbits about the entertainment world. Instead of Dave Strauss' conversational chatter, I was being yelled at by some unhappy provocateur. I normally avoid being baited by these mini-minded malcontents and do not call in or respond in any way except to change stations. But perhaps this is the final straw. I spend a lot of money advertising on your station. KTRS was a local station.

This is St. Louis; not Chicago, New York, LA, etc. Those cities have their own unique positive attributes. Why are you importing the worst they have to offer? Bill and Wendy are gone. OK, things change, but I miss their positive beginnings to each day. Now after Farmer Dave's uniquely informative and local segment, I have to switch stations to avoid being insulted intellectually by the "Idiots in the a.m." show. What talent does it take to review the overnight news, select the worst and wrap it around hooks to bait the listeners? What talent does it take to fill the gaps with guffaws until the fish start taking the bait and calling in?

I commend your quick decision to act by terminating a recent import. But does the station itself have any standards except the minimum mandated by the SEC? What about all the people who are maligned but who are not protected by a specific list of epithets or code words? In reality, your quick decision was not even yours to make. What happened? Did KTRS spend so much for the Cardinals that you have no money to afford good local talent? As an advertiser, in spite of the official ratings book, I know for a fact that your station was a good investment. I started this year with a campaign using three radio stations. The feedback was good. For the last month I have been on your station only and the market is silent. I am not getting the response I used to get.

My opinion is whoever is responsible for the "new" KTRS has missed an opportunity to be a great St. Louis station. KTRS may call itself "The Big 550," but it is far from being a "voice of St. Louis." I find it ironic that after winning the coveted St. Louis Cardinals, and now that you have all the Cards (or they have you), you may be dealing your own demise via hari kari (pun intended).

There you have it. I have taken the bait. I have responded and now it's time to turn the dial.
Russ Patton, Kirkwood

Cafe, April 13, 2006

Bird Man

Like Mike: I enjoyed Ian Froeb's review of Mike Shannon's Steak and Seafood ("Git Up, Baby!"). We dropped in after a day game and enjoyed the outdoor bar with its people-watching possibilities before heading inside for another round. We sat at the bar and had excellent service from a N'awlins bartender stranded by Katrina. We also were fortunate enough to encounter Da Boss himself, and Mr. Shannon was kind enough to sign an autograph. It was a truly magical afternoon.
Margaret Elliott, St. Louis

Feature, April 6, 2006

Phat City

Nathan Hershey's name here in boldface: It's a shame that one of the main ingredients of the Phat Buddha equation only got a small picture and a couple lines' mention in Julie Seabaugh's "Hip-Hop Hippies." I interned there for a short while and saw how much hard work, time and energy Nathan Hershey puts into that studio. I know the story wasn't necessarily about him, but it was about the studio, and I think he deserves some more credit.

Phat Buddha wouldn't be where it is today if not for him. Hershey is the shit! Thanks for all you taught me.
Tony Esterly, St. Louis

Letters, April 6, 2006

What's in a Name?

Birdman cries fowl: I haven't seen Brie Johnson perform, I've just seen her so-called ghetto booty in the Riverfront Times. Ghetto, barrio, suburb, whatever; it looks pretty tasty.

Whether that makes her funny or not is debatable until I catch the act, but whoever is pretentious enough to use the moniker "Ausar Ureaus [sic] Tet Sahu" makes me chuckle a bit. The name means 1) Osiris, 2) the sacred cobra crown (properly spelled "uraeus"), 3) the blood or buckle of Isis and 4) the constellation of Orion, associated with Osiris.

Why does somebody with that much ancient Egyptian mojo need to be writing to your little journal? He or she should be married to a sibling and making sure that Anubis isn't putting his thumb on the scale while weighing hearts in the underworld. Tut, tut.
E.A. Wallis Budgerigar, St. Louis

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