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The Big Talker Responds
The December 18, 2006 broadcast of The Town Hall radio show on The Big Talker 106.3 FM in Wilmington, NC drew objections from the cycling community when, after discussing a traffic incident involving a motor scooter, the hosts asked bicyclists to stay on the sidewalk and claimed that bicyclists do not have the right to operate on roadways because they do not pay license fees. The comments aired clearly indicated ignorance of state law and best bicycling practices.
Paul Knight, Vice-president and General Manager of Sea-Comm Media, responded to bicyclists' emails to the station with the email copied below, and provided a recording of the original broadcast in MPEG3 format, also provided here. While it appears that no malice was intended by the show hosts, cyclists in the area hope that the radio station will correct the situation by making its audience aware of the actual laws and safe practices related to roadway bicycling. Wilmington-area bicyclists are continuing a dialog with the station management to hopefully reach an understanding about the importance of safe driving and respecting cyclists' legal rights on our roadways.
Segment of the Original The Big Talker FM Broadcast in MP3 format.
Paul Knight's 12/21/2006 letter:
To The Concerned Cyclist,
I am replying to you as a group due to the many e-mails of concern
I have received about comments made towards cyclist on our Town Hall
Show with Justin Meccia. A lot of you have written based on what you
were told by fellow cyclists so you really don't know what the comments
were. I have included a MP3 clip of what was actually broadcast so that
you can see first hand how this has gotten out of hand.
First of all Sea-Comm Media would never condone a comment that would
endanger anyone's life or safety. It is our position as a company that
cyclist have a right to the roads just like any other vehicle. I know
you also have to admit that some cyclist don't use the best judgment
sometimes in choosing the road they ride on. What has caused more
frustration to motorist are the mopeds ridden by people that have lost
their license to drive on the roads. These people cause more back-ups
and accidents than any other vehicles on the roads for inner city
drivers. I would like to see this type of vehicle not allowed on the
As you will hear when you listen to the clip, Justin made an off the
cuff comment that he did not think through ("cyclist should stay on the
sidewalks"). He shouldn't have said that and he didn't know that
cycling is not allowed on sidewalks in most areas. He did apologize for
the comment later in the show as callers called in and set him straight
on cycling. Town Hall and Sea-Comm Media spends a lot of time and money
each day to be very local with our shows. It is our belief by giving
our local listeners a platform to speak out on, that this is the best
service we can provide. We are human and sometimes make mistakes. When
this happens we don't have a problem stepping back and making good on
our error. In most cases our listeners keep us straight and we
appreciate them doing this. We all work and live in the same place and
it is my hope that Sea-Comm helps make our community better. Justin is
a great person with good morals and a wife and two young children. He
wants what is best for his community also.
The next Town Hall Show will air on January 1, 2007 on The Big
Talker F.M. You may listen on either 103.9 or 106.3 F.M. depending on
where you are. Justin will address his comments and the e-mails we have
received at that time. I also extend an invitation to any of you
cyclist to come into our studio on that date and talk about some of the
problems that cyclist in our area face and what are some possible
solutions. Contact me direct at the number and address below if you
would like to do this.
I hope this clears any misunderstandings up between Sea-Comm Media
and the cyclist in our area. Don't make a decision on who we are based
on hearsay. Listen to the MP3 and use facts. We are a good company and
work hard to serve our listeners and clients.
If any of you would like to address this with me personally, feel
free to contact me via e-mail or my direct phone line at 910-772-6333.
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