SYRACUSE – Local fans of the quirky humor and parodies on the “Dr. Demento” are out of luck; the station is no longer carried on Galaxy’s TK99/105 (WTKW/WTKV). The reason: Demento’s syndicator doesn’t allow affiliates to stream the show online anymore.
An observant CNYRadio.com reader who prefers to be identified as “Demented in Auburn” tells us there was a rather lengthy explanation on the station’s website, but this is all we could find on TK’s “More Shows” page early Tuesday morning:
Dr. Demento WILL NO LONGER AIR on TK99. We are sad for Dr. Demento fans. We have aired the show for 15 years but the Demento parent company will no longer allow us to air the show because we stream our audio.
The official Dr. Demento homepage doesn’t currently mention anything of this streaming issue, but according to a Wikipedia entry about Dr. Demento, the show has “fallen on financial hard times.” As advertisers have fallen off, the entry explains, Demento’s syndicator has had to change from a barter system to charging stations a licensing fee to carry the show. To help generate additional revenue, affiliates are no longer allowed to stream the show because Demento’s website charges fans $2 a pop to listen to the latest show online.
The entry notes that, as a result of the streaming ban, many affiliates have dropped the show, rather than streaming alternate programming or simply shutting off their streams during the show. Apparently not a brilliant move on the part of Demento’s syndicator, as his affiliate page currently lists only seven remaining affiliates in the entire country.