LOS ANGELES — Just a week after an incident where she said “the n-word” live on-the-air several times in a row, Dr. Laura has announced she’s going to end her radio show when her current contract ends this December. Formerly heard on prominent news/talkers in Central New York’s two largest markets, Dr. Laura’s show is now only heard on one station on the fringe of our coverage area.
That lone current affiliate is Auburn’s WAUB, a simulcast of Geneva’s WGVA, which is technically outside of CNYRadio.com’s coverage area. Newsradio 570 WSYR moved Schlessinger from her live timeslot to an evening tape-delay in July 2002, the first step toward her being completely removed from the lineup. At Newsradio 950 WIBX in Utica, Schlessinger was dropped in 2004 to make room for Laura Ingraham.
Schlessinger announced her decision to quit radio last night on CNN’s Larry King Live. She told King she wasn’t being fired or pushed out by her syndicator, but rather, explained, “I want my First Amendment rights back, which I can’t have on radio without the threat of attack on my advertisers and stations.”
According to ABC News, at least two sponsors — General Motors and Motel 6 — pulled their spots off the show after the August 10th incident.
Despite her immediate apologies on the air and online, Schlessinger told Larry King she received plenty of hate mail and threats — a reflection on changes in society over the past decades. Schlessinger compared the current reaction to when she “first started out in radio,” when she said, “people would disagree — they disagreed, they didn’t hate. They didn’t try to censor, they didn’t try to destroy an opposing point of view. Instead, they just argued and debated, and argued and disagreed, and debated and argued.”
Dr. Laura went on to say she’s not exiting the spotlight entirely — as she plans to continue expressing her opinions via books, blogs, YouTube, and other forms of communication.