When Will Brad & Britt Stand Up?

The momentum behind exposing Time Warner’s recent rate hike and bandwidth cap here in Greensboro is growing. Bloggers have been writing and setting courses of action. Local news crews have weighed in and the News & Record’s own Joe Killian has reported on the subject several times. Even our local officials, like Greensboro’s mayor Yvonne Johnson has spoken up and said she’ll do whatever she can to help bring Internet competition into the area. Everyone’s talking, with two notable exceptions: FM Talk’s own morning team Brad Krantz & Britt Whitmire.

Brad & Britt have always done a great job of bringing issues, especially local ones to the forefront here in the Triad. Although they have critics on both the left and the right, they always speak from the gut and give it to the listener straight up. Until Now. In an ironic twist of fate, Brad & Britt remain silent regarding an issue that has people in Greensboro upset and dying to vent on air. You see, Time Warner Cable is one of FM Talk’s biggest advertisers.

Britt Whitmire is extremely tech savvy and has dragged his older partner, Brad Krantz, kicking and grumbling into the world of Facebook and Twitter. Britt’s even joined the fake Twitterer’s club and created for-fun accounts for Fake Dan Rather and Little Rush so we can enjoy his musings at any time of the day or night. But even Britt seems powerless to rock the boat when it comes to corporate sponsorship.

When the news about Time Warner’s preposterous rate changes first broke in Greensboro, I sent an @reply to Britt to see if they could raise the topic on their morning show. Britt’s response disappointed me, but deep down, I understood it. I often must resist writing blog posts critical of services or companies for which I do design work for at the Iconfactory. But unlike Britt, my job isn’t to get people talking about national and local news & events. FM Talk’s management have no doubt cut the duo out of the loop on this important issue, which is unsettling.

At WOAI-AM in San Antonio, Texas, conservative talker Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo is taking the opposite approach and getting his callers to talk up a storm on the subject. He hasn’t bought Time Warner’s excuses for fleecing his listeners and is fighting the good fight against corporate greed. It pains me that folks in Texas can speak their mind, but thanks to FM Talk’s sponsorship from Time Warner, the Triad is left out in the radio cold. If it bothers you too, then head over to FM Talk 101.1’s contact us page and petition management to allow discussion of Time Warner on Brad & Britt. Be professional but firm and let the suits know the Triad needs to talk about this issue on air.

I often hear Britt plug Time Warner on my morning drive to work. I used to get a smile from hearing him promote Apple TV to download the latest movies and TV shows via his Roadrunner broadband service. Now, when I hear him talk about this latest internet gadgets I feel sorry. One day Britt’s going to go download a movie, find out he’s over his bandwidth limit and pay an extra $1 per GB just like the rest of us. We can only hope he and Brad will eventually wake up and do their part as Triad citizens to raise awareness of Time Warner’s greed. If it helps ease the sting of upsetting a sponsor, I’m willing to bet talking about Time Warner’s rate hikes would be a ratings bonanza.

UPDATE: Britt has responded in the comments below and states that it was in no way the management at WZTK that kept them from talking about the Time Warner situation in Greensboro, it was Brad & Britt’s decision alone. Since that’s the case, readers should direct their pleas to discuss the topic on air to the hosts themselves and not the station. Thanks.


  1. Just to clarify, neither of us has been told by management to avoid the topic. We have made that decision on our own.

  2. Time Warner advertises with the N&R and its publications as well and they’re certainly not happy with the way we’ve covered the story so far. Yesterday one of their reps told me she thought I was “missing the story” by continuing to talk to the customers affected, looking at how it may affect business, breaking down and examining the reasoning behind the switch, talking to government leaders about how they’ll react to it.

    I asked what the story I was missing, in her estimation.

    “Well, this is the way things are going,” she said. “You should be writing a trend story.”

    But newspapers and talk radio don’t have the exact same mandate and every business is different. If I told one my editors I’d decided against writing about something because I was afraid of the advertising reaction I’d get bounced from the newsroom.

    But then, our advertising base is crumbling and we haven’t figured out how to make money on the Internet yet, so I’m not saying this makes good business sense.

  3. Very well said Joe, I would expect no less from our local paper and I for one am very proud of the light you have shed on what Time Warner is doing. I suspect WXII has had a similar conversation with a TW rep over their news story coverage lately as well.

    I have to agree that talk radio and local news agents have different mandates. So I think I’m slowly resigning myself to the fact that Brad & Britt will be no help in making people of the Triad aware of what’s going on. Once again, disappointing.

    I wonder if local news agencies will cover the TW protest being staged for this Saturday on Spring Garden St. I also wonder how many people will be there. I guess we’ll see.

  4. I’m covering it on Saturday. We’ll have photo there, too.

    I’ve already got a story about it up at the N&R site, which will be updated throughout the day.

    With the noon “Tea Party” protest going on downtown it’s going to be protest week for me. Takes me back to my night cop reporting days…

  5. I just turned on the show only to hear ranting about something concerning MSNBC. Please take either a deep breath or a pill! This is not entertaining or informative…

  6. Yeah, they kinda went off the rails this morning thanks to the snub by Joe Scarbarough. That said, parts were pretty funny, but you had to have context to understand I think.

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