ON THE DIAL: KCRW-FM is still getting hit with shock waves after the station's decision to fire Deirdre O'Donoghue, whose weeknight "SNAP" new-music show had been one of the station's most lauded programs for the past six years. Now, longtime KCRW deejay Brent Wilcox, whose "FRGK" show had been a Saturday night staple, has quit, blasting the station for its axing of O'Donoghue. As Wilcox put it last weekend during his final show: "I've been increasingly upset with the artistic direction I see the station taking, and with recent attitudes that compromise, I feel, not only the non-commercial nature of KCRW, but the very issue of free speech."
Asked to elaborate last week, Wilcox explained: "Getting rid of Deirdre really showed an incredible disregard for her audience. And there are a lot of people at KCRW who have been really upset and paranoid about the station management. They have this attitude that 'You're here to play music, so shut up and don't offer your opinions.' It's a bad way to run a station, especially one that's supposed to be a non-commercial public station. If we'd had an analogous situation to the controversy over PBS stations running "The Africans" series, I doubt very much if the station management here would be willing to run that pointed a show. They've lost the willingness to take the kind of chances that made this station fun in the first place."
KCRW general manager Ruth Hirschman responded: "This is not a free-speech issue. Whatever Deirdre said on the air had nothing to do with our differences. Moreover, Brent never talked to us about any of these concerns. His moral outrage came as a total shock to us."