Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tampa's Skip Mahaffey Returns With Talk Show

From Eric Deggans at tampabay.com
Once upon a time, the barter system of radio broadcasting -- where a station sells time to the performer, who then tries to find enough advertisers to turn a profit -- was the province of offbeat medical treatments and infomercials.

But Skip Mahaffey -- a radio personality once so popular in the Tampa Bay area Clear Channel built a radio station around his morning show -- is returning to the local airwaves using just such a setup, buying time on three radio stations to bring his Skip Show back by any means necessary.

On Tuesday, Mahaffey's Skip Show will debut on 1340 AM WTAN-AM Clearwater, 1350 AM WDCF, Dade City, FL  and a Little Rock, Ark. station, 880 AM KLRG-AM. He also soon hopes to have an FM outlet and smartphone apps by the summer's end.

Mahaffey, who was laid off by Clear Channel in 2009 when the company concluded his morning show wasn't catching on, left a morning gig in Tulsa, Okla. in January after just eight months. As downsizing continues in a still shrinking radio industry, Mahaffey decided to go the barter route just to get back on the air again.

And instead of talking around country music hits as he's done for the past 30 years, Mahaffey will present a talk show reaching out to country fans who might dip into talk radio occasionally. Avoiding partisanship, he hopes to create a program that appeals to listeners turned off by the hyper-radical positions taken by radio hosts on both sides of the political spectrum.

"The minute you say you're conservative or liberal, you've alienated half your audience," Mahaffey said. "I think there's way to talk about issues that gets beyond that."
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