Monday, March 30, 2020

Portland ME Radio: Longtime Host Ken Altshuler OUT At WGAN

The liberal-leaning co-host of one of Maine’s best-known political talk radio shows said he was fired on Friday with the company blaming financial issues caused by the coronavirus outbreak while he long suspected a change was afoot.

Ken Altshuler
67-year-old Ken Altshuler hosted the morning show on WGAN 560 AM / Translator W253DA 98.5 FM  for 18 years that was focused on political analysis and interviews with newsmakers.

Altshuler spent 12 years hosting the program with conservative Mike Violette. After Violette was released from his contract in 2016, he was replaced by Matt Gagnon, the CEO of the conservative Maine Policy Institute and a Bangor Daily News columnist. The show turned to a more analytical format after the change.

According to BDN Politics, on Friday, Altshuler co-hosted “ The Morning News with Ken and Matt.” After leaving the station, he said WGAN’s general manager told him in a phone call that he was being fired along with at least one other employee in a financial restructuring caused by an advertising revenue decline.

Altshuler said he had long suspected that he would be let go since another show managed by Portland Radio Group, WGAN’s umbrella organization owned by Michigan-based Saga Communications, switched to a one-host format, among other changes at the company.

Altshuler said he believes it took about six months for his show with Gagnon to hit its stride, but that he believed it was performing as well recently as the show with Violette did in terms of advertising revenue and listener feedback.

He praised Gagnon, but he said WGAN would likely regret the move to a one-host show. The station’s schedule of national programs is dominated by conservatives including Rush Limbaugh, Howie Carr and Mark Levin. Altshuler said his show was one of the only opportunities for listeners to hear “the other perspective.”

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