Was Miller's KDKA-AM reprimand just a stunt?

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A segment that aired during Kevin Miller's show earlier this week has some KDKA-AM (1020) listeners confused. It has prompted a flurry of e-mails and phone calls from people wondering if the talk host is truly being disciplined for his views.

On Wednesday, KDKA executive producer P.J. Kumanchik read a statement from CBS Radio management saying that Miller has demonstrated a pattern of bias against Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, and that in the spirit of fairness, the station would offer Obama three hours of airtime, pre-empting one of Miller's weekday noon to 3 p.m. air shifts.

Miller apologized yesterday for comments he made on-air regarding being censored after the Wednesday segment.

KDKA program director Marshall Adams would not comment on what the station's intent was in airing Wednesday's segment, or whether it was a promotional stunt.

Some listeners called in to object to what they felt was censorship. The blogosphere was full of speculation regarding whether Miller was being taken off the air.

Others thought it seemed more like a media stunt. When station management has a problem with a host, they don't typically call him or her on to the carpet over the airwaves. Miller also is known for staging various publicity stunts. Last month, for example, he kissed a lipstick-wearing pig outside KDKA's studios after Obama came under fire when using the phrase "lipstick on a pig" when referring to promises the McCain/Palin camp made to reform Washington.

Whether the Obama campaign takes KDKA up on the three hours of airtime remains to be seen.

-- Adrian McCoy, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


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