There’s no need for the show to go on

Published 8:38 am Friday, March 25, 2011

Column: Dave Churchill, Guest Column

Gov. Mark Dayton’s desire to have a weekly radio show like his predecessors has apparently been thwarted because broadcasters don’t want to give him the same time slot — Friday morning drive-time — that governors Ventura and Pawlenty enjoyed.

Dave Churchill

The best deal he could get was Saturday at 7 a.m., when even in the metro area only six or seven people have the radio on.

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Gov. Dayton told the Star Tribune newspaper that he thought that was insulting to the people of Minnesota.

Actually, it’s probably more of an insult to the governor’s perceived entertainment value. Gov. Ventura was entertaining in a Don Rickles sort of way: One never knew who he was going to insult. But Gov. Pawlenty was definitely not must-listen radio; by the time he left office, broadcast executives were probably regretting that they’d given him a prime time show. Dayton would be more of the same.

So, apparently, no show.

But that shouldn’t really matter. If the governor is really eager to connect with the people of Minnesota, what he needs is a weekly online chat. The audience potential for that dwarfs any Minnesota radio station’s reach.

Gov. Dayton already has what he needs: his own, ultra-dull government-issue website. So why not spice it up with a moderated chat once a week?

Heck, the governor could interact with us every day if he wants. He could stay in touch with constituents, chatting away like mad from the keyboad on his Blackberry, Android or iPhone, pretty much 24/7, without even needing his website. It’s called Twitter.

So forget the radio show, Gov. Dayton. Get modern.

Dave Churchill is the publisher of the Austin Daily Herald.