Velie banished by KVEC’s Ron Roy

January 10, 2014

Dave CongaltonBy DANIEL BLACKBURN

CalCoastNews’ Karen Velie has been bounced from the airwaves of KVEC/920 following station management’s receipt of a critical letter from San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson.

Velie, the news site’s publisher and co-founder, was informed of KVEC General Manager Ron Roy’s decision in an email from Hometown Radio talk show host Dave Congalton. Parkinson was angered by Velie’s reporting on a drug raid early in December, and elucidated his concerns in a two-page letter on sheriff’s department stationery.

After taking issue with a number of elements of the article, Parkinson wrote, “I would ask you to please investigate this matter and take all steps that you deem appropriate which I hope will include an apology to the law enforcement officers from the SLO Sheriff’s Office who were involved.”

KVEC manager Roy said he had been “concerned” for some time about controversies surrounding CalCoastNews. Several months ago, Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo served a letter on the El Dorado Broadcasting office in Los Angeles threatening legal action if the KVEC continued to have CalCoastNews reporters on the air.

“On a relatively regular basis there have been questions regarding her (Velie’s) reporting,” Roy said, “and I just got to the point where I am not willing to take a chance on letting something on our airwaves that will get us in trouble.”

Roy said “the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. My responsibility is protecting my license, and my people. I’ve got to make these decisions. I’ve talked to Dave (Congalton) before and I don’t want to deal with this any more. There’s been five years of this nonsense.”

The executive said he made his decision without considering the accuracy of the article questioned by Parkinson.

Congalton wrote on Jan 6, “It is with much regret that I inform you that El Dorado management is no longer comfortable having you appear as a guest on my KVEC radio show. This morning, our vice-president and general manager Ron Roy affirmed his decision to remove you from the broadcast, effective immediately.

“I can’t speak for management, but I know there was concern raised over a recent letter from Sheriff Parkinson disputing your reporting in the restaurant owner drug bust story and subsequent appearance on my show on December 17.

“I’m sorry to be the bearer of such bad news and I remain appreciative of all that you have done for my show, and all that you have done for the community. However, you will also understand that I can have no further comment on this issue.”

San Luis Obispo City Councilman John Ashbaugh and County Supervisor Adam Hill have openly discussed their “boycott” of Congalton’s show as long as Velie was allowed on the air. Ashbaugh has claimed in the past that Parkinson shared that sentiment.

KVEC’s Roy said his decision does not impact other CalCoastNews reporters.


149 Comments

  1. modernwelding says:

    This is weird and a vendetta of some sort appears to be the case.
    OK … so who do I write to? What can I do?
    BTW why do we pay County Managers so much?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 9

  2. south says:

    While I don’t like my Sheriff’s to be politicians I always hope that they posess at least a modicum of political savvey. This is truly a no win situation for I.P. that could have been handled so much better with an open letter to all his staff voicing his support of them and their colleagues.

    Instead he used the power of his office to intimidate the press, and in doing so lost the trust of many who had no reason to otherwise.

    Sheriff Parkinson is probably a great guy, a good cop and a fine administrator. I hope in the future he just concentrate on those things. I think it was for those reasons that I voted for him.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 26 Thumb down 10

  3. Pelican1 says:

    So…Karen has been banned (rhetorically speaking) from the roadways, from the family ways, and now the airways. Hmmm…anyone see a pattern here?
    Happiest place on earth? Disneyland has noth’n on us.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 44 Thumb down 22

  4. kayaknut says:

    FYI…… Every radio station is required by the FCC to maintain a “Public File” and part of this file are any letters from the public, which this letter from the sheriff would be. Any person can go to the station and request to see the “Public File”, and a person does not have to give their name, just state they want to see the file. A person can also request a copy of any document in the file, the station is allowed to charge a reasonable fee for this. Of course the station could decide to not put this letter in their file, and you would have to request it, but the station could refuse the request or state the letter doesn’t exist, interesting since the letter has been talked about. If the station refuses to produce the letter a persons only option would be to file a complaint with the FCC. The FCC website, http://www.fcc.gov, has the information on how to do this. Good Luck

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 35 Thumb down 11

    • MaryMalone says:

      Thanks for the info.

      I wonder why CCN didn’t link to a copy of the letter?

      For us who are writing letters to KVEC, it would have had easy access to Parkinson’s letter so we can quote it.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 12

  5. rogerfreberg says:

    I am wondering whether Ian was acting in his ‘official capacity’ as sherif? as an ‘elected official’? or just a ‘concerned citizen?’

    If he is acting in his official capacity, we should all have a problem with that!

    Courage is very rare… but I am very very disappointed in KVEC for buckling under to the implied threat presented by certain elected officials… and now the Sheriff.

    This can change by changing the Board of Supervisors at election time!….

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 42 Thumb down 19

  6. scoopone says:

    I guess the next thing on Ian’s list is to get all of us to stop blogging on CCN’s website.
    -
    Imagine….an elected official puts the pressure on a news organization and the KVEC
    manager folds. This is a precedent that must not continue.
    -
    If Dave really ill, or is he sick of working for KVEC. Could be both and I would agree with him.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 32 Thumb down 18

    • kettle says:

      scoopone says:”I guess the next thing on Ian’s list is to get all of us to stop blogging on CCN’s website.”

      No, but knowing everyone’s real name is a goal or certain persons (not Ian, but but he would be emailed) reflected in the move towards facebook comments, for example.
      It’s a small county with a big fish small pond issue/s.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 8

  7. willieslo says:

    Using the Roman Rompire as the classic example, although not limited to Rome but all over the world, before, during as well as after, anyone that detracts from the power that be will be directly, indirectly, or in a round about way, persecuted!
    It has in actuality never really or truly changed since the beginning of time.
    Even with Karen, who CYA with good investigative facts, look at what just happened to the US Constitution freedom of press (The Right) and free speech (or different points of view).
    The next thing you know is The Sheriff Department may attempt to indirectly get records of everyone who post here just as The City of Maricopa directly tried to do.
    What are we to teach our children?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 28 Thumb down 15

    • doggin says:

      They already have your email addresses, phone numbers SS#’s, finger prints and yes they probably have your comps and ISP account info. You can thank our xxxx in charge for the invasion of privacy for that one.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 15

      • doggin says:

        Oh yeah…about what to teach them. Whitey is evil, he enslaves people,he is greedy, he should bow down to every other culture and put his beliefs aside such as religious,ethics,moral beliefs. There really is no need to work to get ahead, just hold your hand out for some scraps after your government back stabs you and gives away everything your parents and grand parents worked for cause capitalism dosent work and its time for financial equality in America.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 17

        • Kevin 99 says:

          That’s quite a little rant you have going there, doggin. If any of it–ANY of it–were backed by anything resembling truth, there might be cause for concern. But it’s not, so we all can rest easily. And don’t worry so much about us White Guys–we still control the world, after all.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 5

  8. mbhomeless says:

    MLK would be SOL in SLO.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 9

  9. SloNative46 says:

    So Dave is out sick today? Interesting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 9

    • Homer says:

      Interesting. Or, like a bunch of my co-workers and countless others in the middle of flu season, he’s, uh, sick. The minds of conspiracy-loving folks are so predictable.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 6

    • bobfromsanluis says:

      “Interesting.” Yes, it is. I will be very curious to see what happens tomorrow or the rest of the week. Stay tuned?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 9

    • Dave says:

      Sorry to disappoint, guys, but for once, I have to agree with Homer. That nasty flu bug hit me upside the head on Saturday. Hope to be back at work on Tuesday. Taking it slow.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 27 Thumb down 12

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