Dick Mason signs off from KPRL

September 12, 2012

Dick Mason

By DANIEL BLACKBURN and KAREN VELIE

Please see correction at bottom of article.

After five years of hosting Sound Off, Dick Mason is leaving Paso Robles-based KPRL amid discord with the station’s owner over an alleged political agenda.

Mason is the third employee to leave KPRL under allegations that operator Kevin Will forces his talk show hosts to promote a far-right agenda. Mason replaced Joe Benson who was terminated five years ago on the day he underwent multiple bypass surgery.

“Part of the reason I was dismissed and the way I was let go was for political reasons at KPRL,” Benson said. “He wanted politics talked about in the way he wanted. I objected and wanted people to give their views. He is an asshole.”

After serving a term in the U.S. Army, Mason moved to California where he spent 35 years in radio broadcasting. In the late 80s he owned KVEC in San Luis Obispo. He went on to work for Mapleton Broadcasting and then KPRL.

“He is connected with every station on the Central Coast somehow,” said Dave Congalton, the host of KVEC’s The Congalton Show.

Mason is returning to the Portland area where he grew up. According to the Yamhill Valley News Register, Mason has executed a marketing agreement which allows him to supervise the Oregon-based KLYC AM station with the intent to purchase.

Station sources said Dan Del Campo will handle microphone chores for Sound Off, the station’s topical talk show. News Director Mike Mesmer will host Morning Exchange.

“He’s from there (Oregon), you know,” said a woman who answered the phone at KPRL of Mason. She said Will was not available for comment.

CORRECTION: Posted 9/13: Mason owned several radio stations, he did not own KSLY. Though he moderated forums for the Democratic Central Committee he says he was not a member. Mason claims that Will did not try to push political agendas or control who his guests were. Several former KPRL talk show hosts said Will would try to control what views were allowed on KPRL.


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60 Comments

  1. DavePower says:

    I hosted Sound Off back in the late eighties. Kevin was not an owner of KPRL at the time, but we had a lot in common. Great guy.

    Sorry to hear all the controversy at the station since I really enjoyed working there until Joe Benson came along.

    Best wishes to every one in the North County.

    (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
  2. ironyman2000 says:

    Too bad this is such an old story. Although Kevin wasn’t my favorite person, he didn’t push his agenda on
    to my work. As for Benson, he was funny and talented as a host. The Peter principle applies here though.
    Benson should NEVER have tried news. Terrible patronizing schlock and an incredibly inept writer.

    (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
  3. CA Native says:

    Why did Jeff Bradley leave KPRL?

    (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
    • fhill123 says:

      To meet the chicken who crossed the road.

      (3) 7 Total Votes - 5 up - 2 down

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