KVEC drops morning news team

January 4, 2016
King Harris

King Harris

El Dorado Broadcasters, owner of News/Talk 920 KVEC radio, announced in an email Monday morning plans to terminate the positions of both News Director King Harris and on-air producer Joe Bowman, effective Jan. 15. Harris has served as the host of the morning newscast on the San Luis Obispo station for the past 10 years.

Harris and Bowman are scheduled to be replaced by veteran newscaster Dick Mason, who is expected to continue covering news on a reduced basis at KVEC. Mason was fired last month as news director by KKJL 1400 radio, reportedly for budgetary reasons.

In the email, general manager Ron Roy cited economic reasons for terminating Harris’ full- time position in favor of a new part-time approach. The move comes amid rumors that El Dorado may be trying to sell its local stations.

When contacted by CalCoastNews, both Harris and afternoon talk show host Dave Congalton declined to comment.

Ron Roy has not yet responded to an email sent Monday morning.

Details to follow as story unfolds.


Joe will have a job, unfortunately very possibly not in not in radio. The local radio guys could pull down more $$$ in regular jobs but have a passion for what they do, as do their listeners. Hats off to KPRL for full commitment to local radio. Maybe they can buy KVEC and gain lots of liberals calling in to keep the debate lively.


KPRL has a “full commitment to local radio”??? Since when?

They run more syndicated shows than KVEC.

No local programming during afternoon drive time.


KVEC repeats the same information in a very short cycle 12x for 3 hours each a.m. The weather information is pre-recorded and “traffic every 10 minutes” is for the LA and SF stations I listen to when KVEC drives me crazy in the a.m. KPRL will tell you current weather, including in “The People’s Republic of San Luis Obispo” and take calls when the news is slow, or to comment on the news. So 3 hours of real local radio plus 2 hours more at noon with local, state, and national news plus Dan Del Campo’s outstanding guest line-up (even if not on the “right” side of my fence = more than KVEC. And they don’t drive me crazy with lame PSA’s, often repeated back-to-back with no one seemingly at the control board. I’d rather hear paying ads even if the products or services do not interest me. They interest somebody and I get the benefit.


When I say corporate radio is a dying medium and that I stopped listening to it, local radio hosts get mad at me.

Funny, I consider ‘cutting cable’ the same theory.

“New Media” is pick-and-choose media.

Podcasts, Plex, FB, Netflix, Twitter, Amazon, Instagram, Hulu – all places I get a plethora of local, national and international news plus comedy, drama, intrigue, etc.

Lots of folks who have lost their corporate radio gigs have made a living by turning to podcasts – Funemployment Radio, The Mike O’Meara Show, The Don Geronimo Show, etc. Marc Maron was on Air America yet slays it on the Internet.

If there was a local ‘radio show’ podcast I’d be an avid listener and supporter (of their sponsors). It’s how I listen to Dave’s show – when I want, via the podcast option. I’m too busy earning a living to have 4 solid hours to dedicate every single day at an absolute fixed time.


If you like Dave and King etc. let the advertisers know when you are in their store. There are a couple of advertisers I shop at that I learned about from the radio shows. A little better to listen on the radio, but podcast is OK too.

Dave please chime in on your show. How do we show our support for local radio?


If management wants to save money then step aside. We dont listen to you. We want to hear the local radio hosts.


Any chance this is just now happening to KVEC as it has been to many other private businesses, especially in CA, in that with the costs associated with full-time employees continuing to rise, for things such as healthcare benefits, to vacations, six days, minimum wage and everything else California and the Feds are forcing on employers, that it is no surprise they are switching to part-time employees and working to avoid at least some of those costs. I see this continuing to happen in the private sector, or course the public sector doesn’t worry about employees costs they can always screw the taxpayers for more money by threatening to cut services.


KVEC maybe cutting expenses on the short term to increase the profit margin and hence the resale value of the enterprise … if so really great/stupid/greedy.

Or perhaps more charitably, they are losing funds on their morning show, i.e., advertiser revenues versus salaries and ongoing costs. Paying people to do unprofitable work is a one-way street to bankruptcy but cutting shows we all enjoy, and losing the personalities we identify with, means the remaining shows have to cover the ongoing costs.

While this is upsetting … so is the larger picture. Work is becoming automated, with the incentive to automate the best paying work the greatest, and the rest is being left to us. What’s scarce is profitable work, niches that are immune to commoditization/ automation.

This is also happening in the public sector at the rank and file level all bet it more slowly since there is not immediate pressure to maintain profits.


I think Congalton should be looking over his shoulder. Time will tell, Radio is under more and more pressure and not being able to sell your product will result in your termination! You cannot continue to lose money and survive.


There are more than enough tree huggin, dogs are god lovers to keep him in business.


How sad, always liked King & Joe with a low keyed approach. Don’t know about the economics of the situation, but boosting profits before a sale is par for the course. If a sale does happen you can bet that the format will be changed which will be a great loss for the community. Too bad that a sale to locals can’t happen where the format is maintained. How about Copeland or Rossi?


For some time I’ve wondered about the economics at KVEC. Outside of Congalton’s show, I’m not sure how many local businesses advertise on Limbaugh, Dave Ramsey, or the other programs (and for the life of me I fail to see the appeal of “Coast to Coast AM”). I listened only occasionally to KVEC’s morning news but it seems the one consistent ad I heard just about anytime on any program was for sales people. Have to believe it’s a very, very, very tough market here for radio sales, else why would the turnover be so high? In any case, I’ll miss King & Joe and I regret how local radio has declined to its present state. Hoping that Congalton’s show remains an untouchable.


Because they are in Marx’s and Hill’s pockets we don’t need them running local radio.


If you look at the history of local talk radio, the sun is setting very quickly on an established American institution.

Corporate radio has helped destroy what we are all about….Sad indeed.


Interesting that Ron Roy wants to report news, EXCEPT when it has to do with news about what’s going on in his world.


Instead of all these radio stations cutting back I wish the Tribune would just shut down.


The newspaper business has been worse than the radio business. The Tribune is hanging on by a thread. Don’t be surprised if they’re next. SLO is a small market and advertising dollars are moving to other media.