Plug pulled on ‘Klondyke’over ‘too much opinion’

Published 12:00 pm Tuesday, August 24, 2010

“Live from the Klondyke,” a radio show broadcast from the North Washington Street eatery, went silent Monday after its station owner canceled the program due to recent show topics deemed too critical of city government.

On-air comments by David Day, the restaurant’s owner and host of Vicksburg’s only call-in talk show, was the principal reason the show has been ended for now, said Mark Jones, owner/operator of WVBG, which aired the show on its 1490 AM station.

“I don’t look at it so much as censorship,” Jones said, adding he didn’t have a problem with callers voicing opinions about local, state and national issues. But he said Day editorialized too much behind the microphone: “I just didn’t want the host ranting about his opinion.”

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Reached late Monday, Day said a few shows last week dealing with slow responses from the Vicksburg Police Department yielded “numerous complaints” that went to the “10th degree.” Day singled out a personal incident involving a vagrant around the restaurant “that wouldn’t leave” and recently-reported vandalism at the Southern Cultural Heritage Center as topics mentioned on-air.

Neither man left the door closed to resuming the show with Day as host. The show began in 2007 behind Day’s now-closed Horseface Harry’s restaurant on Halls Ferry Road. Jones said the show was aired with a disclaimer that opinions voiced by those behind the mic didn’t necessarily reflect the views of the station, but the two would have to come “to some reasoning about everything.” Day, also a member of the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau advisory board, said he has hosted the show without pay since its inception and word of its cancellation had “deluged” his Facebook account with private messages from fans of the show.

Both men credited “Live” with producing three spinoff programs on 1490 AM, a business-themed show hosted by Dr. George R. Abraham, a local events calendar-themed show and a local sports show hosted by accountant David Boolos.

A replacement for “Live from the Klondyke” hasn’t been determined, Jones said. The “Doug Stephan’s Good Day” program, which regularly airs from 3 until 7 a.m., Jones said, was continuing at 8:30 this morning.