Chuck D Rallies Against Media Consolidation
Chuck D recently traveled to Santa Fe, New Mexico to urge local residents to resist the purchase of three local radio stations by a local corporation. According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, Chuck’s appearance at the Santa Fe Plaza was prompted by an invite from Public Enemy bandleader Brian Hardgroove, who hosts a show on KWRP, one of the stations up for sale. The Hutton Group, which already owns two local stations, is looking to purchase KWRP, KBAC and KBLU and is currently awaiting approval from the FCC to move forward with the buy. The Public Enemy front man explained to citizens that the consolidation of radio station ownership to just a few large corporations was a threat to local culture and traditions.
Hutton Group manager Scott Hutton objects to claims that his company is faceless corporation that is unfamiliar with the area, and has promised that the stations would maintain their local flavor. “I’ve had the experience of running radio stations in a big market — Albuquerque — but I live here, and I intend to stay here for the next 25 years,” Hutton said. “I own 32 percent of the company, and my dad owns the other 68 percent. This is a family business. My dad does the books; my wife sells ads. We don’t own stations anywhere else.” One of KWRP’s founders, Ellie Garrett, is currently circulating a petition asking the FCC to reject the sale.