Broad Casting

Barbara Carlson might be going back to the Talk Station

"I've had discussions with her about how she'd love to build upon the mayor's race and kind of capitalize on what she learned about herself and the community," says Sweeney, who was brought on to manage the last leg of Carlson's mayoral run. "I also think she transformed [herself] from 'that wacky broad' into a serious public figure."

At the very least, Carlson is, as Pounds says, "notorious, unpredictable, and vibrant," characteristics that have attracted and will attract local advertisers looking for endorsements on a smaller, more affordable station--advertisers who haven't exactly been clamoring for Korzenowski's stamp of approval. Through the '90s, Carlson formed lasting, lucrative relationships with small companies such as Evergreen Jewelers, Sofas and Chairs, Cal Spa, Whiteway Cleaners, and Select Comfort Mattresses. Every time she opened her mouth to pitch for one of these businesses--frequently several times a morning--KSTP turned a tidy profit. And even when her ratings were at their worst, people at least knew who she was and where to find her on the dial.

True, in a brave new world run by conglomerates and populated by crass shock jocks, this old-school approach might fail, yielding little more than chump change. But right now it seems the prospect of chump change is more than enough for KSTP.

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