KISU cancels ‘Talk ISU’, gives spot to biggest station sponsor

6 Sep

(Photo by Jerry Miller via ISU Magazine)

Twice a week for over three years, university-run KISU has aired Talk ISU, a half-hour radio show dedicated to public commentary on a host of topics. Today Talk ISU host Tom Briggs announced on Facebook that the show was abruptly put on an indefinite hiatus. Briggs’ comments seemed hurt but primarily confused.

And for good reason. After hosting professors, politicians and the voices of the public, Talk ISU has been a one-of-a-kind radio show. There’s nothing else like it in southeast Idaho and now there probably won’t be anything like it in the region at all.

Jerry Miller, director of student media and KISU station manager, said the show wasn’t exactly pulled, it was replaced. Miller said Talk ISU started after he failed to convince anybody from the Associated Students of Idaho State University (ASISU) to run a public comment radio show. Briggs showed interest in the idea and Talk ISU was born.

Since then, Miller has been courting ASISU every year to hold a show of their own, but every year they turn him down–until this year. He said members of the student government are now interested in holding the show he envisioned a few years ago, and Talk ISU is simply no longer needed. “I just feel a responsibility to give student government a show every year,” he said. “Now that ASISU wants the time, I’m giving it to them.”

But why did Miller so readily give time to ASISU over an already-established show? He was quick to offer an explanation: “ASISU is the single largest funding source for KISU.” He said the station began years ago solely from funds from the student government association, and although they now get money from other sources as well, the group pays a lot of bills at the station. Miller basically implied that they simply deserve to have a show if they want one.

When asked about the fans of Talk ISU that are suddenly without the program, he said he was sympathetic. “I totally understand. Radio shows come and they go all the time,” he said. “There’s a possibility it could come back.” That decision seems to be entirely in the hands of ASISU. If they don’t want a show next year, Talk ISU can have their time slot back, said Miller. Barring that, the once-landmark show is dead for good.


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