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Dan Ruth’s radio show on WWBA 820 comes to an abrupt end

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

After four years of hosting a Saturday morning radio show on politics and other issues, Tampa Bay Times columnist Daniel Ruth is out at WWBA-AM 820.

Regular listeners to Ruth’s show learned abruptly about the program change this past Saturday morning, when instead of hearing his dulcet voice pontificating about President Donald Trump, they instead were treated to a repeat of a recorded show hosted by conservative talk show Michael Savage, who normally airs on the station weeknights from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Station management says the issue was simply a lack of advertising for the program, which aired from 10 a.m. to noon every Saturday.

“There was no advertising support for the program,” said Bruce Maduri, president and CEO of Genesis Communications. “Dan is a great talent, but we just didn’t have any advertising support. There’s no other story besides that.”

Ruth’s program on WWBA debuted in March of 2013. It was a return back to the local airwaves after his tenure at 970 WFLA ended in 2008 (Ruth hosted a Saturday morning show there from 2000-2008).

Ruth also hosted a daily radio show on WQYK-AM back in the 1990’s.

The Times columnist, who was a Pulitzer Prize winner in 2013, said he only became aware that his tenure at WWBA was over when he was contacted by program director Tom Paleveda, who gave him the news last Wednesday that his show had been cancelled.

“It’s a disappointment I suppose, but on the other hand, I had a faily good run,” Ruth says. “I can’t really complain.”

Ruth has occasionally filled in for daily WWBA host Dan Maduri. He’s not sure if that relationship will continue in the future.

Meanwhile, he’ll continue to stick with his day job, where he churns out several columns a week for the Times.

Ruth’s left-of-center perspective did stick out on WWBA, where the majority of on-air talent locally and national leans more to the right. While his departure is a blow to his listeners (and to the Tampa Bay radio market overall), it seems like WWBA listeners are much more up in arms about the recent decision to jettison conservative talk-show host Laura Ingraham for Bubba the Love Sponge, if the comments listed on this page are any indication.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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