Bias in the media.

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Webster defines the word “bias” as, “an inclination of temperament or outlook, especially: a personal and sometimes unreasoned judgment.“

By that definition, we are all biased. Our inclinations are born of our upbringing, our education, our standing in society, our employment and our life experiences. Virtually every intellectual encounter – including our processing of the day’s events – passes through a filter colored by our cultural, educational and experiential inclinations. Often our judgments are unreasoned. They happen without conscious thought.

Most of us instinctively understand this and most of us make a conscious effort, when one is required, to put our biases aside and look at controversial topics and situations as objectively as we can. But we remain human – and thus imperfect – and try as we might our biases color, to a greater or lesser degree, all that we think, say and do.

A room filled with newsgathering technology – computers, television monitors, telephones, cameras, microphones, etc., etc. – is also filled with the humans who use that technology. They bring their biases to work with them every day. To expect otherwise is unrealistic.

All of this is offered as predicate to the announcement that I, an independent radio station owner, have made the decision to end my principal station’s affiliation with ABC News Radio – an affiliation that spans more than seven decades. In place of twice-hourly newscasts and breaking news coverage from ABC, our listeners will now be served by Fox News Radio.

I have been and will remain a staunch admirer of the radio professionals at ABC. Many of them I count as personal friends. They are employed at one of the big-league franchises in broadcast news because they are exceptionally good at what they do. I know from having watched them work that they do their very best to get it right.

I will always be indebted to ABC. ABC has done much over the years to make KTBB a better radio station than it would have been otherwise. Making and then acting on the decision to end our affiliation with ABC was particularly painful.

But it was necessary. To do otherwise would have been to disrespect the clearly stated desires of the clear majority our audience. For the past several years you have not been equivocal. You have said loud and clear that you want a change.

We heard you.

It’s not news to anyone that the legacy news organizations are under fire for real and perceived bias in their reporting. A recent Gallup poll revealed that 69 percent of Americans don’t trust the media.

The problem with the national media today isn’t bias per se. To say that bias is a problem is akin to saying that gravity is a problem. Both are intrinsic and ever-present.

The problem is that the bias in national newsrooms lacks diversity. All of the biases – including those of the editors and the management – lean in the same direction. That monolithic bias is reflected in the product. Such is the case because the vast majority of journalists are liberal – as has been true in this country since at least World War II.

Critics of Fox News – including my friends at ABC – say that Fox is biased to the right. Perhaps they are correct. My judgment of the Fox News product is that it’s much more objective than that of its legacy competitors. But that judgment is unavoidably colored by my own biases, which are on display in this space every week. Objectivity is truly in the eye of the beholder.

Let’s therefore stipulate, at the very least for purpose of this discussion, that Fox News does, indeed, lean to the right.

Accepting that stipulation, we believe that we have nevertheless made a good decision. You, our listeners, don’t live in a vacuum. You get news, information and opinion from a variety of sources, including this radio station and the legacy networks like ABC.

If most of what you see elsewhere is biased to the left, having a reliable source of news that is biased to the right might serve to give you a more complete and more accurate picture of what is happening in the world that affects your life and your business.

Therefore, if KTBB’s affiliation with Fox News Radio brings balance to your total media diet, we will have provided a good and valuable service.

And we hope that it goes without saying that we will continue to thank you for listening and for sharing your feedback.

Editor’s note: KTBB 97.5 FM and 600 AM begins its affiliation with Fox News Radio on Monday, Jan 6, 2020.

Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of Gleiser Communications, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The Team FM & KYZS in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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33 Responses

  1. Mike miller says:

    Congratulations Paul. We’ve been hoping you would drop abc for a long time. It will be a breath of fresh air to hear fox.

  2. Jim Lee says:

    Very good Paul. In my opinion, this was a good move. You will always have me and my friends as advocates of KTBB.

  3. Kennon Reynolds says:

    Amen!!!!!

  4. Ron Russell says:

    Now if you could do something about the KETK weather boys. John Adams, a veteran, should teach them how to do a broadcast the right way.
    Thanks Paul, for making the change to FOX. I’m a fan of all things KTBB.

  5. Chuck Goldsmith says:

    Hear! Hear!

  6. Michelle Ready says:

    this is good news!

  7. Your reasoning is deliberate and thoughtful, and this change makes complete sense.

  8. Buddy Saunders says:

    I, too, am pleased to see your station’s move to Fox. Your column this week made the obvious and easy case for doing so. For news and commentary I go to Fox and One America New, and likewise to your weekly column and others. Both are fair and reliable. But I also listen sparingly to public radio, CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, just enough to see ongoing affirmations of the other side’s rabid bias. Little wonder no one much trusts the old media any more. Recently I watched a talk segment on ABC, CBS, or NBC–I don’t recall which, but it little matters as they share the bias. All the commentators/newsmen (I don’t recall their being a woman), all liberals, were discussing reasons why the legacy media is so distrusted. Paul, you and I and all your readers know why. But the media old guard will never understand because the answer isn’t what they want to hear. They are so self-inflated that they can’t imagine THEY are the problem. Rather, the problem is the upstart media–Fox in particular (the worst culprit of all), along with talk radio. Rush Limbaugh, Drudge, etc., etc.Oh for the days when the legacy dinosaurs were the ONLY new voice, they lament. Back then they could lead the sheep with a single always left wing voice, and not have to worry about Fox and others brainwashing a weak-minded public.

  9. Ike Reeves says:

    Hurrah. I have been listening to ABC’s newscast and wishing it would go away. Thank you .

  10. Greg Rieke says:

    Good news Paul. What took so long?

  11. Greg Rieke says:

    Let me follow up on my last comment. I’ve been reading/listening to you for a long time now. It is by far some of the best conservative commentary I’ve ever heard or read. Then, every half hour abc comes on with this totally left slant on anything political. Just didn’t add up. Again, many thanks and keep up the excellent work.

  12. John W Woodward says:

    Mr. Gleiser, you continue to impress me with your ethics and your ability to construct a rational argument.
    Like others, I too, having been wishing for KTBB to abandon ABC “News.” Although that decision was positive, in my opinion, what impressed me more is that you considered the values and “biases” when making this decision. Also, your editorials make it clear that your biases speak for many of us. Thank you, your leadership makes KTBB part of every day for us.

  13. Jim says:

    Good move, Paul. I sometimes listen to afternoon talk, but only last until the first news break. At this point (totally irritated) I put on Pandora and don’t look back. Now if we could only do something about the deluge of national ads…… Seriously, how much more $$ does Rush really need??

  14. Jean Bammel says:

    I am with the “Amen” and “What took so Long” crowd.

    • Paul Gleiser says:

      As to the “Amen”, thank you.

      As to “What took so long?,” that answer takes a bit of time.

      In 1943, the federal government ordered NBC to divest itself of one its two radio networks — the NBC Red Network and the NBC Blue Network. NBC had been in the radio network business since 1927 and had grown to such size that the Federal Communications Commission believed that it was anticompetitive.

      As a result of that order, the Blue Network was spun off to the newly-formed American Broadcasting Company and began operating as the ABC Radio Network.

      The point of this history is that ABC’s roots in network radio news go back nearly 100 years. As a result, ABC’s accumulated experience and infrastructure is so deep that it is able to offer excellent news coverage and provide very extensive services to affiliate stations such as KTBB.

      Much of what KTBB has done over the past 20 years — including covering two papal conclaves live in Rome and being on-site for the last eight national political conventions — is because of the superior affiliate services offered by ABC News Radio.

      Fox News Radio, by comparison, didn’t come on the air until 2003. It was formed as a result of the desire by Clear Channel Communications (now called iHeartMedia) — the largest single owner of radio stations in the U.S. — to have a network news service available to its news-oriented stations at a lower cost than that under their affiliation agreements with CBS and, more numerously, ABC.

      Clear Channel went to News Corporation, the owner of cable television’s Fox News Channel, and struck a deal under which Fox News would produce a radio product that could be used on Clear Channel-owned stations and then offered via syndication to other stations via Premiere Radio Networks, a company wholly-owned by Clear Channel.

      The initial radio product from Fox News was very rudimentary. It was little more than a staff of announcers producing newscasts using re-purposed Fox News Channel TV audio. Fox News Radio had no correspondents of its own, no reporters and very few editors. In the case of big breaking stories, Fox News Radio was usually reduced to simply sending Fox News Channel TV audio down the line to its radio affiliates.

      To call the Fox News Radio product even a shadow of the product offered by ABC and CBS would be very generous (and an insult to shadows everywhere).

      But, to its credit, News Corp. has poured resources into the Fox News Radio product and though it is not QUITE as extensive as ABC and CBS, it’s getting there. Fox News Radio is now able to compete with the much older, much more established ABC and CBS radio news products.

      The convergence of Fox News’s maturation as a radio news network and the increasing problem of left-leaning bias from legacy news organizations — bias that is both real and perceived — made it clear to us that the time had come to make a change.

      That change takes effect at midnight Sunday night/Monday morning Jan 6.

  15. David Z says:

    I was VERY impressed with your announcement during your “Bias in the Media” message a day or two ago on your “You Tell Me” editorial, that you are switching your newscast to Fox. I think most of your other listeners will be impressed, too: this area is part of this country’s politically Conservative BIBLE BELT, not the increasingly Red “Left Coast” or East Coast, ya know?! May the Lord richly BLESS you, FINANCIALLY, POLITICALLY, as well as spiritually, for making this decision, sir
    Sincerely yours,
    David Z.

  16. Ron Eagleman says:

    To receive the announcement of the change in news networks for KTBB was indeed a good way to be welcomed back to good ol’ East Texas. Considering Paul’s clear commentary and explanation for the move to Fox Broadcasting, as well as the positive replies, this decision will certainly be supported by a large majority of your listeners. Being aware of the realities of contractual obligations, I have always thought that ABC News was necessarily part of the package, and there was a legal requirement to air their news at the top and bottom of the hour. Now that we do not need to tune out during these news breaks, your great advertisers will have even more access to our ears. Congratulations KTBB!

  17. Pat Moore says:

    A Big Thank You For Dumping ABC News…Now I Can Keep The Volume Turned Up During The Commercial Breaks At The Top And Bottom Of Each Hour…I Have Been A Loyal Listener To KTBB Since About 1991 With The Rush Limbaugh Program…When I’m Outside Working Around The House, And I’m Outside Most Days, The Radio Is Tuned To KTBB…I Want To Thank You For Providing The Top Notch Radio Programming For This Area Of East Texas…

  18. Monnie Linton says:

    I received the news yesterday from fellow co-worker. Very happy you made the decision..

  19. Becky says:

    yeah!!! It’s great to see some media taking stand…!!!! Finally the conservatives have a piece of the pie! Thank you Paul… thank you KTBB!

  20. Tonia says:

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
    I typically change the station every time I hear ABC News intro on your station. I refuse to fill my ears with left leaning, trash-Trump talk any longer. Fox News isn’t perfect, but it is much more fair in their news coverage.

  21. Ruth says:

    Thank you, Paul, for making this change. I felt ABC’s “news” flew in the face of all the great programs on KTBB. Thank you for listening to your audience and responding.

  22. Bill says:

    Great news, wish it had been done long ago.
    Thank you.

  23. Randy McCugh says:

    Paul, count me among those who are grateful to you for switching to FOX news. I understand, at least to some degree the nature of contracts and felt sure that you were working under an affiliation contract with ABC. I had no idea how long that contract would last, and I would grit and grind my (false) teeth every time I heard the half-hour news from the network.

    I was one of those who was determined to listen to the programming and try my best to ignore the network news. Many times I prayed that you would switch to FOX as soon as your ABC contract expired. I stopped paying attention to the network news from ABC, CBS, and NBC years ago. I no longer pay for cable, Dish, or DirecTV as I can’t justify the expense for only a handful of channels that I am willing to watch.

    Again, thank you for the switch. You can also let Donnie Thedford know that it is thanks to his ad on KTBB that my wife and I found a new mattress at Don’s TV and appliance.

  24. Chris says:

    Good move

  25. David P says:

    Just a few weeks ago I changed stations (away from KTBB) during the ABC news broadcast.

    Great move going to FOX!

  26. Carl Sartain says:

    Thank you so much Mr. Gleiser for dumping ABC News. The leftist bias in ABC’s news reporting, while subtle at first, was becoming more apparent day by day. It was blatantly obvious in ABC’s weekend program Perspectives. And to any who may disagree with the implementation of Fox News as part of KTBB’s programming because of the perception that Fox News is a right wing news source, I would challenge that by saying that Fox is more balanced than most people realize, and at least their reporting is done with common sense.

  27. C M Solomon says:

    Paul: Thank you for saving my sanity by eliminating the so-called “ABC News” from your station. As others have stated above, I also had to get up and exert my choice of free speech by turning OFF the 2 minute, lying, left-wing, hate Trump, hate America, pro-Marxist propaganda editorials conducted by ABC that pretended to be “normal, informative news.” REAL NEWS has disappeared from the self-proclaimed “mainstream media” for over 20 years.

    I would never call this just “biased news”; it was pure ideological twisting of the TRUTH and therefore cleverly designed to deceive the population. It had become an example of the radical Left-wing political (majority) arm of the Democrat Party whose goal has been the eradication of Constitutional (Conservative) thought in this country (without normal debate) in favor of a tyrannical crushing of OUR traditional American values of Freedom (granted by God). Their goal is to create another country/region in which individual freedom is replaced with dictatorial control of our lives as subservient members of a Marxist International State without any national identity as loyal Americans.

    Their policies of open borders, high taxes, abortion (even after birth – infanticide), extreme regulation (of everything), belief in junk science, i.e. “climate change” to justify a return to a primitive society, elimination of free speech on college campuses in favor of Marxist ideology, replacing the three R’s in education with their “social justice crap”, sympathetic tolerance of virtually every dictator or terrorist in the world, and worst of all, blaming Conservative America for all of the evils in the World at home and abroad, have become a threat to our very existence as a Free Nation.

    The Democrat Party and its “media” has literally become a domestic Enemy of almost all traditional American values because they intend to crush and eliminate our resistance to their tyrannical ideology of anti-American, radical Marxism in all its variations (Communist, Fascist, Islamist, and so forth). Paul, your opting to return “free speech news” to the KTBB airways is gratefully received and I hope Fox News doesn’t become an echo chamber of the Left as well.

  28. J. Manganiello says:

    Paul – it’s about time and much appreciated.

  29. Michael Reagan says:

    Adding my voice of Thanks as well. I listen to KTBB every weekday and was very happy and surprised to hear FOX giving the news. Fantastic move for East Texas indeed!

  30. James McCarty says:

    Thank you Paul!!! The liberal slant ABC often put on news stories would make me cringe!! So glad to hear this!!

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