Connecticut station makes controversial move, rebrands itself ‘Trump radio’ for ultra-conservative talk

 

(Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

We may be seeing the beginning of a movement. The latest indicator … Connecticut radio station WDRC has announced it will be promoting itself as “Trump Radio 103.3” broadcasting out of Hartford. The station is owned and operated by Red Wolf Broadcasting.

Earlier this week, three Florida radio stations pledged to air Trump speech snippets on an hourly basis all the way to the 2020 election.

WDRC’s “Trump Radio” tag is likely to be temporary as it publicizes its new “ultra-conservative talk” format as being the “brave new voice of freedom.” The radio will feature programs including Bill O’Reilly, Michael Savage, Ben Shapiro, Wayne Allen Root, Dana Loesch, and Lars Larson.

According to the Hartford Courant, it’s part of an effort by the station to galvanize conservatives in Connecticut and to build momentum in a drive to “call for the firing” of Gov. Ned Lamont. The station’s management opposes a controversial transportation funding plan that Lamont is sponsoring.

“My (station) owner is a crazy person, but in a good way. He likes to make a big splash and he likes to ramp up the listeners,” radio host Lee Elci said. “It seems like the listeners have embraced it, even if it is for the short term. A lot of people like it. A lot of people think it’s funny.”

He added: “I’m disappointed I can’t get Lamont to come on the show. He doesn’t want to talk to these listeners anyway.”

Lamont’s senior adviser Colleen Flanagan took a lame poke at the Trump Radio branding. “How do you say desperate in Russian?” she asked. “This is nothing more than a PR ploy to try to attract listeners who are already predisposed to believe that anything Gov. Lamont does is wrong and anything President Trump does is right. It’s a shame that when Gov. Lamont’s transportation investment bill passes, people will have less time to listen to this station in their cars due to reduced congestion, quicker commutes, and additional transit options. Sad.”

Various experts have weighed in saying that the ownership group may run into a problem using the Trump name.

Tyler Ochoa, a law professor at Santa Clara University in California and expert in copyright law and rights of publicity, said: “I seriously doubt the First Amendment would provide a successful defense in this context. They can talk about Trump all they want [the content of the programming is protected by the First Amendment]; but they probably can’t use his name as the trademark for their station.”

It’s worth noting that there is a 34-story luxury condominium tower in the state that opened in 2009, that is named after Donald Trump. It’s called Trump Parc and it cost the owners up to $1 million for the naming right, according to financial disclosure forms filed by the Trump Organization.

On the other hand, the President might just want to see how this radio roll plays out. Imagine a big red wave of radio stations across the land aligning with the Trump 2020 re-election campaign. Move the lawyers out of the way, we’ve got a country to make great again.

Victor Rantala

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