“House of Savoy”, the program cancelled by FOX News Radio affiliate KKFT 99.1 FM, in Reno, Nevada, after it aired an interview with a Dallas-based LGBT advocate, has set off a firestorm of controversy. Other programs and advertisers are now distancing themselves from the FOX News Station and LGBT and free speech advocates are rallying around Savoy and “House of Savoy”.
There has been some positive movement. Sean Savoy has found a new home for "House of Savoy" at KJFK 1230 AM "Reno's Progressive Talk." Savoy, who is also an ordained minister, is also gay. He was not out before his show was cancelled, but used the opportunity to personally come out as a gay man.
The Reno Gazette-Journal interviewed Jerry Evans, the owner and manager of KKFT, who accused Savoy’s public affairs program, of being “weird” and “odd.” In one instance Evans said that the show had an “earthy, hippie, spacey-type feeling.”
Evans also said of his station, "We are conservative, and we make no bones about it." He further stated that the August 12th episode was "the straw that broke the camel's back," even though Savoy was never informed of any complaints from listeners, producers or even Evans himself prior to the LGBT interview and the subsequent cancellation of his talk show.
Evans’ explanation that KKFT is conservative talk radio does not adequately explain why “House of Savoy” was cancelled. Many notable conservative leaders have come out in support of LGBT equality, including Dick Cheney, Ken Mehlman, and several conservative groups who are advocating for marriage equality.
"Just because a person is conservative it should not infer an anti-gay attitude or pro-discrimatory actions," said Savoy of Evan's claims. "It is a travesty when matters of human relations are turned into political fodder."
The actions of KKFT have also caused others in the community to distance themselves from Evans’ actions. Kim Surratt is a local family attorney who hosts “Family Matters: Kim Surratt Law” on KKFT. She removed her show from KKFT and followed “House of Savoy” to KJFK. Additionally, the local Bruka Theater is also distancing itself from KKFT. Mary Bennett, Producing Artistic Director, refused to be interviewed by the station after learning of the fate of “House of Savoy.”
Now that "House of Savoy" has found a new home, it’s even more important to tell radio affiliates and advertisers that people want to hear fair and accurate discussions of LGBT equality on the airwaves. Thank KJFK for giving “House of Savoy” a home and a voice for LGBT people. Thank the advertisers who continue to support “House of Savoy” in its new home.
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