Hosts of a weekday radio program titled “Hot Talk” on Palm Springs-based KNEWS 94.3 and 104.7 failed to return to the airwaves Tuesday as Senior Vice President and Market Manager Tricia Bastida said last week in speaking with Uken Report.
Instead, listeners continued to receive a steady diet of Rush Limbaugh.
Bastida said last week that the hosts were on vacation. She could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Rich “Da Coach” Gilgallon and Paul Cashin have been off the airwaves since May 17 after verbally assaulting Dan Ball, a Republican candidate for the 36th Congressional District seat now held by Democratic Congressman and Dr. Raul Ruiz.
The protracted absence of the hosts come on the heels of not only potentially slanderous comments against Ball, but also at least two complaints filed with the Federal Communications Commission against KNEWS.
The complaints are based on audio clips in which , Gilgallon accuses Ball of getting into his vehicle with his 10-year-old daughter after drinking among other things.
Then, there is an audio clip of Gilgallon repeatedly mocking Ball and a second Republican 36th District Republican candidate, Doug Hassett, for not working hard enough or raising enough money to be serious contenders in the June 5 Primary.
In addition, Uken Report obtained an audio clip in which Gilgallon mocks a seemingly elderly caller. Uken Report has also learned that some candidates in the Rancho Mirage election were encouraged not to participate in a scheduled forum with the “Hot Talk” hosts because they would not be fair. Ultimately, the forum was shelved because four of the six candidates declined the invitation.
You may listen to all the controversial, audio clips on which the complaints are based, below.
The hosts’ extended absence comes during one of the most critical times in the radio industry – that all-important ratings period, which measures audience reach.
Uken Report learned that Gilgallon has not been allowed inside the station since he was suspended. Cashin was reportedly in the station last week but not on air.
Ball filed the first complaint with the FCC alleging “vicious and slanderous lies” toward a candidate. The complaint has been received and assigned a case number, Ball confirmed for Uken Report.
Randy Economy, a Rancho Mirage resident, also filed a complaint with the FCC, telling Uken Report that, “What Rich and Paul have been doing is character assassination against Dan (Ball).”
Part of Economy’s complaint also alleges that Gilgallon and Cashin “engaged in vicious, slanderous comments” about Ball.
During the show and during the verbal exchange with Ball, Gilgallon and Cashin both acknowledged that they were paid by the East Valley Republican Women Federated. This is the same group that has publicly endorsed one of Ball’s opponents, Kimberlin Brown Pelzer, Economy wrote in the complaint.
“Gilgallon and Cashin have been using this show to publicly promote the campaign of Brown (Pelzer) and attack Mr. Ball for the past number of months.”
Bob Proffitt, CEO and Chairman of Alpha Media, which owns KNEWS, told Uken Report on Thursday that he had several calls about the show, including one from Ball. Proffitt said he returned Ball’s call to hear his side of the story, said he would investigate and apologized to Ball for any problems he has encountered.
Ball declined comment for this story saying, “I have not heard back from Mr. Proffitt. He said he would be investigating. I’m going to give him ample time to respond.”