KJFK program’s future uncertain

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Christiane Brown, host of a popular KJFK political talk program, is struggling to keep the program on the air.

The recession has forced the station to cut back, and Brown’s program is locally produced, making it more expensive than syndicated shows hosted by figures like Stephanie Miller and Ed Schultz that pay the station to carry their programming and come with commercial time already sold. So the station was looking to cut the Christiane Brown program but offered her the chance to raise the money herself to keep it on the air. She held a fundraiser at Sonny’s Italian Restaurant on March 21 and has a salesperson selling the program for a share of the take.

“The fundraising party went great,” Brown said. “We raised a lot of money.”

Since it became a political talk station on Feb. 28, 2005, the station has become an unusual liberal voice in Northern Nevada. Brown’s program has given KJFK a good deal of visibility not just with its on-air presence but by packing people into political events, holding debate parties and other such happenings. Brown herself has been omnipresent at events like protests and a book signing by U.S. Sen. Harry Reid.

She says her program was “doing as well in the ratings as the syndicated programs.” The show runs weekday afternoons from 3 to 5. KJFK is one of several radio stations owned by Tom Quinn, former aide and cabinet member to Jerry Brown during Brown’s California governorship.