Lex, Terry to scrap 'Drunk' segment
Published: Monday, January 23, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 22, 2006 at 11:16 p.m.
After continuous legal battles, pressures from interest groups and cancellation by the University of Florida administration, syndicated radio show hosts of the "Lex & Terry" show announced Friday they plan to drop a segment involving inebriated women that had run on the top-rated morning show.
During Friday's show, Lex Staley referred specifically to UF President Bernie Machen and the university's April decision to pull the "Drunk" edition of the show from university-owned airways as one of the reasons why the segment would be canceled outright.
"All along, it was getting watered down because of all the parameters being placed on the show," Staley told his Friday morning audience. "Even though our company is telling us not to do it, we're taking it away from you. It's just not what it used to be."
Cancellation of the segment comes following a 10-month-long battle between UF administration and Cox Radio.
Terry Hynes, dean of UF's College of Journalism and Communications, said in April that she and WRUF General Manager Larry Dankner made the decision to cut the Friday morning segment from UF-owned WRUF (Rock 104) because it wasn't consistent with the university's alcohol policy. Machen is leading an effort to curb student drinking.
But Rock 104 was found in breach of its contract with Cox Radio because selectively airing shows is not allowed.
Instead of running the "Drunk" edition on Fridays, the radio station aired an episode of the "Best of Lex & Terry."
On Sunday, Hynes said she is satisfied with the turn of events. "I'm pleased we could take a leadership position in helping them (Lex and Terry) raise their standards in what they broadcast, recognizing there are some boundaries that are not appropriate to cross," Hynes said.
She added that the decision to pull the programming in the first place wasn't an easy one.
The "Lex & Terry" show is tops in its time slot each morning as people drive to work. It is the No. 1 morning show in the Gainesville/Ocala market among people between 18 and 49 years old, according to Arbitron. And it's not just popular with guys, the show's target market. The show has high listenership among numerous groups, Hynes said.
"We felt we really had to balance social responsibility with audience desires," Hynes said. "We came down on a different side."
Dankner said that now Rock 104 would be able to run the live show on Fridays.
The "Drunk" show featured more than 150 women who came into the "Lex & Terry" Jacksonville studio to drink alcohol while chatting with the disc jockeys and callers.
In order to keep the "Drunk" show on the air, the show's broadcasting company had to hire police officers, emergency medical teams and additional staff to hang out with the guests.
The station also provided guests with limousine service, hotel rooms and made sure they didn't go anywhere until they sobered up.
During Friday's announcement on the show, the hosts took a shot at Machen.
"We even had a station in Gainesville (Rock 104), because of some moronic president (Machen), thinking he was going to make a statement, decide not to run our show on Fridays," Terry said. "I mean this is the stuff we dealt with. We didn't want that to happen."
Dankner said he isn't surprised about the cancellation of the segment. "Lex and Terry must've made a decision at this point that the show had run its course," he said.
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