Conservative Internet show Talk of the Town bids ‘Happy Trails’ to listeners

Published: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 3:01 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 3:01 p.m.

The airwaves are silent for one local conservative talk show after about four years.

Talk of the Town went off the Internet on Friday after a campaign to secure $5,000 in monthly commitments for equipment and production salaries came up short.

The show raised about half of the money, former co-host Ward Scott said.

“The money we would raise would only prolong the end of the show,” he said. “Why not face the inevitable sooner than later?”

The show originally aired on 99.5 FM with founders Ed Braddy and Jake Fuller. It was bumped by electronic dance music under new management.

The show transferred online to and through Apple and Android mobile apps with the help of Ozean Media, a political consulting media company.

It announced its “Save Talk of the Town” campaign in early July to keep the show running from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays.

“We were bleeding money, so we just figured we’d go ahead and shut it down,”co-host Jake Fuller said. “It’s just unfortunate because I don’t think there’ll be a voice out there that questions, you know, local government, and I don’t think that the other local radio shows have the connections or the knowledge to fill the void that we left.”

Scott said the show gained listeners when it became known for looking into the transparency of government at the local level.

“There was a need that we recognized we could fill,” Scott said.

The show ended with a visit from Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell and the “Happy Trails” song by Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. The last words listeners heard were “Happy trails to you, ‘til we meet again.”

Looking toward the future, Fuller said, “As far as I know, we’re done.”

But Scott is more optimistic.

“I suppose there’s always a possibility that it could be picked up, but there’s nothing definite right now,” he said.

If Scott could say one thing to his listeners now, it would be short: “Keep the faith.”

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