Parisi waves goodbye to radio, moves station to Internet
Local AM talk radio now has one more channel that's just static and noise: station manager Jim Parisi has taken his PowerTalk to online-only broadcasts after two years on AM 1210. The KEVT station stopped transmitting around 9 a.m. Monday.
Parisi's conservative-oriented morning show is now available via Android and iOS apps. His website was active Monday afternoon, but didn't include a stream of programming.
"Paying so much money to 'rent' a radio signal just isn't smart for us moving forward," Parisi said. The KEVT signal, licensed to a transmitter in Sahuarita, is owned by Armando Zamorra, who leased the station to Parisi beginning in February 2014.
"We loved doing the 'traditional radio thing' for two years. Had a blast," Parisi said in a Facebook post. "But more and more people are listening to our stream, and paying the kind of money every month to keep the AM signal just isn't the best option for the future."
Parisi declined to confirm radio-industry sources who've said the lease on KEVT cost about $20,000 monthly. Two years ago, he wouldn't name his backers at the station, but said the operation "is not going to be worried about paying the rent."
Responding to emailed questions Monday, he said, "the rent was expensive, but we knew that going in. We would make money in the political year most likely, but it would always be a bit too close in future years."
Although Parisi said "most of our local shows are staying with us," at least two longtime radio shows are not. John C. Scott left the airwaves two weeks ago, after nearly a quarter-century of political talk radio.
Scott was tight-lipped about why his show wasn't broadcasting afternoons on KEVT. "We're not compatible at this point; that's all I can really say," he said several days after leaving the airwaves.
Scott is working to make news these days, having taken a post as campaign manager for Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall's re-election effort.
Also not following Parisi is "On the Menu Live," hosted by Matt Russell.
"We've valued our relationship with the PowerTalk team, but have decided to take some time off to explore all of our options for serving up the most delicious hour on radio," emailed Russell, who's broadcast his weekend culinary program on various radio stations over the years.
But some of the other programs that were broadcast on the radio station are making the move, Parisi said. "Ron Zack's legal show, Doug's Solomon on Blast, Dave's Just Radio, and Jake's Jake Feinberg Show are staying."
"The shows will be podcast as well as streamed live," he said.
Going online isn't new for Parisi. He broadcast his talk show on the Internet after leaving the KVOI lineup in 2011 after a two-year stint. Before that, his show aired on KNST.