Friday, June 13, 2003

Mayor has last word on radio

By Gregory Korte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[IMAGE] Mayor Charlie Luken fields a question from a caller while filling in for talk show host Lincoln Ware at WDBZ-AM (1230) on Thursday.
(Michael E. Keating photo)
| ZOOM |
Presiding over Cincinnati City Council on Wednesday, Mayor Charlie Luken threw one person out of the chambers and warned two others for using inappropriate language.

But filling in as a guest host on WDBZ-AM (1230) on Thursday, Luken didn't have to hang up on anyone.

In two hours filling in for morning host Lincoln Ware - plus an extra half-hour when the station couldn't find a replacement host - Luken talked to seven guests, took 12 calls and even broke some news, announcing that the city had reached a two-year contract with the Cincinnati Firefighters Union Local 48.

His guests included state Rep. Tyrone Yates, City Manager Valerie Lemmie, and Councilman John Cranley. His questioning of those guests was only slightly more cordial than the questioning he got from the generally polite callers - even some who lambaste the mayor daily over the airwaves of the station dubbed The Buzz.

"Nobody's more surprised than I was that it went so well," Luken said afterward. "I expected about four of those callers to go off on me."

The callers included a College Hill woman upset about a sewer problem, the leader of a city union, and a militant black activist who frequently shouts anti-Semitic slurs at City Council meetings.

Victoria Straughn, the leader of one of the groups urging a boycott of the city, got the last call. She praised the mayor for settling the racial profiling and excessive force lawsuits and for creating a commission to study electoral reform.


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