Artvoice: Buffalo's #1 Newsweekly
Home Blogs Web Features Events Weekly Features Classifieds Contact
Next story:
Previous story:

Dyster Refuses to Appear in Entercom Promotional Skit

This morning, our local morning conservative advocacy radio station “News” radio station ambushed Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster in-studio. Mohawk radio commentator John Kane was also in-studio because he happens to host a native American themed radio show on another Entercom-owned AM radio station, WWKB. (Kane’s is one of the only locally-produced shows on KB). Kane is outspoken in his support of Indian causes, and has been blisteringly critical of various New York State bureaucrats and elected officials. 

Dyster wasn’t told there’d be a debate, wasn’t told he’d be attacked or criticized, and appeared simply to discuss the deal the Senecas reached with the State yesterday, which will release $89 million in withheld Seneca casino payments to the City of Niagara Falls. 

As with all litigation and adversarial proceedings, the parties were not seeing eye-to-eye during the process, and things were done and said that have now been excused, forgiven, compromised, and set aside. With yesterday’s settlement, Cuomo went so far as to acknowledge that the state had done the Senecas wrong, and everyone walked away happy with the outcome. 

Except John Kane, who spent the morning seated next to the Niagara Falls mayor, accusing Dyster of having behaved horribly, and otherwise relitigating the last several years’ worth of conflict that another Indian Nation had been engaged in with the State of New York and City of Niagara Falls. Dyster hadn’t come there to be insulted or falsely accused. 

No longer a News outlet, WBEN has actively made itself and its fellow Entercom employee part of the story. 

My God, the mullet : news ratio is way too high at Entercom. But surely the bright and intelligent folks who listen to conservative talk radio have nothing but reasonable, conservative things to say about it all? 

Chris Clinton and Edwin Rajewski obviously don’t like DEMONcrats like Paul Dyster, but they go so far as to change Dyster’s name to “Dykster”, invoking a word used to express hatred and homophobia to homosexual females. That seems irrelevant, doesn’t it? Given WBEN’s penchant for reading idiotic Facebook posts on the radio, (including, but not limited, to the tragic sadness of having morning straight-news anchor Susan Rose reading “el-oh-el” over the air), why weren’t the “Dykester” comments given that treatment? 

But lo, here comes Erie County resident and anti-Maziarz, anti-Cuomo concern-troll John L. “Rus” Thompson – the first name in compromise and diplomacy

What I know is that you usually show enough deference to an elected official to let him know when he’s walking into an ambush on live radio. What I know is that it is bad form to relitigate all the real and perceived slights you’ve absorbed during an adversarial process in public, on the air, the day after a compromise settlement has been reached; especially if the person doing the relitigating wasn’t part of the dispute in the first place. 

Mayor Dyster could have sat there and taken insult after insult from some radio guy doing promotion on Entercom for his Entercom show, but he was not wrong in getting up and letting the station know that he hadn’t agreed to that.

UPDATE: to underscore that this was little more than an Entercom-generated publicity stunt for a show no one listens to, read Entercom operations director (and Susan Rose’s husband’s) obnoxious admission that Dyster was ambushed, and praising his radio host for turning himself and the station into the story. 


  • Derek J. Punaro

    Just to make sure that WBEN no longer gets their phone calls returned from the elected head of Niagara Falls… Tim Wenger issues an official insult and pats himself on the back. http://www.wben.com/Commentary–Can-t-We-Have-an-Adult-Conversation-/12609793?pid=332664

    I guess that’s the end of news reporting at NewsRadio WBEN on their one remaining news program. *deletes station from radio*

    • Jesse Griffis

      Douchebaggery by Wenger and this Kane guy. Discuss the agreement, don’t demand an apology from the guy right there on-air and start a fight. Oh, he didn’t “raise his voice”, good for him.

      This is pretty pathetic. I feel bad for Rose and Zach, who are stuck in that circus.

      • Ridgewaycynic2013

        Unless they’re working for the North Korean official news agency, they DO have a choice. And after 40 odd years in and out of radio and a close relative who works as a financial advisor, it’s Mr. Zach’s own making he stays there.

    • Derek J. Punaro

      I tried to leave this exact comment on Wenger’s diatribe, but it won’t pass their “spam and profanity” filter. Guess I should have said “Dykster” a few times.

      “I think WBEN owes Mayor Dyster an apology. I turned on WBEN thinking I was going to hear some reporting on the casino deal… things like specifics of the deal, soundbytes from the presser, you know… news. Instead, you arranged a gotcha interview, which instead of putting the spotlight on the issue put a spotlight on a manufactured confrontation.

      Personally, I’m done with WBEN until it becomes an actual news reporting outlet again. It’s a shame to see WBEN heading down this path and then patting themselves on the back for causing a complete breakdown in what they purport to be their core competency.”

  • Ridgewaycynic2013

    “Newsradio” my ass. I still find a corporation that can air programming so far right wing (WBEN) and yet also broadcast a left wing station (WWKB) seems to be in it for their own money grubbing only.

  • CPBarrett

    By reporting on this story here and other social media outlets, it appears to me that you are contributing to the success of this publicity stunt.

    • ckg1

      Actually, I think he’s calling BS on what WBEN did.

  • rhmaccallum

    There is this little guy at WBEN that I met a few times when I was young and he was doing 7th and 8th grade sock-hops at local schools…Sandy Beach.
    I like listening to his show because he’s so fervidly tea-party nut wing that it is actually funny, a comedy of sorts.
    Then I have fun listening to the advertisers, calling or e-mailing them telling them I’m not going to purchase their products anymore because they buy advertising from WBEN.

  • kgun5

    I just submitted the following comment:

    “Now the first question some would ask is, “did either of them know the other would be here”. They were booked separately and both were good enough to agree to come in.”

    You manage to reference the question that you believe many would ask, but then you fail to answer it in any definitive manner.

    Now, I have no dog in this hunt, but this piece by the station’s Operations Manager seems both misleading and a little arrogant. That said, I don’t agree that walking out on the interview was the Mayor’s best or most professional response to the situation. However, the practice of only letting the guest on one side of an issue know that their appearance will be more of a debate than an interview, assuming it’s true, doesn’t display very much journalistic integrity.

    We’ll see if it passes their reviewers…

  • Boe

    Dyster
    has always been a cool cat in my eyes. As a former Tv-News
    Photographer for Channel 4. I was sent to cover a massive water main
    break in Niagara Falls. Sixteen years in news, I’ve never seen a break,
    and flood of that size. Three feet of water in the streets, massive
    amounts of water pouring into people’s basements. At around two a.m.
    while I’m getting some video. I see this guy walking back and forth
    down this flooded street knocking on doors. After a couple minutes, it
    becomes apparent this was mayor Paul Dyster going door to door.
    Knocking on residents doors, asking if they are ok, and if they need
    anything. Then he gave me a quick interview, with very detailed
    information. He seemed on top of the situation. I don’t know if WBEN
    ambushed him or not. But I can tell you, if Dyster walked out.
    Something was shady at WBEN.

  • alrotundo

    Any jerk can get a microphone these days. I applaud the mayor.

  • ckg1

    Personally, it’s too bad that someone doesn’t try to start up a news/talk operation in town to really compete with WBEN(and I count WBFO in that equation, simply because they don’t originate any of their programming(WXXI-AM in Rochester does a bit more, but not that much). I really thought Cumulus would do that with 1270, but they switched to all-sports.

    Steve Cichon got the hell out of 500 Corporate Parkway just in time.

  • Lake Effect Rain

    I’ve never listened to talk radio in my life, and I don’t think I’ll start now. Sounds dreadful. Paul Dyster seems like a pretty good mayor to me. Wasn’t the last one jailed for corruption?
    On another note – I take it this is Rus ‘Tea Party’ Thompson commenting?