By KATHERINE GREGg and RICHARD C. DUJARDIN, Providence Journal
PROVIDENCE â€” No one is likely to confuse new Governor Chafee with his Republican predecessor, Donald L. Carcieri, and now hereâ€™s another way to tell them apart:
Chafee doesnâ€™t plan to spend his own time on talk radio, and he intends to ban state employees from spending their state work time talking on talk radio, which was Carcieriâ€™s favorite medium and an integral part of his communications operation.
Spokesman Michael Trainor said a directive will go out over the next day or so that reflects that new policy.
He said the policy emanates from a belief that talk radio is essentially â€œratings-driven, for-profit programming,â€ and â€œwe donâ€™t think it is appropriate to use taxpayer resourcesâ€ in the form of state employee work time to â€œsupport for-profit, ratings-driven programming.â€
Trainor said the new governor will continue to talk to the news reporters for the local radio stations, and the nonprofit local NPR affiliate.
Reached Monday night, WHJJâ€™s program director, Bill George, said he was curious about the explanation for Chafeeâ€™s singling out talk shows since â€œmost media outlets, whether news or opinion, are profit-making entities.â€
He said he hopes to have a conversation with Chafee in the next few days in the hope that he can change the governorâ€™s mind.
â€œWe believe that talk radio would be an ideal outlet for Governor Chafee because itâ€™s a great way for him to speak directly to the people,â€ George said. â€œItâ€™s also one of the few places where he can have a back-and-forth with the stateâ€™s citizens.â€
George noted that Carcieri was a regular on Helen Gloverâ€™s morning talk show during his years as governor, coming in â€œat least once a month.â€
Barbara Haynes, station manager for WPRO, which is home to the â€œBuddy Cianci Show,â€ the â€œDan Yorke Showâ€ and John DePetro, said she would have no comment.
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