No radio talk of Reno rodeo
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2004:
RENO–The first rule of journalism is “get both sides,” but
trying to do it cost KPTT-630 Radio sales manager and talk show host
Lee Adams his job on June 28, 2004.
A 28-year veteran of radio work, employed by KPTT since
December 2000, Adams learned on June 25 while preparing for his
weekly Friday afternoon talk show that the Reno Rodeo was ending that
evening, and that Steve Hindi, founder of the animal advocacy group
SHARK, has done extensive documentation of animal abuse at rodeos.
“I telephoned Hindi and invited him to participate in the
show,” Adams told ANIMAL PEOPLE. “I then learned that Professional
Rodeo Cowboys Association animal welfare coordinator Cindy
Schoenholtz was in Reno, tracked her down, and invited her to be on
“When I informed her that I would also have Hindi, she told
me she would have to clear it with her superiors at the PRCA. Within
an hour she cancelled her appearance. I then got a call from my
boss, general manager Dave Wilt of Lotus Radio in Reno.”
Lotus owns 26 radio stations in California, Arizona, Texas,
and Nevada. Among them is the official Reno Rodeo station.
“Wilt was very upset,” Adams continued, “demanding to know
whose idea it was to put an animal rights activist on the air. Since
Schoenholtz had just cancelled and I wanted to have both sides, I
told him that I wouldn’t put Hindi on the air, and he hung up.
“First thing Monday morning, Wilt called me into his office.
He told me that there was ‘absolutely no possible way’ that I could
justify what I did, and that I would never be on the air for KPTT
The conversation ended with Adams’ resignation.
“We’re just a small little radio station that doesn’t do a
lot of controversial talk,” Wilt told ANIMAL PEOPLE, denying that
anyone pressured him to take Adams off the air. “We don’t have a
staff lawyer or anyone here with journalistic experience. I didn’t
have any advance warning. I found out about this just half an hour
before air time when someone from the PRCA called and said their
guest wouldn’t be available.”