Should Townsquare Media provide to equal time to those against Amendment V?

From KSOO Radio & Townsquare Media, Amendment V spokesman and KSOO announcer Rick Knobe is apparently going to use his bully pulpit today to promote the anti-transparency measure, Amendment V, which will hide party labels on the ballot.

Not all Republicans are against allowing full ballot access as proposed in Amendment V(for Voters). Listen to Viewpoint University, Tuesday Aug. 9, as three respected Republicans go against the party establishment.

Republicans Dave Volk, former State Treasurer, Casey Murschel, former Legislator and Sioux Falls City Council Member, and Joe Kirby, one of the creators of Sioux Falls Home Rule Charter, will discuss their support for Amendment V(for Voters) Tuesday Aug. 9 during Viewpoint University.

Read it here.

So, the spokesman for a ballot measure who is a radio announcer is going to be giving his measure free time?  Under the FCC doctrine of equal time, some would argue that it brings up a big question of exactly how much time KSOO radio is going to be providing for free to the opponents of Amendment V.

As you might recall from when presidential candidates took the stage on Saturday Night Live –

The head of the Federal Communications Commission promised Thursday to enforce his agency’s regulations requiring television stations to give political candidates equal opportunities for airtime.

“The rules are pretty clear. Rules are rules,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler told reporters. “I hope that we have developed a reputation as folks who enforce the rules.”

Read it here.

The problem is that the Equal Time doctrine only applies to candidates – in this case, the Fairness Doctrine would apply, since it involves issues.  And as of 2011, there’s no such thing anymore as Fairness Doctrine rules:

In June 2011, the Chairman and a subcommittee chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, both Republicans, said that the FCC, in response to their requests, had set a target date of August 2011 for removing the Fairness Doctrine and other “outdated” regulations from the FCC’s rulebook.

On August 22, 2011, the FCC formally voted to repeal the language that implemented the Fairness Doctrine, along with removal of more than eighty other rules and regulations, from the Federal Register following a President Obama White House executive order directing a “government-wide review of regulations already on the books”, to eliminate unnecessary regulations.

Read that here.

So, will KSOO Radio be required to provide free advertising every time Rick Knobe spouts off about needing to hide party labels on the ballot, and providing them a half-hour of free informercial? Not unless Townsquare Media decides they’re going to make it happen.

However, in the interest of fairness, if Knobe is going to continue to be the spokesman for a ballot measure, do you think they need to provide equal time?  Sound off on twitter and tag Townquare Media at @townsquaremedia, or visit their facebook at

16 Replies to “Should Townsquare Media provide to equal time to those against Amendment V?”


    Fair time, who are you kidding.
    The fix is in.
    When you need to know, it’s 1140, KSOO- the CNN of AM radio.

  2. Anonymous

    I’m ok with him pushing an agenda. I mean Rush Limbaugh pushes an agenda every day. I don’t have to agree with either so do Ed Schultz and Joel Heitkamp. I can change the channel. Why do we need government telling us what is fair when my ears can tell me what I want to hear? If it was state run then l would say yes to fair time mandates.

    Knobe should have both sides on at some point. It only makes sense to do that. Especially if he really thinks the idea is good. It will stand on its one merits.

    1. Anonymous

      Rick Knobe – South Dakota’s Ed Schultz of the airwaves. He should partner up on the air with Rick Weiland since he’s one of his minions doing his bidding.

      I wonder how much he’s being paid.

  3. Wazzzuupp

    Knobe’s always been more than fair and their station, KSOO, ran the hit piece the No Group put out last week. I understand why the No crowd is freaking out and hitting the panic button; lots of R’s (including former elected officials) coming on board and, as far as timing, they couldn’t have picked a better year with the national mess and the hot dumpster fire in South Dakota. We need better checks and balances in this state.

    1. Anonymous

      Does KSOO have the No Spokesman on the air for a couple hours every day? If not, then there’s nothing equal about it.

  4. Anonymous

    I gave up on 1140 for my drive home after listening to Ruth (now gone) for a while; talk about mindless claptrap! I was not a Knobe fan anyway, and Mark Levine on 1320 is far more intelligent than Knobe.

    I know that Greg Belfrage on 1320 bends over backward to have the whacky, Socialist left (Hawks, Williams, Heidelberger, etc) on his show; however, I don’t need a primer on idiocy, so I usually turn to something else.

  5. Anonymous

    I migrated away from Knobe a while ago. He’s full of himself, and I agree on Ruth. She didn’t help.

    Belfrage might have a steamy love affair with the mayor, but I find it’s a lot better audience participation, and hitting the issues of the day.

  6. Anonymous

    Amendment V is for Rick Weiland’s Vendetta to keep it down to just 2 candidates…Pressler took too much support from him and he is just bitter.

    Voting NO on V myself.

    1. PlanningStudent

      Can you explain how this keeps the race to two people? I was aware of the part label, but haven’t read much beyond that…

      1. Pat Powers Post author

        Student –

        It removes party labels, and instead of a party primary, it forces everyone into a “jungle primary,” where only the top 2 go on to the fall election.

        It means Independents, and the third party candidates who have been able to be part of the fall mix on the general election ballot will be wiped away in June, and won’t go on to November.

      2. Anonymous

        If the race is for US Senate/Governor/State Senate or an office where there is one winner…ie most office ( just not the state house…where you have 2 winners) only the top 2 would advance under this proposal so 3rd parties would not unless they got one of the top 2 slots….

  7. Anonymous

    ….and just because a few Republicans support it, does not make it the party position (which is against it) as much as it makes all Democrats for it….Democrats lose also under this disaster of an amendment.

    The Dems might win a few places they wouldnt normally but they will not make it to the fall in a number of places either….

  8. Feasant

    Admendment V is just plain wrong! Hiding which Party you belong to???

    Some politicians are not pure down the line Dem/Rep.

    I oppose this!

  9. Anonymous

    V is a terrible amendment. But what’s worse is thinking that an opinion show needs to be regulated because the people disagree with the opinion of the opinion show host. SAD!


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