December 13, 2005
It’s ironic a sensational Salt Lake Tribune "spin news" story was used to diminish Blair Feulner’s life’s work (Nov. 27 Tribune front page). That "news" story sensationalized Blair’s, and his wife Susan’s, compensation, highlighting $270,000 combined 2003 benefits/earnings and an $850,000 radio-related gain. For 25 years, Blair and KPCW have provided intelligent, in-depth interviewing and fostered anti-spin news reporting fairness in Park City. Salt Lake, through KCPW, is now getting these same benefits. The backbone of the Park City and Salt Lake communities (and freedom!) is open discourse and easy access to facts. Blair, by birthing and raising KPCW and KCPW, immeasurably strengthened Park City’s and now Salt Lake’s backbones. For more than a century, The Park Record and The Salt Lake Tribune have done the same. These newspapers, like dueling, world-class athletes, improve by competing with KPCW and KCPW. The Tribune should print a news story that puts the following facts up front: Twenty-five-year-old KPCW and seven-year-old KCPW exist primarily because Blair and Susan Feulner championed them; Blair and Susan averaged $13,000/year earnings each for KPCW’s first 10 years, $50,000/year for the next 10. Blair’s current $140,000 salary, his highest ever, is less than 64 percent of what managers of larger Salt Lake radio stations make. Blair’s salary was blessed by an independent consultant retained by KPCW’s board. KCPW, SLC’s junior public station, was recently ranked eighth of Salt Lake stations for morning drive time listeners, and beating all public radio stations. KPCW and KCPW received $2,500,000+/- from their 49 percent interest in the sale of KCUA, a Coalville radio station. Because of their dedication to KPCW and KCPW, Blair and Susan accepted $833,000+/-, 25 percent of the total, or less than half of their 51 percent interest in KCUA. All facts are available at KPCW.org. Character is demonstrated by how we handle mistakes, not awards and victories. Both papers should editorially laud Blair’s contributions, even if they won’t bless his compensation package. Remaining silent clouds Blair’s legacy with spin-informed readers’ letters to the editor. Blair’s work has changed Park City. When you see him, let him know if he’s made a difference for you.