This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
KSL NewsRadio debuted a new afternoon weekday show titled "The Browser" today to fill the former air space held by the top-rated "The Sean Hannity" Show.
KSL officials decided not to renew Hannity's contract, and the station aired his nationally syndicated show for the last time Friday, Oct. 1, citing their desire to feature more local programming. Hannity's show moved to rival talk-radio station KNRS today
"The Browser" is hosted by Amy Iverson and recent Dallas transplant Jay McFarland, and according to a KSL promo features the hosts "watching the Web for you." It is a two-hour show that airs between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. that will be followed by KSL's "Afternoon Local News," which previously began each day at 4 p.m.
During the first show, Iverson and McFarland fielded text messages sent to them and scoured the Web for buzzed-about stories, both local and national. McFarland and Iverson led off the show discussing Saturday's dismissal of BYU defensive coordinator Jaime Hill by football coach Bronco Mendenhall, which has led to what McFarland called "BYU and their lack of victories." In the following hour, they also discussed a recent State Department terror warning about Europe travel, a mash-up of Katy Perry's "California Gurls" with airplane-safety regulations, Perry's "racy" lyrics about melting popsicles, and about the propriety of bringing guns into bars, among other subjects.
The hosts, who mentioned stories from Web sites such as Gawker.com and Slate.com, later talked about what types of relationships men and women should have outside of marriage.
McFarland moved to Utah last week after a stint as a talk-show host on Dallas talk-show station KRLD NewsRadio. On the air during his last show in Dallas, he told listeners that his Utah family had pressing medical issues he needed to attend to, and an inner voice told him to apply for the KSL vacancy. A Mormon, McFarland has written books on marriage and politics, with the latter described on his Web site as redefining "how you view the United States Government and what role we all must play in restoring this nation to the principles that made it the greatest nation on the earth." Before his radio career, according to his online biography, he was a restaurant owner and operator in Salt Lake City and Las Vegas and by the age of 29 he was asked to run 42 Little Caesars Pizza eateries.
Kevin LaRue, KSL NewsRadio program director, said the new show is designed to broaden the appeal of KSL notably to women and the younger set and he has been given a license from management to experiment with the new show.
The decision to end the radio station's relationship with Hannity was not because KSL officials disliked his often-divisive tone. "If we couldn't handle the heat, we wouldn't have aired [the show] for 10 years," LaRue said. What it came down to, LaRue said, is that station management wanted to "control content" from here in Salt Lake City, rather than having programming and content coming from New York City, where Hannity's show is taped.
A press release from KSL touts the show as bringing "the Internet to radio ... because browsing the web while driving is illegal." It added that "The Browser is a 360-degree informational highway and entertaining avenue that delivers news to the streets of Utah."
In the release, Mark Willes, CEO of Deseret Management Corporation, said, "The Browser is a unique concept in that it's a marriage of traditional media and digital media. Offering our listeners news, information, entertainment and uplifting stories from the internet while they are on-the-go. Our goal is to provide our community with relevant topics in a respectful, fun manner."