A local radio station in Fort Collins has been told it will not be able to have a float in the local St. Patrick’s Day parade, while other stations owned by national organizations outside the state are being allowed to participate.
The Downtown Fort Collins Business Association is promoting Lucky Joe’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 16, 2013. The DBA bills itself as existing “to promote the businesses of downtown Fort Collins.”
However, it appears that the group would rather promote businesses located in other states over a locally owned business. Pirate 93.5 FM submitted an application to have a float in the parade. The station is part of the “pirate fleet” that includes KELS 104.7 in Greeley. Both of the stations are managed by Brett Reese, who submitted the application along with a $75 fee.
However, JoAnn Cadoo, Membership and Volunteer Coordinator for the DBA told Reese his application was being rejected and the organization would be returning his check.
In an email to Reese, Cadoo said the reason was over media sponsorship of the event.
“Due to conflict in media sponsorship with the DBA we will not be able to accommodate your entry for the SPD parade this year,” Cadoo said.
On the organization’s website it lists two other radio stations, Tri-102.5 and KPAW 107.9 as media partners for the parade.
Both stations are owned by large media conglomerates. Tri-102.5 is owned by Townsquare Media Group in Greenwich, Connecticut and owns 243 radio stations in multiple states. Likewise, KPAW 107.9 the other station listed as a media partner, is owned by Clear Channel Communications which is located in San Antonio, Texas. The organization says it owns over 850 radio stations across the country. By contrast, Pirate 93.5 is locally owned.
Reese said if the issue was over sponsorship, he never applied to be a media partner.
“All we did was apply to have our float, representing a local radio station in a parade that is hosted by a group supporting downtown Ft. Collins,” Reese said. “To this day I still have not been given a reason why our application was rejected. We never said we were going to be sponsors so I don’t know what she means by a conflict.”
Cadoo acknowledged that Reese followed all of the correct procedures, but stated the reason for the rejection was because they had already made agreements with the existing sponsors to not allow any other stations to participate.
“We operate our organization with respect for our Downtown and local businesses and as a good business practice we must honor our commitments to our sponsors,” Cadoo said. “We do have 2 media groups as sponsors of the parade, which includes 9 radio stations. All of these stations will have a presence in the parade. We uphold our agreements to them and therefore cannot include other radio stations outside of those groups. This is the reason for Pirate radio’s parade application denial.”
Wendy Williams in the city manager’s office told Reese that the city attorney advised her that the DBA was it was within their discretion to decide who could and could not participate in the parade.
Reese said while that may be, it is interesting that a group dedicated to promoting local businesses would chose to reject a local business owner over stations owned by businesses located outside the state.
“Their express purpose for existing is to promote downtown businesses. Yet, here when a local business followed the correct procedures to enter the parade they rejected us while permitting radio stations in other states to be in the parade.”