WLW's trucking show shuts off political discussion, host says
A radio show known for its conservative hosts and callers that’s broadcast around the globe from Greater Cincinnati is shutting off political discussion, its host says.
Steve Sommers, host of “America’s Truckin’ Network” that originates from the Kenwood studios of WLW-AM (700), told his audience that the move follows unspecified complaints about the show’s content made to radio station owner iHeart Media.
Sommers told listeners Monday on the midnight to 5 a.m. daily show that his boss called him Thursday when he was off the air to tell him complaints had been made to corporate offices in San Antonio.
He said his boss held him responsible for an unspecified comment made by a caller, saying that the comment should not have been aired.
Sommers said he had been given a warning over the incident.
The next day, Sommers said, his boss called him again while he was off the air to say more complaints had been registered to iHeart Media headquarters.
After that, Sommers said, a decision was reached to stop airing topics including the death of George Floyd – an unarmed Black man whose killing May 25 by Minneapolis police has touched off protests nationwide – and talk about the Confederate flag.
Station manager Scott Reinhart gave the following statement to The Enquirer Tuesday: "The ATN has been on the air for over 30 years. We regularly review all our shows to ensure they provide the best and most compelling programming, and we have always relied on comments and feedback from our listeners to help us make these decisions."
On the air, Sommers urged his callers to refrain from politics and stick to issues paramount to his show’s target audience, which is truckers.
During Tuesday's broadcast, Sommers said he did not know who had made the complaints.
One caller to the show said he wasn't sure what he was allowed to talk about, and Sommers didn't respond directly to him.
Sommers, of Colerain Township in suburban Cincinnati, is the son of the late Dale “Truckin’ Bozo” Sommers, who originated the show on WLW in 1984 and hosted it until his retirement in 2004. Steve Sommers has been the primary host since.
WLW can be heard at night in parts of 38 states and Canada, and during the daytime in parts of six states. “America’s Truckin’ Network” is also syndicated and heard on Sirius XM Radio.
Enquirer reporter Cameron Knight contributed.
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