From the November 1999 Idaho Observer:
Has Shortwave Broadcasting Become A Big Business Monopoly?
by Bill Lauterbach
By now, many of you have run across the new Genesis Communications Network on your shortwave radio. They're pretty much monopolizing programming time on both WWCR and WGTG. They're also telling inquiring individuals that they are the former Republic Radio International network. This is untrue, according to Loris Thompkins, General Manager of The Heritage Radio Network, formally Republic Radio. Ms. Thompkins alleges that Genesis was put together with her money, illegitimately obtained by her estranged husband around the time of divorce proceedings.
Aside from the domestic battle that is taking place between Genesis and Heritage, comes an even bigger concern regarding shortwave programming in general. Just how big is too big? Is too big a safe thing to do?
Next to Brother R.G. Stair, Genesis Communications has the largest amount of programming on shortwave radio. There once was a time when a wannabe talk show host could contact WWCR, WGTG or WHRI and purchase an hour or two of evening or weekend programming, to get his or her message across to the nation....and to the world. It made for a very interesting town meeting mix of varied opinion and programming throughout a broadcast day.
But something happened along the way. Some programmers found it was more cost effective to purchase airtime from the radio stations in bulk, and start their own radio networks. These programmers would then turn around and sell their network airtime at a higher rate.
But several of these networks turned out to be scams, backed by gold and silver dealers and bulk food suppliers that never delivered on their products. And they often left the station holding their airtime bill. Just ask Jeff White, co-owner of WRMI, Miami. Jeff and his lovely wife have been trying to collect over $3,000 from the delinquent airtime account of one Jeffrey Baker. Baker has developed several radio networks over the years. He would start one up, only to shut it down as soon as the debt collectors got close to his door. He would then create a new network in short order, only to shut it down when the bills piled up, repeating the cycle once again. Some of those networks were: The Coyote Radio Network, Two Guys Radio Network, Amerinet, Remnant Radio, among others.
Baker took off for Honduras several years ago, or so he claimed. He would nightly beg for money to help defray the cost of several million watt transmitters that were going to be installed on his Honduran plantation. Of course, the transmitters and station never happened. And according to WRMI's Jeff White, who also was part owner of Radio Copan International in Honduras, no such station ever existed according to the Honduran government.
One of the nightly sponsors of Baker and his programming was Ted Anderson of Midas Resources, a gold and silver retailer. I've had the pleasure of speaking to Anderson, who seems to be a genuinely nice gentleman. But I have to question his business association with Baker and whether Baker's influence is being felt at Genesis Communications. It seems that Anderson is a major investor in this new Genesis Communications Network.
I recently contacted Genesis Communications to ask to be a guest on one of their many programs. I was not only shocked to find out that they actually charged their guests for their radio appearances, but the price was absolutely outrageous. Having been involved in shortwave radio and shortwave advertising for over thirty years, the prices could not be justified for such a small audience. Mr. Michael Trudeau quoted me a price of $400 for an appearance on one of the network programs, and $120 for a 60 second commercial spot. To put this into perspective, WGTG charges just $50 for an hour's worth of programming time on its station. And WBCQ charges just $10 per commercial spot on their station. Of course, Trudeau stated that he wouldn't charge a Patrick Buchanan for his appearance, because getting the name of Patrick Buchanan on his network would be a bigger asset to him than accepting his money.
But of a bigger concern is the dangerous step of lumping all these famous patriot talk shows onto one volatile network. What would happen should this network go belly-up? What would happen to all the patriot programming? Currently, some of the most popular and well-known talk show hosts have been snatched up by Genesis Communications. Bo Gritz and Michael Haga are a couple of big names, and it is also known that Chuck Harder's people have been approached by Genesis' people.
In our investigation, we also uncovered the possible reactivation of the Remnant Radio Network. Whether it will be revived by Baker is unclear. We have heard that he has returned to the United States. What we are surprised about is the website location Remnant Radio has chosen. It isn't a big name like AOL or Mindspring, but is actually a small website hosting service. But we've found that some of the people connected with the Genesis Communication Network are using the same website hosting service. We invite you to research the information for yourself by accessing several search engines, and comparing the URL of the new Remnant Radio site with the sites of some of the program hosts of Genesis. You might be in for a little surprise.
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