Conservative talk show host Bernadette Wilson is leaving KFQD-AM, with the station deciding not to renew her contract in 2016.
Station manager Joe Campbell said in a Friday phone interview that KFQD wants to head "in a different direction" this year. Wilson hosted "Bernadette Live," which aired weekdays from 8:30 to 11 a.m.
Earlier this year, Wilson, a Republican, and Ethan Berkowitz, a Democrat who is now the mayor of Anchorage, co-hosted the popular "Bernadette and Berkowitz" program. When Berkowitz entered the race for mayor in February, Wilson became a solo host.
Campbell said that revenue and audience size haven't been the same since.
"The bottom line is always the bottom line," Campbell said. "('Bernadette Live') was not generating the revenue necessary to keep it on the air."
Wilson recently became the primary sponsor of a referendum to repeal an Anchorage law barring discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, but Campbell said her involvement in the repeal effort was not related to the decision not to renew the show.
Campbell said he expects the station will make an announcement next week about a new host for Wilson's morning time slot. He said the goal is to have a new show in place by Jan. 11.
Wilson said in an interview Friday she is "at peace" with the decision. She also said station management explained it to her as revenue-related, though she said her ratings were good.
Since word got out, Wilson said, she's gotten supportive calls and texts from politicians and fans of the show.
Several job offers have come in too, she said.
"I'm definitely going to land pretty darn strong," Wilson said. She added: "I'm not going to go away, that's for sure."
Wilson's last live show was Wednesday, Campbell said.
Alaska Dispatch Publishing