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Columbia Missourian

Radio personality Fred Parry pulled off-air until after election

March 20, 2008 | 6:51 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — With the Boone Hospital Board of Trustees election in full swing, candidate Keith Schnarre silenced the radio voice of Fred Parry, his opponent, until after the April 8 election.

Schnarre, a Centralia farmer and former Boone County Presiding Commissioner, filed a complaint against Parry, a KFRU/1400 AM radio personality and local publisher who co-hosts “The Morning Meeting” on weekdays with Simon Rose.

John Walker, Cumulus vice president/market manager, said that due to regulations by the Federal Communications Commission, KFRU must give equal air time to people running for office. It does not matter whether the candidate is speaking about the election, according to FCC rules.

Parry, along with Rose, stopped hosting the show last week. Walker said he expects Parry to return to the air on April 9, the day after the election.

Schnarre said he asked for equal air time or that Parry be taken off air until after the election.

“I sent a private letter to the station manager and asked for a few options” regarding equal air time, Schnarre said.

Schnarre said he was not able to speak with anyone regarding the options he offered.

“We never discussed it,” he said. “They just took Fred off air.”

Efforts to contact Parry for comment were unsuccessful.

Parry and Schnarre are vying for a five-year term on the hospital board in the April 8 election.