Mario Solis-Marich's AM 760 exit prompts Colorado Latino Forum protest

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Thumbnail image for mario solis marich photo cropped.JPG
Mario Solis-Marich.
The replacement of AM 760 host Mario Solis-Marich by syndicated host Norman Goldman earlier this month didn't sit well with the Colorado Latino Forum.

The organization has asked for Solis-Marich's reinstatement -- a demand the Denver branch of Clear Channel, the station's parent company, shows no signs of meeting.

Solis-Marich was based in Los Angeles, not Denver. However, in an unusual arrangement, he created a program specifically for the local audience, with a focus on Colorado happenings. His outsider status resulted in occasional mistakes when it came to correctly judging Denver-area sensibilities, as in 2009, when he habitually referred to the CU Buffs as the CU Boofs, inadvertently using a term defined in an Urban Dictionary reference as "short for buttfuck." Yet he added variety to the airwaves as the rare Latino voice on talk radio, and was honored as best talk-show host by the Colorado Broadcasters Association earlier this year.

These points and more were made in a Colorado Latino Forum release calling for Solis-Marich's reinstatement. Among those quoted is CLF co-chair Gene Lucero, who wrote that the program "has been a stalwart supporter of the Colorado Latino Forum and other Latino organizations throughout Colorado. The reinstatement of the Mario Solis-Marich Show is critical for the well-being of the growing Colorado Latino community, which is more than 20 percent of Colorado's population."

Also offering a statement was Polly Baca, a former state senator and another CLF co-chair: "We are gravely concerned about the lack of Latinos in the senior management and program administration of Clear Channel, as well as the lack of management diversity generally." Baca also argued that Clear Channel "airs a number of radio talk shows nationally that promote anti-Latino hate speech."

When contacted about the CLF demand, Clear Channel Denver responded with a statement of its own. It reads:

Clear Channel Radio's AM 760, "Colorado's Progressive Talk," represents diversity by presenting a variety of viewpoints and cultures. It is the only radio station in Denver dedicated to discussing community issues from a progressive perspective. In fact, we offer more progressive programming than any other station in the market.

KKZN's mission is to focus on our listeners and to serve the community with the kind of quality programming they tell us they want. This was a business decision based purely on our listeners' response to the programming. We can assure you KKZN will continue to provide quality, progressive talk programming and serve our loyal listeners.

Dan Mandis, head of AM programming for Clear Channel Denver, declined to elaborate on this response. But he was happy to sing the praises of Goldman.

"He has a history on AM 760," Mandis says. "He did a lot of work with Ed Schultz as a legal analyst and fill-in host."

Mandis adds that even though Goldman's Los Angeles-based program is syndicated, "he's always looking to localize his shows for his affiliates. So if there's a big story going on in Denver, he'll obviously cover it. And Norm is also going to be filling in for David Sirota," the station's morning host, "on occasion. He's very excited to be on in Denver, and he'll be doing a market visit next year." In his view, "Norm is a fresh voice -- someone who hasn't been on for years and years, where the audience is so familiar with him that they've already heard everything he's got to say. And his show is live from four to seven, so listeners here can participate in it."

As for Solis-Marich, he posted this on his Facebook page last week: "I know that you deserve an explanation and this process is taking longer than I expected. Thank you for your patience and all of your support . A statement is coming soon."

Thus far, no followup has appeared.

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22 comments
Sbdwiz
Sbdwiz

Solis-Marich's show was my least favorite on AM760.  His delivery was painful to listen to even when the topic was light and humorous (wandering, repeating himself, taking an inordinate amount of time to get to the point, even assuming the point was useful.)  Some of the humor, often bounced around the studio with his crew, was sophomoric and mean.. Worst of all was his treatment of listeners who disagreed with him.  So often he was bombastic and resorted to insulting/humiliating the caller way beyond the caller's ideas. Good riddance. Norman Goldman is a much better representative of intelligent, progressive reporting/hosting.

Janster1965
Janster1965

Wow, where to begin! Solis marich had to be the least articulate and knowledgable on-air personality in Denver...but he wasn't in Denver he was in LA. While this might be part of why he was so lost most of the time it doesn't completely explain it away. I have NEVER heard a host so inarticulate-ever. He would stutter, stammer, and go off on fantastical tangents and never get back to the original topic! I'm a liberal but he had me seriously considering switching parties!?! The way he would hang up on someone that disagreed with him or he would just mute them or shout over them and then of course ended every call with the sarcastic and condescending "thank you for your call". I sure don't miss that! If he would have at least debated ONE caller I would have been satisfied. But he ALWAYS took the cowardly way out. He is not missed at all and I feel sorry for the few people that actually hung on his every word as though it was gospel.

michael
michael

Good Riddance 

Whenever someone disagreed with Mario he would cut them off or insult them. He was great on many of the progressive issues, but he couldnt't handle a good argument without flippin the f#%k out on the caller.

Onehipmex
Onehipmex

They were times I would call in to check his opinion, coming across as fact. But I would get shouted over instead of a good debate of give and take. Poor rating and low ad response will drive any show in the tank regardless of being a Latino, Hispanic, and Mexican or what ever the correct label is this month.Thanks,onehipmex

Denverswede
Denverswede

I am soooo happy that goof is off the air!  He could be the most unimformed talking head for the progressives as I've ever heard.  He stuttered, stammered and hung up on anyone who didn't agree with him.  Typical Lib carrying the water for this failed President.  Good Riddance LA loser!

Clare
Clare

These days it's all about marketing and just because this guy is Latino, or as my friend Dave, who is of Mexican descent says, "He's a Mexican, pure and simple, and there's nothing wrong w/that title, but don't call us Hispanic or Latino because we're not, we're Mexican, period!"

Dave, who happens to be a self-made millionaire, among his other friends, did not specifically tune in to hear Mario because he was Mexican.  It's all about talent and making yourself interesting to listen to.  It's about the person, independent of their race or gender, and if you can't reach your audience and make it an interactive process, then get off the air!  I personally like Randy Rhodes because she's well-read, acerbic, is a straight-shooter, and doesn't b.s. around.  I don't listen to her because I'm white and a woman, nor would I listen to her just because I was Jewish, but I like the topics she covers and she doesn't put w/any nonsense.We'll see what Norm Goldman has to offer, bottom line.

Clare
Clare

So glad Solis-Marich is off the air.  It was painful to listen to him for even 5 minutes.  It was all about him and his pronouncement of his name when he came on the air.  The guy was a quack job and went off topic in the middle of a discussion continually.  His voice, his arrogant manner, his narrow topic base, etc. were all factors that made him a very un-user-friendly voice on radio.  

Bobjfs
Bobjfs

I can't believe this inane statement by Denver Clear Channel:

     "It is the only radio station in Denver dedicated to discussing community issues from       a progressive perspective. In fact, we offer more progressive programming than any        other station in the market."When one media company is allowed to control such a large chunk of both the AM and FM radio dials, the lack of competition alone makes this a specious statement. As far as I can tell, they control all English-language, issues-oriented talk stations in Denver. They offer a damned grand total of 3 hours of local progressive talk per day, five days a week. That's it. And with Mario gone, that is half of what they did offer. And they boast about it? Let's see how well they'd do with some real competition.Needless to say, I have no reason to listen to a Clear Channel station in Denver anymore. Sure, there's David Sirota, and I respect what he does. But, I prefer to begin my day as happily as I can. His show leaves me dreading life itself and looking for a straight razor  (and not for shaving my face with). I can't seem Clear Channel bringing back Mario. Once they do something like this, it's a done deal. I hope Mario gets on with another outfit elsewhere, where he can ply his important trade.

J
J

Goodbye & good riddance to the LA Liar.  Mario's show started on a falsehood and he NEVER corrected or apologized for the deception.  Mario self-admitted that he didn't know anything about radio and he proved it daily.  He failed to admit that he didn't know anything about Colorado and that was another thing he proved daily.

For all the Mar-ee-oh apologists and hand-wringers let's get some things straight:- "Progressive" Mar-ee-oh had no problem denigrating Diana DeGette with some childish nameplay.  He took the same tact with most other CO politicians -- which doesn't seem really mature or Progressive.  - "Progressive" Mar-ee-oh denigrated all CU sports teams with his filthy name-calling.  It wasn't a simple mistake, no it was on purpose and with knowledge of what the term meant.- "Progressive" Mar-ee-oh didn't know the difference between CU and CSU (our 2 major state school systems).  He didn't know our politicians or media figures.  Bill Ritter was "John" and Ward Churchill was "Ward Connerly."  He gave out wrong & ill-informed info from the DNC Convention because he DIDN"T know anything about Denver.  He couldn't even get the time right.  Come on, he couldn't even respect us enough to have his studio clock set to MST?- "Progressive" Mar-ee-oh's empty talk show host of year award was bought.  He didn't even attend or know anything about it.-  His stammering & stuttering, his illiteracy and inability to articulate simple thoughts was beyond measure.  -  His mistreatment of listeners & callers was also beyond measure.  He spent no more than 2 mins with any caller and if you disagreed with him in the slightest you were muted & cut off.  Small childish actions of a small minded talker.-  What about his on-air shilling for political candidates that he was also working with during campaigns?  FEC or FCC violations to be sure.

Come on CO Latinos.  Yes, representation on Progressive talk is great but you really want a "Progressive" that can't even talk?  Fight for a TRUE Colorado host.  Don't stand for ClearChannel's fraud and Mario's lies and ignorance.  

Me
Me

Jeff from Arvada actually got a few things right about Mario, proving the old adage that even a broken clock is right twice a day. But still: If there are to be FEC investigations, they should also include Jon Caldara's on-air advocacy of ballot-issue stances favored by his Independence Institute. What amused me most was Mandis' contention that "In fact, we offer more progressive programming than any other station in the market." Isn't that a bit like saying the Rockies are the best Major League Baseball franchise headquartered in Denver?

Bobjfs
Bobjfs

So, a conservative hated him. The conservative says, "goodbye and good riddance." 

That means Mario did his job well, was nearly 100% accurate, and got under a righty's fingernails. Mario couldn't hope for a better endorsement than that.

Awesome!

Sylvia
Sylvia

J You verbatim cut and pasted this same drivel you posted elsewhere. They chakkenged you in the false DeGette allegation. Let me guess what Stalker du jour you are? Hmmm. I also have an idea of what you are up to - it won't work for a really funny reason if you keep pushing that tactic. Also, it could be defamatory so I suggest you carefully consider your next steps--a paralegal degree does not make you a lawyer and cyber defamation is an issue since you have posted so frequently elsewhere you have made your identity known.

Noneya
Noneya

Who cares if Mario didn't know the difference between CU and CSU? And as a CSU grad I didn't mind at all when he said "boofs" instead of "buffs", personally.  Mario's show was about Politics, not sports.  J, your comment is full of personal attacks... which tells me that instead of listening to the show, you simply have heard what others of your mindset have said about the show, and have chosen to post it here.  As for his callers, of course he wouldn't listen to those folks who had illogical arguments, ie cyclical logic, it wasn't about disagreement, it was about nonsensical arguments, that went no where.  No listener wants to sit through that crap.  In my experience listening to right wing conservative talk shows, (which is little to none, and at least I am honest) I have never heard a talk show host allow a caller with a progressive opinion on the radio.  When Mario would get someone who really wanted to logically argue a point from the conservative perspective, he would engage that caller, and work his way through the argument.  If a conservative caller was simply slinging mud, or repeating conservative talking points, Mario would encourage the caller to think for themselves, and create a logical argument for their perspective.  It's not Mario's fault that 90% of the conservative-minded callers could not create a reasonable argument and cannot think for themselves. Your post just goes to prove that you are a liar and an ignoramus.     

60s4ever
60s4ever

Mandis is full of it. Mario is becoming a force not only in Denver, but throughout the country. That's why he was awarded the Colorado Talk Show Host of the Year. He was cutting into the audiences of their other channels and he made conservatives squirm with his fact-based knowledge and expertise. I'm finished with AM760.

Barbara Coombs
Barbara Coombs

I no longer listen to AM760 from 4-7 PM.  I would like to know what this 'business decision' is about.  I don't find Goldman to be 'refreshing'.  I find him boring and too programmed.  Mario was always on top of local and national stories and was quick to respond to breaking political stories.  I will continue to listen to Sirota on my way to work as well as Thom Hartmann when I am able.  From 4-7 I am back to Colorado Public Radio.  I hope to hear Mario on the air again soon.  His audience deserves to hear from him.

Sylvia
Sylvia

Terminating the Mario Solis Marich Show was not a “business” decision.

Latinos represent a rapidly growing multi-billion dollar consumer market.  If you are Latino, ask yourself: did you listen to talk radio before the Mario Solis Marich Show was broadcast ?  Like me, your answer is likely “no.”  Now ask the people sitting next to you. 

How could it be a business decision when The Mario Solis Marich Show has given AM760 a foothold in a rapidly growing market that AM760 had never cracked open? 

Mario was able to attract a new market to the talk radio format: more diverse and a broader age range. 

Now ask yourself, have you listened to other shows on AM760 because of the introduction to talk radio that The Mario Solis Marich Show provided like Randi Rhodes who immediately followed him?  (I never listened to her before I found her after the Mario's Show -- now I do not listen to her.) If you are like me, the answer is yes! 

Colorado is twenty percent Latino and the population growth is on pace to increase.  As radio finds it difficult to expand their market with the fierce competition of TV, cable, and new emerging technologies, the Mario Solis Marich Show was breathing new life and hope into their future bottom line.  How can the decision to terminate the show legitimately be couched as a business decision? Did you download the iHeart Radio App so you could take Mario with you everywhere? Me too!  But no more.

stan
stan

Mario was the main reason I tuned in to 760.  I'm so jaded right now.  Maybe I should start listening to 850 to complete my defection to the Dark Side.

Stealth2
Stealth2

Even with his show originating from LA. Solis-Marich represented the only consistently Denver-centered program on the station during the weekdays. While Dave Sirota occasionally discusses local issues, he seems far more preoccupied with national and even international issues. That's fine. But for a station that bills itself as "COLORADO'S progressive talk", this is a pretty flimsy adherence to that slogan.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Strong take, Stealth2 -- one we're going to make an upcoming Comment of the Day. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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