This year, for my 32nd birthday, I got the "privilege" of having Phoenix's best morning time talk DJ replaced by Adam Carolla. I don't dislike Adam Carolla, at least not with the passion I reserve for Howard Stern, but I certainly enjoyed Chuck Powell's morning ritual a hell of a lot more than Adam Carolla.
So I guess I'm writing my version of Chuck Powell's radio eulogy here. Chuck, you were the only consistent reason I ever listened to KEDJ in the valley. I remember clearly, in September of 2004, when I made the decision to move to the valley, and I secured housing in Mesa, which was far away from the one friend that I had in the town, I felt lonely. Really lonely. Listening to your show was the only thing that made getting up in the morning worthwhile in that year or so of my life. The fact that you had weekly recurring bits on your show was terrific. I really used to look forward to Thursday's to hear "The Rundown." Without you, I would have never discovered The Dresden Dolls, and I never would have come to appreciate "Dear God," by XTC, a band with whom I was already aware, but had assumed never made a good song after "Making plans for Nigel." You also had the distinction of being one of the few people that could talk about sports in such a way that even people who don't really appreciate sports (like myself) could enjoy it.
It really sucks that you got let go, and unfortunately, you're just another victim in the "great" homogenization of radio that has been taking place ever since the FCC allowed companies to own more than 1 station per band in a given market. Now, instead of the good material floating to the ranks of syndication, we have the crap that's cheapest to produce.
I personally blame this phenomena on the fact that the same group of people are in charge of of both content production and distribution. Which really leaves nobody in the public with the ability to provide feedback of making choices in content, since all of the stations pretty much sound alike. Arbitron ratings are meaningless when anybody who could provide alternate content is shut out of the race. If you still think America is a "free market," go and try and secure a license for a radio station. You can't even get an AM or LPFM license easily. There is no free market in American media, because there is a high expense barrier to entry to get set up in the business. Which makes no sense at all, because it's not like terrestrial broadcasting technology is particularly exotic. I have my amateur radio license; I know the technology, and the reality is, with maybe the exception of HD Radio or (which does not sound as nice as good ole wideband FM), the state of the art of radio broadcasting technology has not changed much since the advent of FM broadcasting well over 50 years ago.
It should say enough that satellite broadcasters find it cheaper to spend billions launching satellite constellations than to break into terrestrial radio.
Henry Rollins said something along the lines of, "All it takes is one person to stand up and say fuck this." Chuck, I really hope that you end up being that guy to save radio from itself. It will be a long, hard road, and you'll probably never get the credit you deserve, but I really hope you end up on the radio again. I will support you.