Peggy Beck’s tradition of trading catering services for advertising on Clear Channel Communication’s radio shows shifted a bit this week.

Beck, co-owner of Three Tomatoes Catering in Denver for almost 30 years, said her deal with the media company’s stations goes back almost as long as her business. Until this week, though, she never paid much attention to which shows aired her ads.

After several groups shone a spotlight on anti-Muslim comments made by host “Gunny” Bob Newman on his May 8 show, Beck was one of at least three who contacted the station asking their ads not run during the show.

Three Tomatoes used to cater most or all of Clear Channel’s events, she said. These days, the media company that owns KOA, several other Colorado stations and hundreds more throughout the United States hires the caterer for one big bash a year in exchange for some on-air mentions each spring.

Other advertisers include Ralph Schomp Automotive, which also reportedly pulled its spots from the show, as did Excel Roofing in Englewood. Neither returned calls or e-mailed requests for comment.

Ad agencies typically buy time at the station by specifying whether they want their spots to run during “prime” times like morning or afternoon drive, or less expensive “fringe” times like nights and weekends, said KOA’s sales manager Barry Remington.

“We have people who don’t want to run on Rush (Limbaugh), for example,” he said. Remington declined to say Thursday how many advertisers have pulled their spots from Newman’s show.

The station posted an apology on its Web site Thursday saying that the talk show host’s were not meant to offend listeners.


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