Is Bill Gade’s “Challenge” Extortion?

Editorial by:
Shauna Klekta |

In a desperate attempt to regain lost advertising revenue and market share, Bill [Gade] has agreed to keep his self-proclaimed “Offensive” editorials off the air if his list of demands is met.

In an email to Swan Valley businesses, Bill “Challenges” that to stop him from airing his editorials, someone needs to:

1. Purchase $200 in advertising each week
2. Show support for the radio station and play CJ104 in their business

I’m not a lawyer, but Bill Gade’s “Challenge” sounds a little like extortion to me.

During his weekly editorials, Gade has verbally attacked community groups, organizations and individuals (including seniors, youth, local businesses, first responders, doctors, churches, non-profit organizations and volunteers) with his disrespectful comments and/or false statements.

While it may sound tempting, noble even, to pay Bill to stop attacking our community, what happens when you stop paying the protection money? What is stopping him from increasing the price, having someone else read the editorials, or creating a new forum for his attacks?

Who pays protection money to Bill Gade – and why?

Many responsible business owners have taken a stand by not playing CJ104 in their business, pulling advertising, and demanding that their national suppliers do the same. Community members have confronted or boycotted establishments that finance CJSB or play the station in their business.

Has this made a difference? In a recent editorial, Gade admitted “We spend more on wages here than we take in on advertising.” It might be wise for his employees to follow the example of his former News Director and start looking for employment with a more stable and reputable employer.