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Joel Heitkamp to take Ed Schultz's slot on KFGO; station will search nationwide for afternoon talk show host

FARGO - KFGO-AM radio in Fargo announced this morning that longtime radio talk show personality Ed Schultz would no longer be part of their local lineup.

Joel Heitkamp, who had hosted a KFGO talk show host from 2-5 p.m. daily, will take over Schultz's former "News and Views" from 8:30-10:30 a.m. The morning intro to the show was redone today to exclude Schultz and replace it with Heitkamp.

Heitkamp read a statement just after 9 a.m. announcing the changes. Vern Thompson, Schultz's producer, read a brief statement from Schultz thanking his former listeners.

Schultz has been absent from KFGO programming since the middle of last week when, during the height of the Fargo-Moorhead flood threat, he criticized local officials for their preparations and predicted the area would lose the flood fight because of it.

Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker asked the public to ignore Schultz's comments, saying Schultz was an entertainer, not a newsman.

Jim Ingstad, owner of KFGO parent company Radio Fargo-Moorhead, maintained earlier this week that Schultz was not on the air for a week during the flood fight because he has been splitting his time between the Red River Valley and Washington, D.C., and was out of touch with flooding issues becuase of his time spent out east.

On MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" Wednesday night, Schultz announced he would be starting a new TV show on the network beginning Monday night. "The Ed Show" will run at 5 p.m. weekdays on MSNBC.

Heitkamp said KFGO would be conducting a national search to find a talk show host for the open slot from 2-5 p.m. weekdays created by Heitkamp's move to the morning slot.