HOUSTON – Dan Rather's daily CBS radio broadcast is off the air where he grew up.
Houston CBS radio affiliate KPRC (search) hasn't been running it for the last couple weeks in reaction to his "60 Minutes" report questioning President Bush's National Guard service.
"I felt no anchor ... should ever be the story or bigger than the story," Ken Charles, program director of the news-talk station, said Monday. "I thought it was appropriate to take him off the air."
Rather last week apologized on behalf of CBS News (search) because it could not authenticate documents used in the Sept. 8 story that suggested Bush got preferential treatment. The apology wasn't sufficient to put Rather back on KPRC in the nation's 11th-largest media market.
"For right now, I'm not convinced there's any reason to put him back on the radio station," said Charles, whose station lineup includes opinion-based talk shows of Rush Limbaugh (search) and Michael Savage (search). "Until CBS or somebody is able to do that, I feel like there's no place for Dan Rather on KPRC."
CBS spokesman Dana McClintock said he was unaware of the station's action and declined to comment on it.
Rather was born in Wharton, about 50 miles southwest of Houston, grew up in Houston, went to Sam Houston State University (search) north of the city and worked at Houston's KHOU-TV before joining CBS in the early 1960s. President Bush's parents, former President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush, also live in Houston.
At least one radio station, WNIS in Norfolk, Va., last week dumped all of CBS because of the story.
Charles said he's received more than 300 e-mails about dropping Rather's five-minute news-and-analysis program.
"It's been overwhelming ... over over overwhelmingly supportive," he said. "Four of them called my mother really bad names, which is unusual because I thought liberals were nicer."
Meanwhile, New Jersey businessman Doug Forrester unveiled an advertising campaign pressing CBS to oust Rather.
Forrester, a GOP Senate candidate who lost to Frank Lautenberg in 2002, plans for ads to start Tuesday on radio, television and the Internet. They've been submitted to air on Philadelphia and New York stations and on the major networks as well as cable channels.
"Dan Rather is a classic example of liberal media bias," state the ads. "It wasn't just sloppy journalism; it was political bias."
Forrester said he expects the campaign will garner names for a petition drive to oust Rather on a new Web site called DanRatherMustGo.com.
"He needs to be held accountable for an egregious political piece, and I believe that CBS and America will be better if he retires," Forrester said.
CBS News spokeswoman Sandy Genelius said Forrester may not be speaking for many people.
"One of the greatest things about America is everyone's right to have their own opinion. Mr. Forrester may not be in the majority, but he has a right to express his feelings," she said.
Last week, a Texas congressional candidate started running campaign commercials linking his opponent to Rather, accusing him of airing ads that have "more holes than a CBS News story by Dan Rather."