Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Station Flips, Roseanne, Entercom, and Big Eddie

We’ve been away for a few days and apologize for not maintaining the “up to the minute” coverage of liberal talk radio that our readers have come to expect.

Fortunately, there has not been a lot of news in the past few days. Yes, another liberal talk station, KFPT in Fresno, dropped the format…another station (this one in Akron) may pick up lib talk…another comedienne -- Roseanne Barr -- has launched a daily show… there will be no charges filed against Entercom employees in Sacramento regarding the death of a woman…and the number one lib talk host, Ed Schultz, now reaches over 3 million listeners per week.

Wow! It looks like a lot has happened over the past few days.

First the bad news. Yes, another week, another station drops lib talk. This time it was the anticipated loss of KPFT/790 in Fresno.

I say anticipated because the format was doomed when the station was sold by CBS to Peak Broadcasting in November. Peak in turn spun off KPFT to Fat Dawgs 7. Since there is no way that a company named “Fat Dawgs” would do lib talk, we assumed that a flip was in the works. Guess what? We were right. KPFT will be switching to sports later this week. A Yahoo group has been formed calling itself “Bring Air America Back” to lobby for the restoration of radio lib talk in Fresno.

Meanwhile, a rumor is beginning to circulate that lib talk may return to Akron. You will recall that, last week; WARF flipped from lib talk to the “format du jour” -- sports. They did this even though there were three other full-time sports stations in the market. Well, it now seems that one of those stations; WJMP/1520 may flip to lib talk. The usually reliable Ohio Media Watch reports that WJMP, which dropped lib talk and picked up sports when WARF launched “Radio Free Akron” in May, 2005, may re-launch as a lib talker rather than compete in the crowded sports format. WJMP, a 1,000 watt daytimer, would not provide good coverage but at least lib talk would regain a foothold in Democratic leaning northeast Ohio.

Much fanfare was made about the launch of the well-publicized Dennis Miller Show last week. However, how many of you know that comedienne Roseanne Barr also launched a talk show a few weeks ago? However, while Miller’s Show is syndicated by Westood One and is reportedly carried on 80 stations, Roseanne’s show, which skews liberal, is just carried on a suburban station in Southern California -- KCAA/1050 in San Bernardino.

I listened to the show today and let’s say, found it interesting. I called in and chatted with Roseanne for awhile. She gave me a pair of tickets to her show in Las Vegas. Maybe I will go to the NAB next week after all.

We will have more on new lib talkers later this week.

Prosecutors will not file criminal charges in connection with the death of a 28-year-old mother of three, who died from water intoxication after participating in a “hold your wee for wi” contest on KDND-FM/107.9 Sacramento in early January. Only a few hours after competing, Jennifer Lea Strange was found dead of water intoxication.

In a statement, Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully said that Strange "knew what the contest involved when she entered it and had the option to stop or discontinue her participation in the contest at any time." Strange drank nearly two gallons of water during the contest and was found dead about five hours later in her home.

Following the contest's deadly outcome, Entercom fired "Morning Rave" hosts Trish, Maney & Lukas from KDND along with seven other employees, including PD/Station Manager Steve Weed. A few weeks later, Entercom also dropped lib talk on KCTC/1320, but did not indicate that this had anything to do Jennifer Strange tragedy.

Finally, it was another rough week for Ed Schultz, as he got into an on-air argument with fellow Jones talker Stephanie Miller. Apparently, Mama cracked a joke at Ed’s expense and Ed didn’t like it so he unloaded on Stephanie on his show last Wednesday. The issue started a thread on Air America Place, which now has over 100 posts.

Despite his problems with liberal bloggers, and stations that are canceling lib talk, the Ed Schultz Show now reaches over 3 million listeners each week (according to sometimes unreliable Talkers Magazine). If this is true, Schultz would be the first liberal talker (in the post AAR era) to reach this threshold.

Congrats big Eddie. Now just lighten up a bit.

4 comments:

Emacee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emacee said...

> If this is true, Schultz would be
> the first liberal talker (in the
> post AAR era) to reach this
> threshold.

Hey Baroosk, Did I miss something here? Has ANY liberal talker - ever - reached three-million on Talkers' "estimates before?" Pre-AAR, Concurrent with AAR or Post-AAR?
The latest "estimates" based on last fall's books but Colmes, Franken, Miller and Rhodes all in the 1.25 - 1.50 million range.
Also in the three million plus category is for i.e. America host Doug Stephan.
However, the fact that Bill Bennett also gets three mil calls Talker's whole exercise into question. Maybe Salem has been buying lots of ads.

Nice summary. Something to be said for taking a longer view of what's happening.

Roseanne was "interesting?" Sounds like a pulled punch, or damning with faint praise. It also sounds like some people think you drag somebody in from TV Land with no radio experience and they can do talk radio right out of the box.
ff/rev

Anonymous said...

Baroosk,

What do you mean by "post AAR era?" AAR is still in business.

barooosk said...

I am referring to the era since AAR launched on March 31, 2004. I can't say for sure that no liberal talk show host didn't reach 3 million listeners prior to that time. For example L.A. talker Michael Jackson was syndicated in the 1980's are was, at one point carried by over 100 stations.