Monday, May 07, 2007

Clear Channel's Ohio Trifecta Revisited

Like all blogs, Talking Radio provides readers with the opportunity to post comments on the stories that we cover. (See below.) However, occasionally these comments wind up somewhere else and the only way we find them is by searching the blogosphere.

This is what happened when we posted a story two months ago about Clear Channel, and its Cincinnati Operations Manager Darryl Parks' decision to cancel liberal talk radio in Ohio. In the story, we questioned CC’s decision to drop lib talk in three Ohio markets – WSAI/1360 in Cincinnati, WTPG/1230 in Columbus and WARF/1350 in Akron -- and the motives of CC in general and Parks in particular. Here's what we said:

Is it possible that a broadcasting company that gives more money to the GOP than any other broadcasting company (about 95% of CC’s political donations go to Republican candidates) is trying to influence future elections in the important swing state of Ohio. They use to say, "as Ohio goes, so goes the nation." This was definitely the case in 2006. Democrats swept all the key statewide races and went on to big a national victory.

CC’s Cincinnati Operation Manager, Darryl Parks, told the Cincinnati Post in December that lib talk needed to be dropped in the Queen City because it was "agenda driven."

"It was a format that was set up not to entertain, but it seemed set up to get people elected, for a lack of a better way to put it," Parks said. " "There were some good (liberal) shows, but they need to start looking to more broad-based subjects than just harping on politics."

Now that there are no lib talk stations in Ohio, Parks is probably less worried about losing elections.

Well, a few days ago we came across an item posted by Parks on his blog, which challenged our conclusion.

Here’s what CC’s Cincinnati Operations Manager had to say in his defense:

If you read the liberal blog-o-sphere, you know I single handedly killed off "progressive" talk radio and Air America Radio in North America. Believe me, I'm not that powerful. If the radio sucks, the program will be on a suicide mission all by itself. Well, check out this article that was written on March 28, 2007, months after I finally went on the mission of mercy and pulled the plug on the "progressive talk" station in Cincinnati, after giving it almost two years to work. They just can't stop blaming me.

Okay, Darryl, I won’t blame you for moving lib talk from WCKY to much weaker WSAI in July, 2006. I also won’t blame you for changing the format to something called "The Source", which resulted in WSAI plunging from 1.0 share in the Fall Arbitron survey to 0.0 share in Winter 07 .

However, I will hold you responsible for making the above referenced comments to the Cincinnati Post and for the closing comment that you made on your blog entry where you attacked our post on “Clear Channel's Ohio Trifecta.”

I continue to enjoy being the Grim Reaper to "progressive" talk radio.

As your friend Bill O'Reilly would say, you get the last word.

1 comment:

Emacee said...

Don't forget, this guy also oversees Clear Channel's Madison, WI cluster (among others) and tried to kill progressive talk there, too.
The local cluster manager showed himself adept at corporate politics and out-maneuvered Parks but giving the audience a month and a half notice. Unfortunately, Clear Channel managers who hate the idea of libtalk won't let that happen again.
Apparently, Clear Channel gives local and regional managers a good deal of latitude in programming.
Parks has been out to sabotage progressive talk from the beginning.
Conservatives seem to have an affinity for radio - both a listeners and as workers. The biz at the local level is filled with authoritarians in management, sales and programming and feel themselves obliged to use radio as a vehicle for their own right-wing Gospel.