Updated in bold face italic on September 28, 3:15 pm pdt
For over a month rumors have swirled around the beaches and mountain foothills in San Diego that the three year reign of liberal talk radio, on KLSD/1360, will soon be coming to end.
While other blogs have confirmed that KLSD will be dropping its lib talk format, (see here and here) we have avoided making this call, hoping that the station's owner, Clear Channel, would be influenced by the overwhelming display of popular support and preserve the station’s format.
In the past month there have been two well attended rally’s at CC's San Diego office and studios, the station has encouraged listeners to send supportive emails, an on-line petition has attracted over 3,000 signatures, and potential advertisers have come forward.
At one point it started looking like KLSD had manufactured the format switch story as a promotional gimmick to hike ratings and find advertisers.
However, we are now of the opinion that KLSD will be changing formats (probably to sports) in the middle of October.
We attribute this to "off the record" comments that we have received from reliable sources associated with KLSD, statements by CC’s San Diego Programming Director, Cliff Albert, and CC’s bid to take the company private.
One source told us that the switch to sports is "done deal." Another said, "you can put a fork in KLSD, it’s finished." Both sources declined to be mentioned by name.
The San Diego Union Tribune reported on Sept. 28 while there was "still no decision on whether Clear Channel will flip KLSD-AM (1360) to an all-sports format, every rumor mill in town says it will happen beginning Oct. 15."
On Monday morning, Albert appeared on the Stacy Taylor Show, the only locally produced talk show on KLSD. Three weekend shows have been dropped over the past few months. The latest firing involved popular local talker Scot Tempesta (AKA Scooter) who was also Taylor’s co-host.
Albert told the station's listeners that "no decision has been made about KLSD", but that he expected one would be made within the next week.
Then Albert started using the familiar CC argument against lib talk.
"Traditional radio advertisers, like real estate and financial management companies, are run by conservatives so they don’t want advertise on progressive talk," Albert said.
He went on to say that several formats have been discussed and even if CC goes in different direction, he has a plan to keep the format alive in the market. (Is Albert talking about HD radio or WI FI?)
Donna Halpert, a broadcast consultant from Boston, posted the following comment about the current trend to drop lib talk in several markets around the country on a Yahoo Message Group started by lib talk supports in San Diego.
"CC is dumping the format in city after city, using the same talking points yet refusing togive the progressive format a chance to succeed," Halpert blogged. "Why is progresive talk relegated to stations with poor signals and no promotion, where owners feel free to dump it at a moment's notice, no matter how many eager fans listen to it?"
If CC dumps lib talk in San Diego, this would be a serious blow to the format. KLSD has three times as many listeners as the largest station to flip lib in the past year –WSAI in Cincinnati. Also this would break the chain of lib talk stations on the West Coast from Mexico to Canada. (Currently you can drive from border to border on Interstate 5 and always stay tuned to a lib talk station.)
But most importantly, if CC goes ahead and flips KLSD from lib talk to sports, there will be a massive protest directed against the San Antonio based company by a very organized and angry group of listeners.
By deciding to let this situation linger for several weeks, CC has allowed lib talk fans in San Diego to express their opposition to the programming change and to organize.
With the exception of WXXM in Madison (where an announced flip was stopped) CC usually doesn’t back down when they announce their intention to make a programming change. Now, that the huge radio station owner has successfully converted from a publicly to a privately owned company, they are even more likely to turn a deaf ear to the angry listeners and just do what they want to do.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Updated in bold face italic on September 28, 3:15 pm pdt
Monday, September 24, 2007
With over 90% of the political talk stations spewing right-wing opinions, it is not surprising that the talkers on these stations often have an impact on influencing public policy and news events.
In 1994 when the Republicans won a landslide victory in the U.S. Congress, taking over both the House of Representatives and the Senate for the first time in over 40 years, much of the credit for this feat was attributed to conservative talk radio. In fact, at a victory dinner after the historic election, the new Speaker of the House, Newt Ginrich, made Rush Limbaugh an honorary member of the House of Representatives in recognition of Limbaugh’s contribution to the Republican victory.
Over the past decade there have been several other examples of how conservative talk radio influenced political events. Like in 2003 when local right wing talkers in California led a successful campaign to recall Democratic Governor Gray Davis and more recently when non-stop immigrant bashing resulted in the defeat of bi-partisan immigration reform legislation.
Even Republican politicians were outraged by this move. Usually conservative Senator Trent Lott (R-MS) complained that "talk radio is running America and we have to deal with that.
Well, it happened again last week, but this time it wasn’t conservative talk radio, but rather black (AKA Urban) talk radio that influenced a political event.
It is generally agreed that talk radio and internet blogs were responsible for the huge turnout in Jena, La to support the so-called Jena 6. More than 10,000 people showed up in Jena to protest the alleged double standard employed by a District Attorney who charged six black students with attempted murder for school yard fight that sent a white student to the hospital. On the other hand law enforcement and school officials were lenient when white students hung nooses from a tree at the high school and when another white student confronted a group of black students with rifle.
Black talk radio hosts such as Tom Joyner, Steve Harvey, and Michael Baisden played a key role in the cause of Jena 6 and in generating the turn-out at the associated protest action.
The Washington Post attributed the success of the Jena protest to these hosts.
Yesterday morning, as the throng descended on Jena, both the Joyner and Harvey shows featured live updates from the scene. Baisden and Sharpton were in Jena, helping lead the demonstrations. It's fair to say that without black radio, the case of the Jena 6 probably never would have become a significant national story -- and certainly never would have sparked one of the biggest civil rights protests in decades.
The Orlando Sentinel credited talk radio and the internet not black leaders and the mainstream media.
Those standing in line Wednesday to board a bus from Orlando to Jena, La., heard about the racially charged arrests of six black high-school students called the "Jena 6" from the Internet and talk radio -- not civil-rights leaders or the mass media.
We are not surprised by the powerful role of urban radio in general and black talk radio in particular. While general market radio has shown no growth over the past ten years, urban radio has grown by 23% over this period.
Some black leaders have got the message. Jesse Jackson has hosted a weekly talk show syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks for the past three years. Jackson's show is carried on over three dozen stations. Also, about a year ago Al Sharpton threw his hat in the talk radio ring, with a daily show syndicated by Syndication One, which is now carried on over two dozen stations.
Posted by barooosk at 2:04 PM
Friday, September 21, 2007
Updated, Sept. 21 at 2:20 PM pdt
Two bloggers, who follow the talk radio business, have flipped, flopped, and then flipped again as they’ve attempted to determine the fate of Bill O’Reilly’s daily radio show.
The story broke two days ago when Steve Young, who blogs on the liberal Huffington Post, claimed that O’Reilly’s show, which is syndicated nationally to hundreds of radio stations by Westwood One would soon be cancelled.
Posted by barooosk at 2:20 PM
If the New York Times, the Associated Press, and hundreds of other media outlets around the world are going to pick up this story, we certainly aren’t going to ignore it.
By now you’ve probably heard about Cenk Uygur’s (pronounced Jenk YOO-gurr) $65 million law suit against comedian Stephen Colbert.
Uygur is the host of a lightly distributed morning show on the Air America Radio Network called the Young Turks. The show should be called the "Young Turk", because over the past few months the two other "Turks" have left – Ben Mankiewicz to pursue a hosting assignment on the AMC cable channel and Jill Pike, who realized that she was just too good looking for a career in radio.
Uygur, who has been doing the show solo for past few weeks, probably got bored and thought of doing something outrageous. So he decided to sue Colbert, who hosts the popular Colbert Report on Comedy Central, for allegedly stealing one of his jokes. Here’s how Uygur described the caper in a press release on Wednesday.
Cenk Uygur, host of Air America’s morning show "The Young Turks" is suing Stephen Colbert of "The Colbert Report" for $65 million. Mr. Uygur charges that Mr. Colbert has stolen his jokes on many occasions, but he can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that his "Klingon joke" of September 7th was directly pilfered by Mr. Colbert and recycled on his September 11th program on Comedy Central. Mr. Uygur is considering adding Comedy Central, MTV Networks, Viacom, Bus Boy Productions, the head of Bus Boy Productions, Jon Stewart, to his lawsuit. Anyone and everyone related to stealing the aforementioned joke should "lawyer up" according to Mr. Uygur.
Uygur also posted a video containing the joke, which was first told by him on the Young Turks radio show and later performed by Colbert on his TV show.
Posted by barooosk at 2:13 AM
Monday, September 17, 2007
Since Citadel took over ABC Radio Networks earlier this year, the once dominant syndication operation has cancelled about half of their news/talk radio shows and now it appears they have bailed out of the satellite radio business.
According to an article in Media Week, ABC has left its initiative in women’s programming (The Satellite Sisters) "to wane" now that they are under new management.
"You didn’t have to be a weather girl to see which way the wind was blowing," said Liz Dolan, one of "Sisters." Dolan noted that ABC, under Citadel, recently signed Bob Grant and is reportedly wooing Don Imus.
Posted by barooosk at 4:42 PM
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Why anyone would pick a fight with Ed Schultz is beyond me.
I’m guessing Schultz is about 6’3” and weighs about 240 lbs. He’s a former collegiate and professional football player and a self-identified hothead.
Also, expecting big Eddy to remain calm after calling his lovely wife Wendy, a “c--t” is like expecting a lion to purr after pulling its tail.
That’s apparently what happened in Fargo area dinner spot last weekend. For those of you who haven’t heard about the “barroom brawl” (which was more like a tempest in teapot) here’s an account of the incident that appeared in the Fargo Forum on September 5:
Local and national radio talk show host Ed Schultz spent 45 minutes of his local show this morning defending his actions in a weekend altercation at Hotel Shoreham along Lake Sallie near Detroit Lakes, Minn. Schultz said a man approached him inside the hotel bar and wanted to talk about their differing political views and the war in Iraq.
Schultz, who was with his wife, Wendy, said the man (Kevin Nagle, a businessman and Republican party donor from California) and a woman with him would not end the conversation despite Schultz’s attempts to do so. He said everyone involved had been drinking.
Schultz said the woman with the man also addressed his wife with profanity. “If someone comes up to you in public and calls your wife (references to expletives), what are you going to do?”
Apparently Schultz made reference to incident on nationally syndicated talk show on Wednesday morning and the Forum picked up the story later that day.
Sounds like it wasn’t much of fight. So why do so many right-wingnuts have their panties in a wad?
Here’s what the Brian Maloney the Radio Equalizer had to say:
The fight “ought to give the team of national Democrat Party leaders and syndication suits who initially backed his show pause.”
(I think the Dems are probably chuckling over this episode.)
Captain Ed seems to think that Ed's political philosophy made the "fight" happen.
It's always amusing to see the violence inherent in the anti-war Left. When was the last time a conservative radio host got into a barfight? Do you suppose Rush Limbaugh, Hugh Hewitt, Dennis Prager, or Michael Medved would take a swing at someone in a bar over a political disagreement?
(Not likely to happen since Limbaugh only goes to restaurants that serve $100 steaks and Hewitt, Prager, and Medved would probably not be recognized.)
Meanwhile, this weekend Jack Zaleski, a columnist for the Fargo Forum, who claims to be "no friend of Schultz" wrote the following in column under the headline “In Bar Tiff, Talk Show Host was Right”
While there are at least two versions of what transpired, the evidence suggests that a bar patron from California apparently believed it was open season on Schultz and his wife because Ed is a “progressive” (read, liberal), anti-President Bush talk show host.
Posted by barooosk at 10:45 PM