Monday, October 25, 2004

Deal is sealed on liberal talk radio

Here's a good article about Air America Radio, written particularly about their newest affiliate, KPTK in Seattle. Also some good background about the network in general. You can see the whole article by clicking the headline above. Here are a few snippets:

Air America has taken this long to establish a foothold in Seattle, Sinton said, because the network wanted to hit the nation's largest markets first, and Seattle ranks in the next tier down. He asserted, however, that Seattle is a "natural fit" for Air America, which is hustling to reach a critical mass for national advertising as quickly as possible. Also, he said, no Seattle stations earlier were clamoring to land the liberal network.

"The top 10 markets are really critical, but that's not to say if someone had raised their hand in Seattle and said we've got to have you, we wouldn't have been on the air in Seattle," Sinton said.
Air America has been able to expand quickly because it does not pay stations an upfront fee, and instead shares advertising revenue. In contrast with the Air America model, radio stations often take the spendier route of paying a national network for syndicated programming -- such as the Rush Limbaugh show -- and then augmenting that with their own, locally produced shows.


John Hart, president and owner of Nashville, Tenn.-based Bullseye Marketing Research Inc., said the Northwest is an obvious fit for Air America.

"In the South, they'd be dead in the water," Hart said. "But in the Northwest, I'd be concerned they would draw some numbers if they were moving in across the street from me."
Ramsey said Air America is likely to make it in markets with what he calls successful "John Mayer stations," (in reference to the mellow rock singer) such as Seattle's KMTT-FM.

"The stations have similar granola ethos and attract the liberal-minded upscale sensibility," Ramsey said.


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