Monday, December 06, 2004

The cat's out of the bag: Liberal talk coming to WSAI/Cincinnati

By John KiesewetterEnquirer staff writer

Air America coming to WSAI

Dusty Rhodes says he'll soon be dumped for Al Franken and Janeane Garofalo.
The Hamilton County auditor, who moonlights as morning DJ on WSAI-AM (1530), says Clear Channel will drop the oldies music to put on the liberal Air America talk lineup by year's end.

Rhodes, who helped bring the Beatles to Cincinnati Gardens as a WSAI disc jockey in 1964, anchors the '50s and '60s format that replaced Nick Clooney and big band music two years ago. The "Real Oldies" lineup has included local rock veterans Jack Stahl, Marty Thompson and Dan Allen.

Forty stations carry the Air America shows with Franken, Garofalo, rapper Chuck D., Lizz Winstead, Katherine Lanpher and Mike Malloy. Adding 50,000-watt WSAI-AM pains Rhodes. "As a Democrat elected in this county, I don't want my party to be seen as the Al Franken party," says Rhodes, who turns 65 Monday.

LTR Note: In addition to Cincinnati, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. are heavily rumored to be picking up Air America before the end of the year. This will bring the total number of affiliates for the network to 43, unless other stations in other markets follow suit.

Also, AAR will be on a pretty powerful frequency. WSAI booms out 50,000 watts on 1530 AM, a signal that on good nights can cover almost the whole midwest and into the south. Perhaps this is an experiment for Clear Channel, as a way of gauging interest in other markets. WSAI gets into neighboring markets such as Dayton, Indianapolis, Louisville and others.


ltr said...

Here's an article from today about the rumored flip:

• Sources at New York-based Air America, and in local radio circles, say the liberal radio network, with its star attraction political satirist and commentator Al Franken, will come to WSAI-AM (1530) sometime in January, replacing the "Real Oldies" format of '50s and '60s' top-40 hits.

Officials at Cincinnati Clear Channel and Air America would not comment on the expected move. It's believed that's because the actual deal has not yet been signed.

Dusty Rhodes, the WSAI morning host, feels it is a done deal, saying he has been told his services won't be needed next year. He, of course, still has his day job as Hamilton County Auditor.


There have been rumors for some time that local Clear Channel programmers were concerned about the low-rated WSAI, with an older demographic and declining ratings. Sources say there were thoughts of flipping WSAI's programming with Clear Channel sports station WCKY (Homer 1360). WSAI, at the 1530 dial position, has one of the area's strongest AM signals next to WLW.

  © Blogger template Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP