Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Ratings Roundup: The Fall '04 Phase 1 trend reports

®R&R - Radio & Records.

(Note: These are overall trend reports, courtesy of Arbitron. They are based on all listeners, ages 12 and up, and are not official Arbitron ratings period numbers. But they do give somewhat of a glance as far as upward or downward movement. So far, liberal talkers seem to be on the rise in several markets.

New York - WLIB climbs slightly to a 1.5 overall.
Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood - WINZ makes a nice jump, from 0.7 to 1.0. Not bad so far.
San Diego - KLSD continues its rise, going from a 2.6 to 2.7.
Nassau-Suffolk - New York's WLIB inches to a 1.2 from 1.1 on Long Island.
Denver-Boulder - KKZN is doing well in its first few months, going from 0.5 as a sports station to 0.9 after a month with liberal talk. Now they sit at 1.2.
Columbus - New talker WTPG moves 0.1 to a 1.0 in its first partial report since changing formats.
Middlesex-Somerset-Union, NJ - WLIB holds steady at 0.4 in Northern New Jersey.

Keep in mind, this is only a partial report, and doesn't take into account brand new stations that haven't been surveyed with the new format yet, such as Boston and San Francisco/San Jose. Atlanta's WWAA just moved in closer to its market, allowing better reception there. In Minneapolis, Straight Talk Radio recently switched stations, so the ratings for all involved are a bit fuzzy. In Phoenix, KXXT is a new sign-on, and is saddled by a somewhat weak citywide signal in a market with many talk stations and not many people listening to them. Phoenix is not a big talk radio market. In markets like Philadelphia, Honolulu, West Palm Beach and Riverside/San Bernadino, stations there only carry a few AAR shows, so it's difficult to judge based on an overall rating covering all dayparts.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

New AAR affiliate: KTRC 1260 AM in Santa Fe, NM

KTRCConservative Republicans might control the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court, but the right-wing dominance of a local talk-radio station is about to end as the unabashedly liberal Air America network readies to start broadcasting at KTRC 1260 AM in Santa Fe.

"Santa Fe is a natural for us," said Jon Sinton, president of Air America, in a telephone interview Monday. "We're very excited."Air America, which broadcasts on more than 40 stations and two satellite networks, features shows hosted by left-of-center entertainers such as comedians Al Franken and Janeane Garofalo, rapper Chuck D and country singer Steve Earle as well as liberal commentators such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Mike Malloy and Randi Rhodes.

The network was supposed to begin airing on KTRC on Monday, but technical difficulties with satellite equipment delayed the debut until today or Wednesday, Sinton said.KTRC, which is owned by the AGM radio group, for years broadcast left-leaning programs from the I.E. America Network, which was affiliated with the United Auto Workers union.

However, I.E. America shut down early this year. KTRC kept one of the old I.E. America shows, The Thom Hartmann Radio Program, but added ultra-conservative talk shows such as Worldnet Daily Radio Active.

Last spring, a Texas radio company announced that it would bring Air America to Santa Fe. However, those plans fell through. "I don't know what happened to those guys," Sinton said.


Monday, November 15, 2004

Election draws national attention to Lynn Cullen

WPTT-AM (1360) talk host Lynn Cullen's liberal philosophy has set her apart from the pack in the largely conservative world of talk radio. So in a way it's ironic that the presidential election ended up putting her show in the national and international spotlight.

Last month she was featured in a CNN International Report, along with KDKA-AM's (1020) Mike Pintek, on opposing talk host viewpoints in battleground states. Then C-Span simulcast her program a week before the elections and ended up repeating the broadcast.

The TV exposure generated more than 3,000 e-mails. "I'm still digging out," says Cullen, who still has about 1,600 left to read. Combine that with the station's presence on the Internet -- its talk shows are streamed live -- and you have something akin to electronic syndication.

Syndication in some other form may not be far behind, the host says.

"That's a possibility. There's an audience."


Cullen would be happy to go national -- as long as she can do it from Pittsburgh. "I want to stay here. I'm not going to pick up and do this somewhere else. I had opportunities to leave. It's not who I am. I'm not nomadic. My son's life is here. My life is here."


Thursday, November 11, 2004

"Fahrenheit 9/11½."

Michael Moore met with Harvey Weinstein and Moore says they plan to start working -- now -- on "Fahrenheit 9/11½."

"We want to get cameras rolling now and have it ready in two-three years," Moore says. "We want to document and commercialize it. Fifty-one percent of the American people lacked information (in this election) and we want to educate and enlighten them. They weren't told the truth. We're communicators and it's up to us to start doing it now. The official mourning period is over today and there is a silver lining -- George W. Bush is prohibited by law from running again."

And as for those who claim that Hollywood was an albatross on the Democrats' neck, Moore says, "America loves Hollywood. When given a chance to vote for someone from Hollywood, they jump in." He cited the history of successful Republican actor-politicians from George Murphy to Ronnie Reagan to Arnold. "Who is the Democrats' Arnold? We have a number of them. What American wouldn't vote for Tom Hanks? Hollywood is full of people like that." When I asked what actor would trade a $20 million salary and a percentage of the gross, he countered with "Let's pay the actor-politicians a presidential salary of $20 million -- plus a percentage of the GNP."

He says "Hollywood gets a chance for one more vote this year": Moore and Harvey are going ahead on the Oscar campaign for "Fahrenheit 9/11" in best picture and other applicable categories. Harvey told him, "Let's do it. And I said 'whatever Harvey wants, I'm ready.'" He isn't bothered by the absence of suitable category for a Golden Globe nomination --" We're not a musical, comedy or dramatic feature." He laughingly admits, "I don't know if people want to see me on the stage of the Kodak again. However, since my wife (Kathleen) was the producer, if I win -- she speaks!". Thousands of the "Fahrenheit" DVDs have been donated to libraries and schools. He gave them away on his trek through 63 cities in the past month -- they included stops in Ohio and Florida.

The issues (for the next film) have not changed because of the election. "They are Iraq and terrorism." He says he continues to get mail from the armed forces telling of their disappointments." I asked about his hate mail? "There's very little. It's dropped down to a few drive-by gloaters." And yes, he'll continue preparing his other film, "Sicko," on the national health care industry.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Air America comes to Eugene

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Liberal-leaning Air America radio is coming to the Eugene-Springfield area.

(KOPT 1450 AM is the Air America affiliate. A sister station is picking up a Spanish language format.)

And both stations should find a niche in a well-known liberal stronghold where 59 percent of the population voted for John Kerry. The region has also seen an influx of immigrants in the past decade or so.

The Eugene area already has two stations that broadcast conservative talk show programs, which was just what KOPT station manager Phil Polter is counting on.

"We figured if two radio stations were servicing the 41 percent of conservatives, who is going to service the 59 percent?" Polter said. "Well, here we are."

KOPT will have a strong signal in Eugene-Springfield and much of the surrounding area.

Both stations are licensed to McKenzie River Broadcasting Company. No word on whether the entire lineup will be carried, or if any other shows will be on the station. The new format on 1450 will begin Wednesday morning.

KOPT broadcasts with 1,000 watts of power day and night. Here is the estimated signal coverage area:


Friday, November 05, 2004

17 Reasons Not to Slit Your Wrists...by Michael Moore

Friday, November 5th, 2004

Dear Friends,

Ok, it sucks. Really sucks. But before you go and cash it all in, let's, in the words of Monty Python, “always look on the bright side of life!” There IS some good news from Tuesday's election.

Here are 17 reasons not to slit your wrists:

1. It is against the law for George W. Bush to run for president again.

2. Bush's victory was the NARROWEST win for a sitting president since Woodrow Wilson in 1916.

3. The only age group in which the majority voted for Kerry was young adults (Kerry: 54%, Bush: 44%), proving once again that your parents are always wrong and you should never listen to them.

4. In spite of Bush's win, the majority of the Americans still think the country is headed in the wrong direction (56%), think the war wasn't worth fighting (51%), and don’t approve of the job George W. Bush is doing (52%). (Note to foreigners: Don't try to figure this one out. It's an American thing, like Pop Tarts.)

5. The Republicans will not have a filibuster-proof 60-seat majority in the Senate. If the Democrats do their job, Bush won't be able to pack the Supreme Court with right-wing ideologues. Did I say "if the Democrats do their job?" Um, maybe better to scratch this one.

6. Michigan voted for Kerry! So did the entire Northeast, the birthplace of our democracy. So did 6 of the 8 Great Lakes States. And the whole West Coast! Plus Hawaii. Ok, that's a start. We've got most of the fresh water, all of Broadway, and Mt. St. Helens. We can dehydrate them or bury them in lava. And no more show tunes!

7. Once again we are reminded that the buckeye is a nut, and not just any old nut -- a poisonous nut. A great nation was felled by a poisonous nut. May Ohio State pay dearly this Saturday when it faces Michigan.

8. 88% of Bush's support came from white voters. In 50 years, America will no longer have a white majority. Hey, 50 years isn't such a long time! If you're ten years old and reading this, your golden years will be truly golden and you will be well cared for in your old age.

9. Gays, thanks to the ballot measures passed on Tuesday, cannot get married in 11 new states. Thank God. Just think of all those wedding gifts we won't have to buy now.

10. Five more African Americans were elected as members of Congress, including the return of Cynthia McKinney of Georgia. It's always good to have more blacks in there fighting for us and doing the job our candidates can't.

11. The CEO of Coors was defeated for Senate in Colorado. Drink up!

12. Admit it: We like the Bush twins and we don't want them to go away.

13. At the state legislative level, Democrats picked up a net of at least 3 chambers in Tuesday's elections. Of the 98 partisan-controlled state legislative chambers (house/assembly and senate), Democrats went into the 2004 elections in control of 44 chambers, Republicans controlled 53 chambers, and 1 chamber was tied. After Tuesday, Democrats now control 47 chambers, Republicans control 49 chambers, 1 chamber is tied and 1 chamber (Montana House) is still undecided.

14. Bush is now a lame duck president. He will have no greater moment than the one he's having this week. It's all downhill for him from here on out -- and, more significantly, he's just not going to want to do all the hard work that will be expected of him. It'll be like everyone's last month in 12th grade -- you've already made it, so it's party time! Perhaps he'll treat the next four years like a permanent Friday, spending even more time at the ranch or in Kennebunkport. And why shouldn't he? He's already proved his point, avenged his father and kicked our ass.

15. Should Bush decide to show up to work and take this country down a very dark road, it is also just as likely that either of the following two scenarios will happen: a) Now that he doesn't ever need to pander to the Christian conservatives again to get elected, someone may whisper in his ear that he should spend these last four years building "a legacy" so that history will render a kinder verdict on him and thus he will not push for too aggressive a right-wing agenda; or b) He will become so cocky and arrogant -- and thus, reckless -- that he will commit a blunder of such major proportions that even his own party will have to remove him from office.

16. There are nearly 300 million Americans -- 200 million of them of voting age. We only lost by three and a half million! That's not a landslide -- it means we're almost there. Imagine losing by 20 million. If you had 58 yards to go before you reached the goal line and then you barreled down 55 of those yards, would you stop on the three yard line, pick up the ball and go home crying -- especially when you get to start the next down on the three yard line? Of course not! Buck up! Have hope! More sports analogies are coming!!!

17. Finally and most importantly, over 55 million Americans voted for the candidate dubbed "The #1 Liberal in the Senate." That's more than the total number of voters who voted for either Reagan, Bush I, Clinton or Gore. Again, more people voted for Kerry than Reagan. If the media are looking for a trend it should be this -- that so many Americans were, for the first time since Kennedy, willing to vote for an out-and-out liberal. The country has always been filled with evangelicals -- that is not news. What IS news is that so many people have shifted toward a Massachusetts liberal. In fact, that's BIG news. Which means, don't expect the mainstream media, the ones who brought you the Iraq War, to ever report the real truth about November 2, 2004. In fact, it's better that they don't. We'll need the element of surprise in 2008.
Feeling better? I hope so. As my friend Mort wrote me yesterday, "My Romanian grandfather used to say to me, 'Remember, Morton, this is such a wonderful country -- it doesn't even need a president!'"

But it needs us. Rest up, I'll write you again tomorrow.


Michael Moore

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

A picture is worth a thousand words

Monday, November 01, 2004

WAVZ-AM (New Haven, CT) leaves ‘The Zone,’ switches to liberal talk format

Officials at Clear Channel Communications announced over the weekend that the New Haven-Hamden station would be changing from Fox Sports Radio to "The Voice" progressive talk radio.

The liberal talk format, which contrasts with sister station WELI’s conservative format, will begin today, said Jerry Kristafer of Clear Channel.

WAVZ, a popular-music station in the 1960s and ’70s, eventually came under the Clear Channel chain and switched to formats such as nostalgic music and, more recently, Fox Sports Radio ("The Zone").

That format couldn’t draw enough listeners away from New York’s WFAN and Hartford’s ESPN Radio (1410).

"I talked about doing this back in February, and corporate folks talked about it," said Kristafer. "I think it’s the right thing to do myself."

Music listeners have migrated in the past 25 years to FM radio, including Clear Channel’s WKCI.

WELI is a 5,000-watt station based at Hamden’s Radio Towers Park. WAVZ, soon expected to be granted new call letters, is a 1,000-watt station.

The station will run shows from the syndicated liberal network Air America including "Morning Sedition" from 6 to 9 a.m. and Al Franken’s noon to 3 p.m. show, in addition to Jones Broadcasting’s show with Ed Schultz in the afternoon, and WABC-AM veteran "Lionel" hosting at 10 p.m.

Sunday mornings will feature the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s program "Keep Hope Alive!" No local programs were announced for the retooled station.

Here's some info about WAVZ and their signal. And the website's already up and can be found here.

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