Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Clear Channel Planning More Liberal Talk Launches

Clear Channel Radio president/CEO John Hogan says he plans to continue building a roster of liberal-talk formatted stations “in new markets over the course of the year.” And Clear Channel VP/programming, news/talk/sports Gabe Hobbs tells Billboard Radio Monitor that changes are “probable” in West Palm Beach and Tampa, Fla. (WJNO in West Palm Beach currently airs Ed Schultz and has been airing Randi Rhodes for years. WHNZ is merely adding Don Imus, but does not plan a flip from business news to liberal talk.).


Hobbs sees liberal talk as a “viable third format” in the talk category that CC can use in many markets. “We have markets where we own two or three AMs, in some cases four. Well, after traditional talk and sports, then you just about run out of formats,” he said.


Hobbs also singled out WOR’s Lionel as “one of the best” personalities for a liberal talk format, and an “excellent host.” He told Monitor that Lionel fits well with other leading syndicated talkers, such as Jerry Springer, Ed Schultz, Phil Hendrie, Randi Rhodes and Al Franken.

Hobbs wouldn’t comment on a rumored flip in Los Angeles, other than to say, “progressive is an option, but so is sports.”


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