Thursday, January 27, 2005

Coming to your local bookstore soon...

In publishing, where imitation is one way to climb the best-seller list, the search is on for the next America (The Book) — or at least something like it.

Currently in the works:

• Rodale Books plans a September release of New Rules by Bill Maher, based on the segment of his HBO show, Real Time, and filled with sarcastic observations on politics and culture.

• HarperCollins signed a deal this week with two comedians from liberal radio network Air America to take on President Bush, the religious right and the mainstream media. Working title: America (The Nightmare), to be published in the fall.

Sam Seder, co-host of Air America's The Majority Report, and Stephen Sherrill, the show's producer, are the authors of the book.

• Franken, who took on conservative media in his 2003 best seller, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, is writing a satire aimed at the right. Yet untitled, it's to be published in the fall.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Memphis to get Air America affiliate

Jerry Springer is not coming to Memphis radio -- at least not yet -- but Al Franken is. Franken, the former Saturday Night Live comedian who made a splash last year with his book about Fox News, will be featured on a new AM format starting Friday.

Entercom Memphis will change the call letters of radio station WJCE-680AM on Friday, and will launch a liberal talk radio format under the name Progressive Talk 680 WWTQ-AM, broadcasting the Air America Radio network.

Operations manager Jerry Dean says the station will go with the Air America format for the first few months, but hopes to add a live morning show thereafter. The station has not decided who will host that show, Dean says.

The station's new format will offer current political topics, social activists, occasional comical twists and "a creative approach to liberal talk by the best artists available," he says. It also will offer local news, weather and traffic.

(It should be noted that this is the second Entercom-owned station to flip to liberal talk. Entercom also owns WROC-AM in Rochester, NY.)

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Franken Close To TV Deal With Sundance

Al Franken is reportedly close to inking a deal with The Sundance Channel that would give the Air America talk show host his own show on the cable TV network. According to US News & World Report, Franken’s noon – 3 p.m. radio show would be filmed, edited and “snazzed up” to air on Sundance in an abbreviated version that night.

“It’s sort of halfway in between what [Don] Imus does, which is literally a live show on MSNBC, and what [Howard] Stern does” on E! Entertainment Television, Franken said.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Farewell, Johnny.


Without the influence and genius of Johnny Carson, TV and radio would be much different.

Thanks for the laughs.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Okay, so now it looks like liberal talk is coming to Los Angeles

Now, if this is just a case of the boy crying 'wolf', well...

As first tipped by ALL ACCESS, liberal Talk is coming to LOS ANGELES as the last piece of the CLEAR CHANNEL AM format shuffle puzzle on FEBRUARY 3.

The 1150 AM frequency presently occupied by KXTA-A/LOS ANGELES, the northern half of the XTRA SPORTS 690 AND 1150 simulcast will pick up the standard CLEAR CHANNEL liberal talk lineup of AIR AMERICA RADIO and JONES/DEMOCRACY RADIO's ED SCHULTZ. LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS basketball will remain on the 1150 frequency.

And, as previously reported, the Sports format will join LAKERS basketball on KLAC-A's 570 AM frequency, while the Adult Standards format of KLAC will move to the 690 AM frequency (XETRA-A/ROSARITO-SAN DIEGO) at the same time.

UPDATE: According to Radio and Records, it looks like 1150 will pick up the call letters KTLK, and will be known as "K-Talk". The KTLK calls are currently on Clear Channel's liberal talker up the road in Santa Barbara. Look for the Santa Barbara station to pick up new call letters. This story is also being reported in today's LA Times (no link available).

(NOTE: Free subscription is required for the headline link)

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.”

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Springer: Talking a new game

The right end of Cincinnati's AM radio dial starts leaning to the left Monday.

The city's first liberal radio talk format debuts at 9 a.m. Monday with Jerry Springer's new serious talk show, "Springer on the Radio."

The Clear Channel station, which will revert to its original WCKY-AM (1530) call letters Monday, also gives its 50,000-watt voice to syndicated hosts comedian-author Al Franken, Ed Schultz and Randi Rhodes.


"Cincinnati is clearly ready for this. Talk radio now is all (conservatives) Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. It does not make sense to only have the same (conservative) point of view," says Springer, 60, who wants to syndicate his show nationally, starting with Detroit next month. He will continue to host his syndicated TV show from Chicago.

From this article, here is WCKY's new schedule:

5-6 AM: Wall Street Journal Report
6-9 AM: (debuts Tuesday): "Morning Sedition" with Mark Riley and Marc Maron
9 AM-N: "Springer on the Radio," with Jerry Springer, Jene Galvin and Megan Hils.
N-3 PM: Al Franken
3-6 PM: Ed Schultz
6-10 PM: Randi Rhodes
10 PM-M: Lionel
M-5 AM: Paid religious broadcasts on the half-hour.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

WXDX/Detroit to flip to Progressive Talk

Metro Detroiters are finally getting the "Progressive Talk" format, as Clear Channel's WXDX-AM (1310) will flip over on Monday and broadcast many of the liberal Air America's personalities, including Al Franken.

From 6-9 a.m. WXDX will run a local show, reportedly with Nancy Skinner, then Jerry Springer talks lefty politics (not dysfunctional strippers) from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.; Al Franken airs from 12 to 3 p.m.; Ed Schultz from 3-6 p.m.; Randi Rhodes from 6 to 10 p.m.; Mike Malloy from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.; and the Best of Air America goes all night.

Clear Channel has been converting several of its AM stations to "Progressive Talk," finding that the format pulls in a younger, more diverse audience than most talk radio.

Clear Channel flips three stations to Progressive Talk

Clear Channel is going heavy on liberal talk next week as the company flips stations in three larger markets to the format. Washington, DC and Cincinnati have already been announced, and now WXDX-AM (1310) in Detroit will join them.

Ed Schultz will air on all three AM s from 3 p m -6 p.m., followed by Air America’s Randi Rhodes from 6 p.m.-10 p.m. in Detroit and Cincinnati and in an abbreviated, two-hour version in D.C. Jerry Springer will air 9 a.m.-noon in Cincinnati and Detroit.

WWRC's lineup will include Don Imus from 6 a.m.-9 a.m. (which is simulcast on crosstown CC sister WTNT). Jones Radio’s Stephanie Miller airs 9 a.m.-noon, the Al Franken Show is on noon-3 p.m., and then Ed Schultz’s three-hour show airs until 6pm. Schultz is also distributed by Jones. Two hours of Rhodes' four-hour show will air from 6 p.m.-8 p.m., to be followed by Air America’s Majority Report until 10 p.m. Then, WOR’s Lionel Show will air from 10 p.m.-to-1 a.m. Overnights, from 1 a.m.-6 a.m., is a blend of “best of” Air America programming,

There’s an interesting irony to the format flip in D.C., where Clear Channel also owns WTNT, at 570 on the dial with a lineup that includes Don Imus, Laura Ingraham, G. Gordon Liddy, Glenn Beck and Michael Savage. With the dawn of Air America and Schultz slated for Monday (Jan. 17), “Right Wing” radio will be found on the left-end of the AM dial (at 570) with “Left Wing” radio up towards the right-end of the dial.

Friday, January 14, 2005

So... is 'Progressive Talk' finally coming to L.A.?

Okay, I know, I know. A few days ago, I wrote that I refused to print anything else about the Clear Channel L.A. situation until they actually got off the pot and did something. Looks like they will.

It's finally going to happen. Clear Channel is moving its XTRA/KXTA Superstation sports lineup to KLAC effective Feb.3. XTRA (690 AM) will inherit the big band music format currently on KLAC. It has yet to be announced what format will replace sports on KXTA (1150 AM), but the options being considered are Spanish-language talk and the fairly new Air America nationally syndicated talk package.

Clear Channel owns all three stations. The 690/1150 marriage always seemed like overkill, but ad sales techniques at radio stations are often built on the bounce, changing formats to spark new ways to sell ads.

There will be no change in talk show hosts with the switch, but UCLA games will also make the move to KLAC with the switch. Lakers radio broadcasts will stay on KLAC, and Clippers broadcasts on XTRA. Sources say Clear Channel execs hope the move will also position KLAC to make a grab for the rights to USC (KMPC 1540 AM) and Dodgers (KFWB 980 AM) broadcasts when their current contracts expire.

HBO to air documentary on Air America Radio

LEFT OF THE DIAL (March 31) captures the turmoil behind the rise and fall and rise of Air America, the first liberal talk-radio network. Almost nobody involved in the network had worked in radio before, and as a result, tempers were constantly flaring off (and occasionally on) the air. Fast-paced, humorous and dramatic, the film charts the intersection of individual hopes and beliefs with the harsh realities of launching a network. Featuring on-air personalities Al Franken, Janeane Garofalo, Chuck D, Randi Rhodes and Marc Maron, the documentary will premiere on the first anniversary of Air America's launch. Directed by Kate O'Callaghan and Patrick Farrelly.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Goodbye Limbaugh, hello Air America

BRATTLEBORO -- After years of airing conservative radio talk shows, program directors at a local AM station have decided to spin the dial towards the left.

Starting next week, listeners tuning into WKVT-AM 1490 will hear an all-new lineup of daytime programming taken from Air America Radio, a progressive talk network.

"This is basically going exactly from the right to the left," said Peter Case, the station's program director.

Ushered out the door will be the Rush Limbaugh Show, Bill O'Reilly's Radio Factor, the Howie Carr Show, the Clark Howard Show and the Lars Larson Show.

"We're in a liberal area and here you've got all these right wingers on the air," Case said about the shakeup. "It was just something we felt needed to be done."

In their places will be the Al Franken Show, the Ed Schultz Show, Unfiltered News with Rachel Maddow, the Majority Report with Janeane Garafalo and Sam Seider and the Randi Rhodes Show. Alan Colmes will round out the new lineup with a news-based program, Case said.

The station is owed by Saga, which also owns WHMQ, WHMP and WHNP in central Massachusetts, which also air AAR programming.

Here is the website:

And another article about WKVT:

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Galvin to be Springer's sidekick

Jerry Springer will have a sidekick when his local talk show debuts at 9 a.m. Monday on Cincinnati's new liberal talk radio station being launched by Clear Channel.

He is Gene Galvin, teacher, writer, longtime worker for the Democratic Party, former talk host on WDBZ-AM (1230) and a 35-year buddy of Springer's.


Starting Monday, what is now WSAI-AM (1530) will drop its oldies format picking up the frequency's historical call letters of WCKY-AM (The WSAI letters will go back to 1360, which is now known as the "Sports Animal/Homer").

The new liberal talker will be known as "1530 WCKY: The Revolution in Talk Radio."

The schedule so far:

6-9 Morning Sedition (likely)
9-12 Springer/Galvin
12-3 Al Franken
3-6 Ed Schultz
6-10 Randi Rhodes
10-1 Mike Malloy or Lionel (TBA)

Monday, January 10, 2005

North Dakota Talker Ed Schultz Is Set to Blanket Washington

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, January 10, 2005

The most widely carried liberal on radio is a "prairie-dwelling, red-meat-eating, gun-toting former conservative" who broadcasts from the unlikely locale of North Dakota.


"A year ago they were laughing at us," says Schultz, who debuts on Washington's WRC next week. "I knew I had the talent and could get the job done. I didn't believe what the industry was saying, that liberal talk radio couldn't make it."

Schultz, 50, has a long way to go before he approaches the influence of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly and others in the conservative-dominated medium. His tale of how his second wife helped lead him out of the darkness of right-wing belief is a bit too neat, and some recent fundraising for the Democratic Party raises questions about his independence. But Schultz is an overnight sensation with a red-state base and a regular-guy sense of humor, all of which have been lacking in the liberal world.

The show was developed with $1.8 million from Democracy Radio, a New York nonprofit run by Tom Athans, the husband of Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), with a board composed of three Clinton administration veterans. Another Democratic senator, North Dakota's Byron Dorgan, recommended Schultz to Democracy Radio. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) hosted a fundraiser about a year ago at her home for Democracy Radio and Schultz, which was attended by about 20 Democratic senators, including Hillary Rodham Clinton and Tom Daschle. Such lawmakers "feel the acute pain of having talk radio be mostly conservative," Athans says.


Talk Tidbits

* Cincinnati's WSAI (1530) will launch their new liberal talk format next Monday, January 17th. The call letters are rumored to be changing to WCKY. WWRC in Washington, DC will flip from FOX Sports to 'progressive talk' on Inauguration Day, January 20th. No word on another rumored flip, in Los Angeles. KXTA has been the subject of rabid speculation about flipping to talk, but Clear Channel is still dragging their heels. I'll believe that KXTA will flip to liberal talk when they actually do it, so there will be no more word on this until I hear actual substantial rumors.

* KABQ in Albuqueque, NM is doing very well in the Arbitron ratings so far. In the most recent trend report, they have risen from 1.1 to a 1.8. Sounds like another liberal talk success.

* Legendary Chicago AM talker WLS-AM (890) has released Jay Marvin, it's highest profile left-leaning host. "I was way too liberal for the station. It's become very right-wing," said Marvin. According to this article, he could land in Denver at KKZN-AM. Local talker Erin Hart is also rumored to be heading there.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Ed Schultz has record-breaking 2004

(NOTE: This is from a press release by Democracy Radio, syndicators of the Ed Shultz Show.)

WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- In his first year of national syndication, progressive talk show host Ed Schultz has broken Rush Limbaugh's record of 56 affiliates, by broadcasting on 70 stations -- including the XM and Sirius satellite networks -- from sea to shining sea.

Based in Fargo, North Dakota, The Ed Schultz Show is now heard in major markets including Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Detroit, San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Miami, Denver, and many others. The program will go live on WWRC in Washington, D.C. later this month.

Launched on January 5, 2004 in Needles, California and Langdon, North Dakota, The Ed Schultz Show was a new progressive alternative to right-wing radio and brought fairness and balance to the nation's airwaves.

Schultz was anointed "the 800-pound gorilla of this (progressive talk) format" by Clear Channel Vice President Gabe Hobbs.

"We're excited about the growth of the show," said Schultz. "Even more importantly, we have changed attitudes about the viability of progressive talk as we have created a new category in the radio industry. The key now is for us to deliver ratings and continue to be a viable entity in the market."

Ed Schultz spent the last sixteen years on local radio in Fargo, where he generated blockbuster ratings and a 20-share for local affiliate, KFGO. Not only did Ed have the highest-rated show on the station, but he twice won the prestigious Eric Sevareid Award.

Ed's first book, "Straight Talk from the Heartland" was published by ReganBooks in 2004.

Democracy Radio is the fastest-growing and biggest progressive radio network in the country syndicating the two hottest talkers in radio -- Ed Schultz and Stephanie Miller.

The network's C.E.O., Tom Athans, said, "Ed is a rare talent who has tremendous appeal to all Americans. Americans grew tired of the same right- wing malcontents who used to dominate the radio dial. Ed's success demonstrates the public's thirst for good, tough, progressive programming."

"Jones Media also deserves credit for its aggressive affiliate relations in helping us reach this remarkable milestone," Athans continued.

The Ed Schultz show can be heard live from 3pm-6pm ET on Ed's website, at

Democracy Radio
CONTACT: Todd Webster, +1-202-547-7700, for Democracy Radio

Monday, January 03, 2005

Spokane, WA gets progressive talk

KAQQ (1280) became the newest affiliate of Air America today, switching from adult standards. They are a Clear Channel-owned station with a lineup similar to other Clear Channel-owned progressive talkers:

6:00 am - 9:00 am Morning Sedition with Marc Maron and Mark Riley
9:00 am - Noon The Al Franken Show
Noon - 3:00 pm The Ed Shultz Show
3:00 pm - 7:00 pm The Randi Rhodes Show
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm Majority Report with Janeane Garafalo & Sam Seder
10:00 pm - Midnight Mike Malloy

KAQQ broadcasts with 5,000 watts during the day, and powers down to a mere 33 watts at night. You can find their website here.

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