Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Chattanooga may be getting liberal talk

The city's oldest radio station, WDOD (1310 AM), may be changing formats soon - possibly moving to a liberal talk format.

Gary Downs, general manager, said it has become more difficult to sell advertising for the "nostalgia" music now played on the "Music Of Your Life" format.

He said station officials have been looking at other formats, but no changes have yet been implemented.

Mr. Downs said, "Right now we are playing Music of Your Life. I can't say that will be the case a month from now."

He said, "We are a business, and we need to be able to sell commercials and make a profit."

Monday, July 18, 2005

AAR to pick up New Orleans affiliate

There's lots of talk on Radio Info about WSMB (1350AM). They are listed on Air America's website. And while the station hasn't flipped yet, they will on Monday July 25th, as soon as they have the right satellite receiving equipment (they were originally going to flip today).

The station is owned by Entercom, which owns progressive talkers in Rochester, NY and Memphis, TN.

Friday, July 15, 2005

California's Central Coast gets another progressive talker

In an apparent coincidence, a Watsonville AM station and a Carmel Valley AM station both will convert to liberal talk radio formats next week, giving comedian/liberal commentator Al Franken two outlets to reach a new audience on the Central Coast.

Up first on Monday will be KOMY AM-1340, a sister station to the right-leaning KSCO in Santa Cruz.

Then, on Thursday, Spanish-language talk station KRXA AM-540 in Carmel Valley, further left on the dial, makes the switch under new ownership. That station was acquired Friday by Washington, D.C., lawyer Hal Ginsberg and Peter Collins, who will be hosting a talk show.

KOMY will feature six hours of programming from the liberal Air America broadcast network. The new lineup will include Franken, author of "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them" and "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations, commentator Randi Rhodes, Alan Colmes and Santa Cruz lawyer and Democratic Party activist Paul Sanford, who will be involved with programming from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. every day.


KRXA, formerly known as KXME, will include political comedian Stephanie Miller broadcasting live from Los Angeles; Ed Schultz, author of "Straight From the Heartland," and Collins, who has worked for talk show radio stations in San Francisco for almost 30 years, including KGO, KNBR, and KSFO.

"We're going to be presenting the antithesis to the right-wing rants that are generally on talk radio," said Ginsberg. At the same time, "it won't be a situation like NPR, where we have talking heads or pundits. We will definitely be challenging our guests."


Wednesday, July 13, 2005

KOMY/Santa Cruz picks up AAR

As of Monday morning, liberals can tune into talk radio stars Al Franken and Randi Rhodes on KOMY-AM 1340.

Currently a conservative sister station to KSCO-AM 1080, the dial numbers once known for agriculture news and big-band music, will soon broadcast the liberal Air America talk radio network.

The deal was finalized Tuesday, said Michael Zwerling, who owns both stations.
"People have been asking for it for years, and we’re going to give it to them, big time," Zwerling said.

Since Air America launched in March 2004, Zwerling said he’s been trying to broadcast the programming throughout the Monterey Bay Area. But network representatives wanted Zwerling to carry more of their programming than he bargained for, meaning he would have to cut some local news shows.

Zwerling wasn’t willing to make that move, and KOMY continued broadcasting conservative talk radio.

Finally, "We were able to convince them that six hours of prime time is plenty in Santa Cruz," Zwerling said. "We didn’t want to commit our whole station because we wanted to leave some space for locals."


Sunday, July 10, 2005

Petition gets liberal talk-radio in Baton Rouge

Al Franken and other liberal talk-radio hosts are coming to Baton Rouge's airwaves starting Tuesday, thanks to the efforts of six women interested in having liberal talk radio in the area, an organizer said.

Vicki Lancaster, a Baton Rouge statistician, said her group of private citizens months ago started a petition campaign to bring Louisiana left-leaning radio programs like those Air America offers.

"These are public airwaves," Lancaster said. "We have a Democratic governor, Democratic senator. Why don't we have … liberal talk radio?"

About 1,500 signatures later, listeners will be able to hear the likes of left-wing comedian Franken and Bob Shultz, host of "Straight Talk from the Heartland," on WYNK 1630 AM on weekdays until sundown. On the weekends, the station will cover all the Air America programs, Lancaster said.

If Air America, launched in 2004 to rival a plethora of conservative talk programs, plays well in Baton Rouge, Clear Channel officials have told Lancaster progressive radio could hit other Louisiana cities, she said.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Fresno gets their own progressive talk station

The station is KFPT-AM 790. They are owned by Infinity Broadcasting, who also own similarly-formatted KPTK in Seattle.

The irony is that Fresno is the home base for rabid right-wing site Free Republic. Quite an interesting mix, if I do say so myself.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Progressive talk coming soon to Big Sky country

Triple-A fans in Missoula, Mont. had an extra reason to celebrate over the 4th of July weekend when KDTR "the Trail" signed on. The Spanish Peaks Broadcasting station says it is Montana's first HD radio station.

Former modern WKQX (Q101) Chicago and KMMS Bozeman morning host Robert Chase will program the station and host afternoons. Scott Hawk joins for mornings, J.J. Quinn will take middays, and evenings will be handled by Nancy Walton. During late nights, the Trail will broadcast the syndicated "Moonlight Groove Highway."

Until Chase joins the station in August, GM Dave Cowan will handle his afternoon shift. Cowan arrives from Bozeman, Mont., where he was market manager for Clear Channel's six-station cluster.

The Trail is being run by Mount Sentinel under a time brokerage agreement with Spanish Peaks. Spanish Peaks and Mount Sentinel will launch two more stations in July, one of which will be a progressive talk station, and become Montana's first Air America affiliate.

UPDATE: The new progressive station will be on 105.9. Like the other two, it is a new sign-on, and it will be on the air within a month. The call letters, according to this source will be KKNS.

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