Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Where's Jerry?

Well, the whole Air America Radio bankruptcy is behind us (for now), and the wingnut vultures have stopped circling the expected corpse.

Since the whole bankruptcy thing was sooo last week, and AAR's schedule is finally set (except for that late night shift - why don't they just bring back Mike Malloy and be done with it?), there's not a whole lot of stuff to write about. But Ohio Media Watch chimes in with a very interesting topic, and one I'm sure is keeping many up late at night.

Namely, where's Jerry Springer?

In case you haven't been keeping up, or just didn't really care, Springer is still around (contrary to the bankruptcy story last week). And he's still being carried by Air America. Sort of. With the new schedule in place, Sam Seder will now take Springer's spot on the official network feed, as Jerry is sent off to the syndicated feed with Thom Hartmann. Affiliates (or at least the ones that haven't opted for Stephanie Miller or a local show instead) now have the option of taking either Seder or Springer.

In the fallout, it looks like Seder picked up a few affiliates (though many of them delayed) including flagship station WWRL in New York. Jerry's whereabouts are yet to be fully determined, though Jerry's people remain fairly optimistic. I reported last week that Jerry could be lost in this whole linup shuffle, as affiliates were likely to go in other directions. It was a given that WSAI in Cincinnati would carry him (as Cincy is Jerry's old stomping grounds, and WSAI considers him the closest thing to a local show that they really see fit to spend money on). And WCPT in Chicago (Jerry's current stomping grounds) was also a likely affiliate. But what about the rest?

Allegedly, Springer is still on WWWW (which still refers to itself by its former call letters WDTW - don't ask) in Detroit. They unveiled their new schedule that appears to carry the entire Air America lineup. As I do not live in Detroit, I have no idea how accurate this thing is. It almost appears that the webmaster got lazy, or just plain doesn't give a shit, and just cut and pasted the AAR lineup. I had even heard that Miller is on that station, but I'm really not sure (any Detroit listeners out there that can set me straight?) Furthermore, is Ed Schultz really gone from that station? Hmmm...

"WDTW"'s nearby sister station, WLBY in Ann Arbor, has more or less been a carbon copy of its Detroit sister, and it's obvious they haven't updated their site in a while. They do appear to be airing Miller's show. Again, help set me straight!

The listing of stations on Jerry's site, which is extremely out of date and chock full of errors, are as follows:

Cincinnati, Ohio: 1360 WSAI - a given
Detroit, Michigan: 1310 WXDX - Two call letter changes later...
South Florida: 940 WINZ - Dropped Jerry long ago
San Antonio, Texas: 925 KRPT - Now playing "Texas Music" a.k.a. country
Sarasota & Bradenton, Florida: 1450 WSRQ - just flipped to adult standards Monday, also dropped Hannity
Boston, Massachusetts: 1200/1430 WKOX/WXKS - Switched to Stephanie Miller a while ago
San Diego, California: 1360 KLSD - live and local in the morning
Memphis, Tennessee: 680 WWTQ - Ugliest website of all affiliates. Did Entercom really OK this?
Albuquerque, New Mexico: 1350 KABQ - I doubt they even know. This station's site is always slow to update.

New Haven, Connecticut: 1300 WAVZ - Updated schedule. Miller has the mid-morning shift
St. Albans, Vermont: 1070 WTWK - I'm not really sure this station still exists, but they have Miller on.
Ann Arbor, Michigan: 1290 WLBY - Miller has the shift
Key West, Florida: 1500 WKIZ - Out-of-date website
Northampton, Massachusetts: 1200/1400/1600 WHMP - Very up-to-date site. Miller affiliate.
Willamette Valley, Oregon: 990 KRKT - out-of-date site
Brattleboro, Vermont: 1490 WKVT - not updated yet
New York, NY: 1190 WLIB - Umm... HELLO?
Dallas-F. Worth, TX: 910 KXEB - Springer affiliate, but site needs updating
Philadelphia, PA: 1340 WHAT - Dropped AAR a long time ago
Detroit, MI: 1310 WDTW - Deja vu? This is listed further up the page!
San Antonio, TX: 92.5 WHTY - Ditto.
Austin, TX: 1600 KOKE - Runs same programming as KXEB in Dallas
Akron, OH: 1540 WJMP - Affiliation went to WARF a long time ago. Currently FOX Sports.
Burlington, VT & Plattsburg, NY: 1070 WTWK - More deja vu. Already listed.
Corpus Christi, TX: 1150 WCCT - Who knows?
Eugene, OR: 1450 KKXO - Now KOPT. Runs local programming in mornings.
Portland, ME: 870 WMTW - Has been WLVP for awhile. Runs straight AAR schedule, including Seder in the 9-12 slot.
San Luis Obispo, CA: 1340 KYNS - Unknown. Site has been down for awhile.
Sante Fe, NM: 1260 KTRC - No website.
Chapel Hill, NC: 1360 WCHL - Miller affiliate.
And no, WCPT in Chicago is not listed.

Now, keep in mind, this listing is straight from Springer's AAR site. And it is horribly out of date and full of errors. Of course, there is nothing wrong with Springer being on only two affiliates (though there may be more). Being on the air in Chicago and Cincy is a pretty nice gig for most shows. The mid-morning shift is highly competitive, with the red-hot Stephanie Miller show being the most popular option and Seder's AAR show. Factor in the west coast stations running local morning shows, and it's plain to see that Springer is in a fight for any affiliates.

Who is the power behind Springer's show? It's more or less a Clear Channel show, having started out on WCKY in Cincy (since moved to WSAI). But instead of being syndicated by Clear Channel's syndication arm, Premiere, it's distributed by Air America.

In the beginning, I was surprised that Premiere did not jump on liberal talk. Given that they have some very strong talk show hosts in their massive cluster, such as Jay Marvin, Cary Harrison, Jon Elliott, and Will and Willie, and the fact that they own quite a few 'progressive talk' stations as well, it is somewhat baffling that they did not try to corner the market on syndicated liberal talk. Keep in mind that Ed Schult, Randi Rhodes, Stephanie Miller and Bill Press started out on Clear Channel stations, but went with other syndicators instead.

I have heard rumors in the past about Premiere's 800 lb. gorilla, Rush Limbaugh, forbidding Premiere from doing anything resembling left-leaning talk, but it's an old rumor, and seeing as Rush is a radio business guy first, would likely encourage it (plus give him more ammo for his drug-fueled three hour bloviation fest). The fact that Clear Channel/Premiere is notorious for foisting ridiculous programming concepts on the masses does make one wonder why they didn't go for progressive talk, which would have been an obvious choice for them.

In ThinkProgress' (since retracted) story about Air America's alleged bankruptcy and financial reorganization last week, the Center for American Progress (which runs is teaming up with Clear Channel and MSS Inc. to conduct a nationwide search for the next "Progressive Talk Radio Star". Whether this means Premiere is finally getting serious about syndicating liberal talk, or is looking to put more local programming on their stations (a very good idea, IMO), remains to be seen.


  © Blogger template Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP