Thursday, October 19, 2006

KTLK/L.A. sets their own liberal talk agenda

From the Los Angeles Times:

With Air America filing for bankruptcy protection last week, and its local affiliate dropping in the most recent ratings, right-wing critics are gleefully writing the epitaph for liberal talk radio — dead at 2 1/2.

But other observers say that regardless of whether Air America survives, an audience exists and will remain for left-leaning hosts.

"There's a market for good talk radio, no matter what the political label is," said Perry Michael Simon, news-talk-sports editor of, an online journal of the radio industry, and himself a former talk radio programmer. "The key is that if it's entertaining talk radio first and liberal second, it can work."

"The problem," Simon said, "is that the entire category of liberal talk is judged by what Air America is doing."

Doing their best to get out from under that shadow are stations such as KTLK-AM (1150), Air America's affiliate in Los Angeles. Even before the bankruptcy filing — in fact, since the station debuted in February 2005 — KTLK has been weaning itself from the network's programming.

"We're trying to take this progressive format and make it radio, not make it a cause," said Don Martin, KTLK program director. "I don't want them [listeners] coming here because they call it 'Air America.' "

Read more here.


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