Thursday, November 09, 2006

Democrats win, but New Orleans progressive talk listeners lose

Democrats may have won big in the election, as they took back both the House and the Senate, but listeners of WSMB (1350AM) in New Orleans are now without their progressive talk programming, as the Entercom-owned station becomes "WWL On Demand", which will basically be a dumping ground for it's sister station's shows, in a time-shifted format.

The new call letters will be WWWL.

The decision to do this is a bit baffling. Most stations these days just rely on podcasting of local shows via their websites. And since the programming is available on a barter basis, syndicated liberal talk programming is ridiculously cheap to air.

WWL programming can be found already on both the 50,000 watt 870AM frequency, in addition to WWL-FM (105.3FM). Of course, this has been scaled down from the days following Hurrican Katrina, when the station's news/talk programming was carried by almost every station in the market.

So, Air America Radio programming is no longer on 1350AM. And that's too bad.

From The Times-Picayune:

Given the Democratic Party's recent congressional triumph, WSMB 1350 AM picked a trend-defying time to dump Air America in favor of radio reruns from sister station WWL 870 AM.

Gone are Al Franken and the rest of Air America's Bush-bashing gang, replaced by WWL's local talk shows, but directly following their original time slots. WWL's evening sports-talk programming now reruns the next morning on WSMB.

Syndicated Rush Limbaugh isn't rerun. Instead, "The Food Show," live local gustatory gab hosted by Tom Fitzmorris, has shifted from evening drive to 2 to 5 p.m. to air in what would be Limbaugh's time slot in WSMB's almost-parallel universe.

That move was seen by some industry observers as a pre-emptive strike against Texas-based corporate rival Clear Channel Communications, which announced this year that its New Orleans classic rock outlet WRNO 99.5 FM would switch to news-talk.

"The demand for local programming on WWL since the storm . . . seemed to dictate that it would be productive for us, and would be well received by the audience," said Ken Beck, New Orleans vice president and market manager for Entercom. "We're committed to distributing these programs as widely as we can. We do it online (at, we added an FM signal, and now we're time-shifting.


Schroeder said...

It's a tad insincere for Entercom management to say that they needed to kill Air America Radio on one of its stations to make room for re-runs of it's WWL content. They didn't kill Rush Limbaugh on WWL to make more room for local content!

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