Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Playing catch-up

Well, the chaos of the holiday season is now behind us, and it's time to get back to the everyday grind and start 2007 off right.

Nothing earth-shattering happened over the holidays, save for the New Years Eve stroke-of-twelve Saddam drop that happened a few days early, and the ensuing bloodlust that followed as Drudge and his ilk raced to spread the snuff film footage across the tubes. Oh, and we lost much better men in James Brown and Gerald Ford over the holidays. Our condolences to them.

Obviously, we can't forget the 3,000th U.S. casualty lost in Iraq, which is very sad. Let's hope this new Congress coming in Thursday can bring the rest of them home. In one piece. Oh, and was that a giant "IMPEACH" sign at the Rose Parade? NBC cut away from that one pretty quick, didn't it? Perhaps the fans of Michigan's football team want to impeach their coach after USC handed them what's left of their asses in the Rose Bowl.

So, enough chit-chat, time to bring you all up to speed. And we start off with the flurry of grassroots efforts taking place in Columbus, Boston and the longer-running effort in Dallas, by listeners who want their progressive talk back. All efforts have petitions up and running, and have also been very agressive in their efforts.

Perhaps the most aggressive of the groups is the one in Columbus, where they currently have a petition with 1,600 signatures so far. One WTPG fan even called the Ed Schultz show, guest hosted by Norman Goldman, to promote the group's efforts. This prompted Schultz himself to immediately call in from his vacation time to give his encouragement to the effort.

Of course, WTPG's owners aren't balking yet, and in Columbus, account execs at WTPG are turning down advertising. At least advertising from Ohio Majority, who attempted to purchase ten 30-second spots to promote their cause. Management said no way. And disenfranchised advertisers are proceeding to purchase time further up I-71 in Akron, advertising on the webstream of co-owned WARF. Currently, the group wants to negotiate with WTPG management to give the format at least one more month. They also are planning a rally, or 'intervention', as they call it.

Aldous Tyler, a major figure in the effort to save WXXM in Madison, debuted a new website, NonStop Radio.com, devoted to promoting grassroots efforts to save progressive talk formats in a variety of markets. He also debuted a podcast as well. Tyler also reports that two markets could lose their progressive talk formats in the coming months. In Baton Rouge, Clear Channel is selling WPYR, and the sale could be sealed by April. And in Little Rock, station and facility issues at KXDE will likely prompt Nova M Radio, which has been leasing the station, to pull out of that situation. No exact reason is known, but the station has been having some technical issues as of late. Nova M is no longer promoting KXDE on their website.

As various groups try to save or bring back progressive talk to their towns, another group is still plugging away trying to bring it to theirs. Air America Milwaukee sent out a newsletter, which talks about the efforts in nearby Madison (which they supported) and similar efforts in Phoenix earlier this year:

This turn of events is being hailed as a national precedent, and a high-water mark for progressive talk radio in America. It's a success that should inspire our campaign to bring progressive talk to Milwaukee.

But there's one key difference between Milwaukee, Madison, and Phoenix. The other two cities already had a base of loyal listeners and advertisers, and organizers were able to build upon that. For us, it's more of an uphill battle. The majority of Milwaukeeans have never heard Air America, Nova M, Democracy Now!, or any of the rest.

That means it's up to US to spread the word, to share progressive radio with others – whether via internet streaming, podcasting, or satellite radio – and, most importantly, by getting involved with the Milwaukee Air Force. We have a number of exciting plans for the New Year. We'll be beefing up our web presence, and we hope to offer original local progressive talk programming there. Ultimately, our goal is to get progressive talk on an over-the-air station in the Milwaukee metropolitan radio market.

A tall order. Which is why we need your help. We need you to get the word out about progressive talk radio to your friends, family, and acquaintances. Just send them to our site at http://AirAmericaMilwaukee.com. Urge them to listen to a few shows, and encourage them sign up for our email list. Then tell them to spread the word. We need to steadily grow our movement, so that a multitude of Milwaukeeans will demand a sane radio alternative to radical rightwing rubbish.

Our core group of organizers will be meeting just after the first of the year to work out the next steps. We will keep you in the loop along the way and let you know when specific help from you is needed. You can continue to check for updates at http://AirAmericaMilwaukee.com for now. But also watch for our brand new site, coming soon. And in the meantime, spread the word about progressive talk radio to everyone in the Milwaukee area who will listen.

And, on an unrelated note, Mike Malloy has picked up a new radio affiliate. Effective last night, he will now be on WINZ in Miami. The station also picks up Lionel's show for a delayed airing in the overnight hours.

Stephanie Miller gains a new affiliate, as KTRC in Santa Fe, NM picks her up, displacing Sam Seder. Thom Hartmann will do middays and the rest of the schedule is straight Air America.


Chad Lupkes said...

I'm building an inventory of progressive talk radio on wikia. Any help would be wonderful!


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