Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Radio stations do the post-Franken shuffle

Latest update 2/13

Following the announcement last week of Al Franken's pending departure from Air America Radio, stations carrying him have begun making plans for the post-Franken era.

So far, KTNF, WROC and KYNS have announced some or all of their schedule changes, with Thom Hartmann and Ed Schultz being the big beneficiaries.

Starting February 19, Randi Rhodes fans in Chicago will be pleased as WCPT will give her a live clearance, from 2-5PM weekdays, in place of the delayed Franken. The nine-hour morning-early afternoon bloc of JRN programming, featuring Bill Press, Stephanie Miller and Ed Schultz remains unchanged. Following Rhodes will be a delay of Thom Hartmann's show. Since WCPT is a daytime-only station, the station signs off at sunset. However, they do program their webstream during the off-air hours. And with this, they'll add Mike Malloy live from 8-11PM, giving Malloy another stream for his fans to hear him. In addition, as the warmer months and longer days of summer approach, Chicago area listeners will be able to hear the early part of his show on 850AM until sign-off.

At KPHX in Phoenix, Franken is gone from the schedule as of next Monday (2/11). The station will Hartmann live in middays, followed by Rhodes, Peter B. Collins, Mike Malloy and a delayed airing of Miller's show in the late night hours. The station fills out the overnight/early morning hours with EcoTalk, Rachel Maddow and Bill Press.

WPEK in Asheville, NC has acknowledged Franken's departure, but the well-rated daytime-only station has made no scheduling announcements. It is very likely that the two hour shift currently allocated to Franken will be turned over to Rhodes, who is currently on for only the following hour.

Franken is almost completely gone from the schedule of WNYY in Ithaca, NY. They are carrying Hartmann live in the midday slot. Although the station carries Press and Miller, they do not air Schultz' show, which airs on WENY (1230AM) in nearby Elmira.

Portland's KPOJ hasn't set their lineup yet, but are taking suggestions on their website. Same goes for WROC in Rochester, which will move Schultz into the live slot being vacated. KPTK in Seattle will move Rhodes into Franken's delayed 5-8PM shift, followed by Malloy from 8-11PM. No word on the 11PM-2AM shift being vacated.

Nothing is really known about KOKE in Austin. The sole remainder of the Texas Pro Radio network, which once had stations in San Antonio and Dallas has a website that is currently under construction, and rumors abound that they will move away from syndicated programming, including Air America, and add more local liberal talk voices. We'll keep you posted on further changes. As for other liberal talk stations in Texas, they don't seem to be taking the format seriously. KCCT in Corpus Christi does not have a website, and has reportedly preempted Air America shows with infomercials. They do, however, carry some local talk shows. And KHRO in El Paso, which had been rumored to be dropping the network a few months back, is still airing it (allegedly). Their website consists solely of a link to Air America Radio.

WVAX in Charlottesville, VA is carrying Hartmann in place of Franken. They also air Rhodes and Maddow live, followed by an evening delayed broadcast of Schultz in the evenings. The station carries quite a bit of live programming, as it also airs Mark Riley, Press and Miller in the mornings and Lionel at night.

WKVT in Brattleboro, VT will replace their delayed airing of Franken with a delayed airing of Miller, from 7-10PM ET.

And KTNF in the Twin Cities, which last week announced that they would move Hartmann to afternoons and add Rachel Maddow to the roster, responds to listeners' demands and adds a delay of Malloy's show to the 12-3AM shift, starting February 19.

Denver's KKZN will carry Hartmann, and the relatively successful station is also looking to add another local host, in addition to current morning talker Jay Marvin.

WMLB in Atlanta, which carried the entire Air America feed under its former WWAA call letters and retained only Franken after a format change last year, will not replace his show with any other Air America programming.

Over at XM, Schultz will be moved over to the Air America Channel (ch. 167), meaning that Thom Hartmann will not be cleared, at least not live, by the satellite radio provider. Whether this has something to do with Hartmann's deal with and (partial) clearance on Sirius Left is unknown. And whether this will ruffle feathers with Air America, who currently have an exclusive deal with XM, is also unknown. And then there's that vague "Malloy coming to XM" rumor...

As for other stations that are still carrying Franken, including the few remaining stations that carry the straight Air America feed, it is likely that they will just carry his replacement, Hartmann in that slot. Some stations could go with Schultz, who airs at the same time.


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