Friday, June 01, 2007

WLVP/Portland flips to sports

Progressive talk is gone from the local airwaves of market #167.

After nearly three years, WLVP ("870 The Voice") in Portland has dumped their Air America-dominated liberal talk lineup as of 6AM this morning in favor of airing the straight feed from ESPN.

“It was simply time to put the best product possible on 870 AM WLVP and without question that is ESPN sports radio” said Patrick Collins, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Nassau Broadcasting Maine. The new "870 ESPN" will carry the ESPN radio network 24 hours a day and will also air local high school sports. They are co-owned with another Maine ESPN outlet, WLAM (1470AM) in Lewiston.

If this all sounds somewhat familiar, the station went through this in 2004. WLVP picked up programming from Air America Radio in April 2004 and almost dropped it six months later, when they announced a pending flip to ESPN. After a groundswell of protest over the announced decision, station management opted to keep the format. Now, they finally made the move.

WLVP was never promoted strongly, and it seemed they did not understand how to sell the format. The station also opted to run virtually a straight feed of Air America, rather than pick up programming from other syndicators, as most progressive talk stations do. They did, however, air local sports programming, such as high school football and minor league baseball.

7 comments:

Emacee said...

Radio is a right-wing medium and a right-wing stronghold. Most managers are right-wingers. Most employees are right-wingers. And radio tends to attract a right-wing audience. I

For 80 years, all the way back to Father Coughlin, right-wing demagogues with powerful lungs have dominated the airwaves (along with hell-fire and brimstone preachers).

The industry accepts as an article of faith that lib-talk can't/won't work and this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

And those who say liberals aren't radio listeners, leastwise not talk radio listeners, may be right. Maybe liberals tend to listen to public radio. More likely, liberals read.

raccoonradio said...

>>WLVP was never promoted strongly

certainly not much of a website.

NYLefty said...

>>>And those who say liberals aren't radio listeners, leastwise not talk radio listeners, may be right. Maybe liberals tend to listen to public radio. More likely, liberals read.<<<

But when progressive talk gets good ratings, in places such as Portland, OR or Madison, WI, the anti-AAR argument is: "Well of course, those are LIBERAL cities."

You can't have it both ways.

Liberals will listen to a progressive talk station that has a good signal and is competently run.

Emacee said...

> Liberals will listen to a
> progressive talk station that has a
> good signal and is competently run.

Some will. Most won't.
Overall numbers for news/talk are down. Even righties are listening less. Even so, Madison and Portland don't get the kind of numbers that leading right-wing talk stations do.
Rush saved AM and put right-wing talk on the map. He still carries it. Right-wing talk is Rush and a the seven dwarfs (actually more than seven), a collection of "other" hosts ranging from OK to mediocre. Libtalk has not found it's Rush; it's killer app.

On top of that, historically ideas, especially complex ideas, have to be conveyed in print. The spoken word works better for demagoguery.
You have to be smart to be a progressive and you have to be well-read and well-educated. It's an elite political philosophy and only public radio has figured out how to target the elite.

No talk to me about minorities, union members and the working class. They are voting economic self-interest but deep-down they are mostly ditto-heads (despite all liberals have done for them).

clyde said...

I do not agree with anyone saying liberals are not radio listeners. As a liberal I would never listen to the crap neo cons spew on the radio. Instead I look at the summary of the crap on blogs like Daily Kos. In fact this country is in a whole world of sh*t due to the fact that most cons just watch a bit of Fox News and believe the bullcrap. Liberals on the other hand are fighting to save America and the freedoms that George Bush and neo cons are so willing to give away. Liberals need tools like Air America to shine light on the crimes of Bush and his crime family. We will continue to show the truth on blogs and LISTEN TO great Americans such as Keith Oberman. In the meantime we will work to bring Air America back to Portland Maine or listen to in online if we fail get WLVP to bring back AA back.

Emacee said...

From the Boston Globe:
Members of the public will have a rare opportunity on Thursday of this week to offer feedback to the Federal Communications Commission on how Portland-area broadcasters are fulfilling their public service responsibilities. "We want to see what people in Portland and the surrounding communities think about how the local media is handling issues of local content," said FCC commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, who will attend the hearing. "I want to know how the out-of-state ownership is affecting people. I'm not prejudging it, but I am concerned"

Fans of lib-talk in Portland, here's your chance.

The Proud Primate said...

I am a Portland resident, and, though I don't miss Air America (because I podcast all their shows, and listen all night at work!) I am worried that the absence of the station is going to have a negative effect in the upcoming election, specifically, the good chance that Tom Allen has of replacing Susan Collins.

Collins and Snowe are moderate-impersonators, who pander to the basically Democrat city dwellers with pittances about ANWR and "choice", but they both voted against habeas corpus. (See my reply to Snowe's reply to my complaint.) They and one other pseudo-moderate would have been enough save the Specter amendment to remove that language from the Military Commissions Act. They weren't interested — they had their marching orders from Rove.

I and some of my friends ran a "Snowe Removal" campaign in '06, but that was a long shot. (Take a look at my website where I have a slide show of our vigils down in the Old Port, and links to the old site "Snowe Removal"). I think Collins is seriously vulnerable, especially with a very popular Tom Allen. And we need to get her copious negatives out in front of the public, starting now. Air American in Portland is one of the best ways to do that.

As a member of several phone banks, I found it remarkable that Allen got positive responses even from most Bush voters.

Any calculated effort to bring Air America back to Portland will have my active support, wherever and however it can be done.

You can Contact Me there if you have any plans.


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