Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Adios, Austin

Listeners in Austin, Texas were in for a bit of a shock this afternoon when they dialed up KOKE (1600AM) and found Air America replaced by Mexican music.

Nothing sinister here. As mentioned here a few weeks ago, the station, along with two other AM outlets in the market, were sold by Border Media Partners to Jose J. Garcia. Garcia took control of the three signals on Monday, and evidently installed his own format. Both the progressive talk format and station website are no more.

This has nothing to do with station performance. Ratings, while far from stellar, were probably about as good as they were going to get with that relatively weak signal. It was basically a matter of a new owner doing what he wants to do with the station.

UPDATE: It seems KOKE was not the sole recipient of Garcia's housecleaning. Sister stations KTXZ (1560AM) and KELG (1440AM) also obtained new formats.

I'd also like to send a special shout out to all our visitors from Newsbusters, who were so kind to link here via the snide headline "Even liberal Austin, Texas doesn't like Air America." Hate to break it to ya, but Brent Bozo and company got it wrong again. This move had nothing to do with Air America. It was merely a case of the new owner coming in with his own formats, something that happens quite often in the radio biz. As a matter of fact, KOKE ranked #3 overall among AM stations in the last Arbitron book. That doesn't say much, since AM doesn't do well in Austin, Texas.

So be aware that when you're drinking Bozo's 'Jim Jones Juice,' it does indeed have artificial flavoring.


Jeremy said...

Is Air America going to broadcast on another station in Austin? I miss it already.

Mark R said...

I've got nothing against Mexican music, but I sure miss Air America and especially Rachel Maddow.

Wayne said...

This is just completely sad. I'd gotten used to Lionel and Rachel bracketing my day. Now I almost want to get XM...there's next to no talk radio worth listening to in Austin now, especially mid-day and morning. (Jeff Ward and Ed Clements get a pass in my book though...)

JJ said...

What can be done about this?
The public is no longer being served.
They just dropped us as if we didn't matter.
I want Air America heard in Austin... now!

Anonymous said...

I really miss Air America. I kept going back to 1600 KOKE thinking it must be a mistake. We are in Austin - a blue city in a big ol' red state. I know so many people who listen and hope someone will step in and Air America will be broadcast here again soon.

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