Thursday, July 10, 2008

A peek inside XM's retooled 'America Left'

Come Monday, fans of XM's Air America channel (ch. 167) will notice quite a few changes, as they ditch the Air America moniker and return to the original name, America Left.

After several weeks of speculation, XM has quietly unveiled their new lineup, with a few notable additions and a few subtractions as well. One theme that carries throughout is their attempt to air as many shows as possible by cutting off an hour on several of them. Unfortunately, they didn't go for my idea of setting up several devoted progressive talk channels. Yet.

First, Bill Press remains from the old lineup, but gets an hour shaved off. You can find him 6-8A ET.

The Young Turks, formerly of Sirius and Air America, return to the weekday radio grind after airing exclusively online since January. The new show, airing on America Left weekday mornings 8-10 ET, will actually be a replay of their online show from the night before (which will air 9-11P). At least the gang will be able to sleep in, given that they're based in California, and would otherwise be up very early in the morning to do their morning thing.

Stephanie Miller fans will be happy to hear that her show finally makes it to the XM satellites. She will air in truncated form from 10A-noon.

One personality who's show will not get sliced up is Ed Schultz, who will air live from noon to 3P. Ditto for Randi Rhodes, who's three hour show will follow in its entirety.

Rachel Maddow will air on America Left in truncated form, from 6-8P. Unfortunately, that means listeners will get that obnoxious MSNBC screaming pundits show that makes up the first hour of her show.

Thom Hartmann is still on XM, but only two hours of his show will air on delay, from 8-10P. As with many Air America affiliates these days, he'll get a replay from 4-6A.

In the late night hours, Mike Malloy comes on from 10P-midnight, followed by Air America's Clout from midnight to 2A and Jon Elliot in two hour form from 2-4A.

Speaking of XM, the proposed merger with Sirius, which was rumored many times to have been consummated by now, is still plodding along. In the most recent development, 16 state attorneys general have come out and criticized the merger, and are also on board the bandwagon that favors leasing part of the combined satellite radio spectrum to outside programmers.


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