A few short items, including The Young Turks, an NPR experiment that didn't quite pan out, and more.
Turks go wide
Here it is, transcribed from the Air America press release:
Following a brief six month hiatus, the first progressive radio show to air across the country is set to return July 14th, 2008 to the airwaves and in syndication on TidalTV and Air America Radio. As mentioned previously, “The Young Turks,” hosted by Cenk Uygur, just moved to its new on-air home on XM Satellite Radio during yesterday's morning drive, airing from 8–10A ET on XM’s America Left. TidalTV will broadcast on tape delay, while Air America’s Website will host the video live from 9–11P ET daily.
Outside of the two hour political show carried by XM, TidalTV, Air America and The Young Turks' website will also have a third hour of entertainment and pop culture programming from 11-12Midnight ET. Video clips from this extra hour can be found on AOL and You Tube.
Head Turk Cenk Uygur said “We are coming back to our roots and thrilled to be a part of the line up on XM, TidalTV and Air America. This new programming is going to be a perfect compliment to our tremendous web presence. When we’re able to combine the power of our internet audience with the audience we grew in our previous stint on XM, there’s an excellent chance we are going to be unstoppable.”
Well, it was a pretty ambitious undertaking. Basically, an NPR morning show geared toward younger listeners, a laid-back, upbeat and less stuffy version of the rather dry Morning Edition. And with some markets having multiple NPR outlets, and the fact that the two-hour Morning Edition is played over and over again by most affiliates until seemingly everyone hears it, The Bryant Park Project at least had some potential. The show also positioned itself heavily toward online listening and interaction. It was also a morning show for people who were tired of the American Idol updates, "Battle of the Sexes," intern stuntboys and "Whip 'em Out Wednesday" shenanigans littering the rest of the FM dial. Breezy conversation and news about Zimbabwe? Who'da thunk? I admit, I actually liked it.
But new national program launches are never very easy. Especially when they carry a $2 million price tag. So, come July 25th, The Bryant Park Project will be no more.
Part of the show's struggles concerned its hosts. Alison Stewart and Luke Burbank are both very capable, but they didn't cement themselves as hosts well. Burbank bolted for his hometown of Seattle and a gig at KIRO, while Stewart took time off to make babies. News anchor Rachel Martin got a gig at ABC News. In addition, very few stations had picked it up thus far, preferring to simply rerun NPR's morning mothership over and over all morning.
Stewart, returning from maternity leave for the show's final week, told the New York Times, "From what I understand, we are obviously in extra-tough economic times, and it is a financial and strategic decision. I was told it had absolutely nothing to do with the quality or content of the show."
For morning radio listeners who can't stay awake during Morning Edition, and don't particularly care for the Morning Zoos of the world, there is one other public radio offering still available. Public Radio International launched their morning show, The Takeaway this past April. The show, hosted by Adaora Udoji and John Hockenberry, does have a market, as they've already lined up co-producing affiliates in New York (WNYC), Boston (WGBH) and Baltimore (WEAA), among others, as well as support from the BBC and The New York Times.
forum on August 16th at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. Stephanie Miller, Thom Hartmann, Rachel Maddow, Randi Rhodes, Mike Malloy and Sam Seder will all be there. Hosting the event will be Ron Reagan Jr.
Wicked, wicked Wiki
I've been pretty busy lately, polishing up LTRapedia - The LTR Wiki. So far, many pages are up. The wiki will do what is a bit difficult on a blog, namely giving deeper background information on many of the topics covered here. It's still a seemingly neverending process putting it all up, but I've been cranking away at it for the past few weeks or so. Looking for that station in Boise or Langdon, North Dakota that carries Ed Schultz? It's there. I've been holding back, waiting until I got the whole thing at least somewhat finished-looking. But I'm impatient. Again, it's still a work in progress, and many, many things still need to be added and cleaned up, but for a wiki devoted to progressive media, it's gonna be a real humdinger. Check it out.