Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Before the paint hits the wall

As I continue to grind away at yet another spiffy makeover for this blog, I thought I’d catch up with some older news.

Adios, Air America in Atlantic City

We start this fun-filled episode with yet another small AM station spinning the format wheel, in hopes of seeing what sticks. WTAA, which began airing a progressive talk format in June 2007, went Spanish on September 18. They are now airing a syndicated format known as “La Gran D.”

La Gran D went on the air Sept. 18, becoming Atlantic and Cape May counties' only all-Spanish language, 24-hour radio station. The format replaced the political programming of Air America, which had been broadcast on the station.

Kelly said the format switch was made because the listenership for syndicated politically liberal-leaning format (featuring Air America and Don Imus) has been negligible for the 15 months it had been on the airwaves.

"We knew we wanted to do something to serve the Spanish-speaking community," said Kelly, who predicts the Spanish format will get better ratings.

Because of the increase in the number of Hispanics living in Atlantic County, it was likely someone would try a Spanish-language station. In Atlantic County, the U.S. Census Bureau counts 38,894 Hispanics out of a total population of 270,644, a 31. 8 percent increase since 2000.
The station was sold last May, and rumors of a pending flip have been ongoing since.

"Carol" sings a sour note

Okay, I got a lot of shit from the Free Republic crowd for dissing David Zucker's new right-wing 'comedy' flick "An American Carol." Well, perhaps they would have a stronger leg to stand on if it actually did well at the box office. For the past weekend, the film debuted at a tepid #9 overall, getting throttled by a kiddie flick about a talking chihuahua.

The film, which opened in 1,639 theaters, pulled in a weak $3,656,000. By comparison, the #10 movie, the Bill Maher documentary "Religulous," opened in only 502 theaters, but finished only $200,000 less than "Carol." Maher's film, made for a measly $2.5 million, has more or less made its investment back. The $20 million dollar "Carol" looks much iffier.

"Carol" was not screened in advance for film critics, usually a bad omen but typical for comedies that know they're going to get trashed by reviewers. Nonetheless, some reviewers actually did see it, and most thought it sucked. On Rotten Tomatoes, which tracks film reviews, the film got a 15 out of 100 on the Tomato Meter. Only one person, Kevin Ranson of MovieCrypt.com, actually liked it. And speaking of political satire...

Scranton, Wilmington get dissed by SNL

Okay, if you're like me, you've been enjoying "Saturday Night Live" this season, particularly for the hilarious Sarah Palin bits featuring Tina Fey (though they could have just aired tapes of the oft-ridiculous Palin and gotten much of the same reaction). Nonetheless, it's the best political impersonation on the show since Dana Carvey riffed on both George Bush and Ross Perot.

During last week's opening skit spoofing last week's VP debate on SNL, cast member Jason Sudeikis, playing Joe Biden, referred to Biden's hometown of Scranton, PA as a "genetic cesspool," among other things, and also disparaged Wilmingont, DE as being "not that much better."

According to AllAccess, two top 40 personalities, Ralphie Aversa, night jock on WBHT Scranton and Ricky Thomas, night guy on WSTW in Wilmington, aired calls and and hit the streets seeking listeners to rebut (or agree with) the accusations. You can hear the audio on the WBHT site here, or on the WSTW site here, if you're curious.

The Rest

* Rachel Maddow gets yet another writeup, this time in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

* As mentioned last week, you can hear "Maron Vs. Seder" weekdays at 3P ET at mvslive.com.


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