Monday, January 05, 2009

First news roundup of the year

As we start the new year, this is a good opportunity to tie up a few loose ends...

Nova M completes Phoenix move

As of January 1, Nova M has completed its move down the dial in their home market of Phoenix. KNUV (1190AM) is now known as "1190 Nova M," and is the sole progressive talker in the Phoenix market. Former home KPHX (1480AM) is no longer being leased, and is now programming an adult standards format called "Martini In The Morning." In addition, it appears that former KPHX host Mike Newcomb is back on the station, in the 4-6P local slot. Hmmm...

The station also has a new web address,

Former Nova M station falls silent

Pssst. Hey - wanna buy a radio station in Little Rock?

Attentive observers may remember a little station in Little Rock, KDXE. They were one of two stations leased by upstart Nova M a couple years back (along with KPHX). After the one year lease, the company quickly fled the run-down tiny AM outlet, washing their hands of the whole Arkansas thing.

And now, Simmons Media, owner of KDXE, has announced that it is turning out the lights at 1380AM. Simmons informed the FCC that it has "suspended operations due to financial reasons." They'd like to remain dark for at least 180 days (though they could’ve asked for a full year) and are "currently seeking business alternatives to resume the station’s operations speedily."

Supposedly, a $675,000 deal to sell the station to a local owner that was filed last summer never closed, and wasn't likely to.

Chicago changes

With WCPT's programming expanding to the FM dial a couple months back, the three FM signals now have new call signs. WCPT-FM (92.7FM) is located in the north Chicago suburbs; WCPY (92.5FM) is in Dekalb and covers Rockford, Aurora and places west; and WCPZ (99.9FM) is located in the south suburbs.

For fans of the three signals' former Nine FM format, some message board postings are claiming that another Newsweb-owned station, WKIF in Kankakee, south of Chicago, has dropped the wall-to-wall CNN HLN feed and is now airing the "we play anything" format.

Schultz out in L.A.

Upstart talker KGIL (1260AM) is still tweaking its schedule. And in their latest change, Ed Schultz is off the schedule. In his place is Glen (shudder!) Beck and Monica (double shudder!!) Crowley. Yikes!

The station, which once boasted of it's on-air ideological balance, is now wall-to-wall wingnuts, with the exception of Alan Colmes, who's still on at 7P.

More SoCal changes

Down the coast, at San Diego's XEPE (1700AM), it appears Air America is back in town. Kinda.

The station, which dropped Stacy Taylor a few weeks ago, has now let go local morning guy Mark Larson. In his place this morning was Air America's Lionel, according to Radio and Records. Not sure if this is permanent.

The pending radio apocalypse

A sign of things to come, perhaps?

The radio landscape these days is quite brutal. Listeners are turning away. Ad revenue is in the toilet. And radio owners are responding by cutting back even more, further thinning their product.

CBS, to their credit, still owns quite a few AM signals that are heavy on live programming, 24-7. Most notable of these is WCCO (830AM) in Minneapolis. Since the early 1920s, the station has so far resisted virtually all syndicated programming (aside from sports, "60 Minutes" simulcasts and some low-profile programming). They even programmed live, local talk in the overnight hours. Now, an era is slowly coming to an end.

In addition to a number of station staffers, including news staff, the station has dismissed longtime late night talker Al Malmberg, replacing him with an out-of-town product, Jon Grayson from sister station KMOX in St. Louis. Grayson's show will also air on CBS-owned WBZ in Baltimore and KDKA in Pittsburgh. The good news is that Grayson bucks the trend of typical talk radio, in that he's not a mouth-foaming wingnut. In keeping with WCCO's tame nature, the show is nonpolitical, and more pop culture-centric.

It may not sound like much, but the addition of syndicated talk programming is definitely a momentous occurance at a station that has long prided itself in being live and local around the clock.


gregrocker said...

Why doesnt' someone familar with what has gone down write a book expose on the takeover and RUIN of the United States by rightist dirty tricksters using the AM radio dial. I personally witnessed the entire sick operation for nearly 20 years, trying to warn the left that the country was being stolen under their nose using a medium that most don't listen to. And within 20 years, the takeover was complete and we face total RUIN.

If the German magazine Stern can send a writer who quickly discerns that the ruin of the USA was accomplished by a rightist coup using the AM radio dial in a disinformation operation that would make Goebbels himself envious, why hasn't a SINGLE U.S. media outlet exposed this?

Are we that stupid as a country that we would let the furthest right wingnuts just lie their way into total power, using the dumbest dupes in world history, 50-100 million willfully ignorant rednecks? And if you think I dont' kinow what I am talking aboutg here, I speak of my own family.

pureprairie said...

Amen, brother. Other than ensuring we support the few progressive stations operating now, we could also actually call wingnut radio hosts' shows and take them to task on the air. If enough lefties make those calls, we can throw a wrench in their wheels. Overpower their switchboard, I say. I've done it a couple times on our dirty airwaves in Fresno. I admit I was nervous as all get out, but it became easy. The more we know (even from progressive talk radio hosts) the better armed we become, and it's surprising how easy it is. Speaking truthfully does that!

raccoonradio said...

The guy WBZ laid off, Steve Leveille, was a good guy, easy going usually and not conservative. His show was the only source of info when a chemical plant in Danvers MA blew up during the overnight. He had a good trivia guy on, etc. Now he's dumped (as was black talk host Lovell Dyett who'd been with them since the 70s). Low budget talk instead of local content. And there is no conspiracy to have only righty talkers on; the owners want to make money and right leaning talk was filling a need the rest of the mainstream media, other than perhaps Fox, was not supplying.

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