Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Mayhem at The Mic?

Listeners in Madison, WI are a bit perplexed by several radical changes at local progressive talker WXXM (92.1FM), a.k.a. "The Mic."

In a major move that has irritated the station's die-hard fans, the same ones that persuaded station management two years ago to keep the progressive talk format, WXXM has dropped Thom Hartmann from the 2-5P shift and replaced him with financial advisor Dave Ramsey. Hartmann's show will continue on the station in overnights.

In addition, morning host Lee Rayburn announced on Friday afternoon via his Facebook page that he has left the station. WXXM's official response is that it is to "pursue interests outside of radio."

A local listener support group, Friends of Progressive Talk, is holding a meeting tonight at a local restaurant to rally around Hartmann's show. Local Clear Channel operations manager Mike Ferris, who brought the progressive talk format to WXXM (92.1) more than four years ago, will speak about the decision behind the changes at the station.

From an email newsletter:

At the upcoming meeting Tuesday, January 13, at 6:30 p.m. at the Dardanelles Restaurant, Clear Channel Operations Manager Mike Ferris, who brought the progressive talk format to WXXM, The MIC 92.1 over four years ago, will speak on his decision for the format switch Mon-Fri, from 2 to 5 p.m. The Fox News media regular Dan Ramsey is now broadcast in the slot in which progressive talk show host Thom Hartmann, had been delay broadcast. Hartmann, an author of over 20 books, is known for his considerable knowledge on the United States Constitution, history and politics. Mike Ferris will talk about the issues, his decision and his intention to keep progressive talk on The MIC. The group will then have a discussion on the program changes and plans of action. The event is sponsored by Friends of Progressive Talk and The Dardanelles Restaurant.

Ferris is the one who made the decision to add Ramsey's show. In an email response to a lsitener, he stated:

...I spoke with Thom last week, he understood and respected my decision. I believe Dave's show offers expert advice and counsel on subjects that affect everyone, our personal finances.

The addition of the Dave Ramsey show makes the MIC 92.1 a more complete and well-rounded program lineup. Indeed, this has been the goal of this station over the past four years, to provide exceptional programming not available anywhere else on the FM dial, and one that offers more than just political talk.

There has been no further word thus far about any other changes pending at the station. A replay of Ron Kuby's Air America show is replaying in the morning slot, and permanent lineup changes will debut next week.

Here's more from The Capitol Times.

3 comments:

AlanF said...

I spoke with Thom last week, he understood and respected my decision. I believe Dave's show offers expert advice and counsel on subjects that affect everyone, our personal finances.

The addition of the Dave Ramsey show makes the MIC 92.1 a more complete and well-rounded program lineup. Indeed, this has been the goal of this station over the past four years, to provide exceptional programming not available anywhere else on the FM dial, and one that offers more than just political talk.


Geez, if the goal of the station for four years really was to offer more than just political talk, then offering strictly political talk for four years was a pretty bad way to get there, don't you think? And threatening to go to all sports, as they almost did two years ago, was also a pretty bad way to be "well-rounded".

Kinda makes you question the first assertion as well (if you didn't already): that Thom understood and respected the change. I don't respect the change, and Thom knows a heck of a lot more than I do.

NYLefty said...

The Mic has caved and announced that it will resume carrying Hartmann from 2 PM to 5 PM. Ramsey will replace Lee Rayburn instead.
http://www.madison.com/tct/top5/432528

Aeris Gainsborough said...

Not a good decision at all to put Fixed Noise "b-i-itch" (sorry for the Pig Man usage) on a progressive station. Sacramento tried this, and people were happy to see this Fixed Noise "b-i-itch" go.


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