Monday, February 02, 2009

Dropped in D.C.

Howard Kurtz reports in the Washington Post that WWRC, a.k.a. 'Obama 1260', is finally pulling the plug on its progressive talk format next week, in favor of financial news.

Gone in the shuffle is Lionel, Stephanie Miller and Bill Press. Ed Schultz will be moved to conservative sister WTNT (570AM).

The move was determined by poor ratings. The station, among three purchased from Clear Channel by Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder last summer, has long been challenged by a weak signal, and the frequency hasn't been a market contender with any format for decades. Also difficult is competing in a market with a glut of talk stations. Over the past year, two have left the local airwaves.

Last fall, in a promotional stunt, Red Zebra dubbed WWRC 'Obama 1260' and WTNT 'McCain 570'. And program director Greg Tantum thought that enthusiasm over the recent election of President Obama would bring a larger audience to the station, but that ratings collapsed to a level that could not be measured after the election.


EricinMD said...

I guess I should not be surprised that we have lost our only progressive talk voice in the nation's capitol, but it was a station destined for failure.

The signal for Obama 1260 was so weak that you could be driving in the District of Columbia and it sounded like the station was in Omaha. There was no promotion for the station, but the terrible signal was the real killer. At night...forget it unless you were parked next to the transmitter.

Once Daniel Snyder bought the station I figured it was doomed. And of all the hosts to carry over to the awful conservative talk, they bring Schultz, my least favorite "progressive" host. Disgusting that we are again without any voice in the capitol city, but management wanted the station to fail and it did.

NYLefty said...

I'm as open to conspiracy theories as anybody, but I don't buy the "management wanted the station to fail" excuse in this case or in most every other case. Managements may be incompetent or more interested in other stations with better signals, but I haven't known any who "wanted" any of their stations to fail. Managements want to make as much money as possible and that's difficult to do with a lousy signal and a format that most advertisers don't want to be associated with.

Brady Bonk said...

I can back up what Eric said. You couldn't pick up a signal from that station if you were sitting on top of the transmission tower. I would have happily listened to my local affiliate rather than Internet, satellite, and podcast if I could. But there's no way. They'd have a better broadcast with a bullhorn.

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