Tuesday, June 16, 2009

WZAA/Washington launches tonight

So many emails and so many inquiries have arrived in my inbox, and up until now, I have had nothing to report on Air America's new station in Washington, DC. Well, now I do. The station launches tonight at midnight.

Here's the press release:

Air America Media will debut the new 1050 AM throughout the Washington, D.C. region on Wednesday, June 17 at 12 midnight under new call letters WZAA and also streaming online at www.airamericawashington.com. The station will feature Air America’s independent political voice in the nation’s capitol 24 hours a day, 7 days a week including Ron Reagan, Rachel Maddow, Ana Marie Cox, Montel Williams, Lionel, Arianna Huffington and Carlos Watson. The station will feature several prominent, Washington, D.C. personalities on programming throughout the day on Wednesday, including Helen Thomas, Chris Matthews, Senator Bernie Sanders and others.

“We are thrilled to have our voice on-air and online in our nation’s capital,” said Bennett Zier, chief executive officer of Air America Media. “Our roster of talent will provide sharp and insightful commentary to our listeners.”

“We plan to utilize our new Washington, D.C. broadcast facilities to originate nationwide programming with our talent,” said Bill Hess, senior vice president of programming of Air America Media. “Now that we’re in our new D.C. home on Idaho Avenue, we’re also producing regularly-scheduled local programming.”

Martin Sheehan, former Clear Channel and ESPN Radio executive, has been named station manager, overseeing day-to-day operations.

The weekday program schedule, also available on the station’s website at
www.airamericawashington.com, will include:

6-9 a.m. – “The Lionel Show”
9 a.m.-12 p.m. – “Montel Across America”
12-1 p.m. - “The Rachel Maddow Show”
1-3 p.m. – “Doing Time with Ron Kuby”
3-6 p.m. – “Live in Washington with Jack Rice”
6-9 p.m. – “The Ron Reagan Show”
9-11 p.m. – “Hollywood! CLOUT”
11p.m.-1 a.m. – “The Jack Rice Show”

Air America Media is operating 1050 AM through a local marketing agreement (LMA) reached with
Bonneville International Corporation.

A few things to note:

  • New Air America arrival Jack Rice, who had been hosting late nights on the network for the past few weeks, is listed in the 3-6P slot. Not sure if this is permanent, or if this goes for the national feed, but Nicole Sandler is doing fill-ins during the 11P-1A slot this week. Or it could be just a local thing. A reason for this deviation from the national feed? First guess would obviously be the very weak nighttime signal. That and the national feed's Montel Williams replay in afternoon drive seems a bit absurd for a station to follow. Hence, Jack Rice will host a local afternoon show, which will supposedly be replayed from 11P-1A.
  • Top-of-the-hour news will come via NBC and CNN. Both are syndicated by Westwood One for radio.
  • Rachel Maddow will air 12-1P weekdays, followed by Ron Kuby from 1-3P. Again, it's likely to give her more exposure during the station's stronger daytime hours.
  • Though the station is being programmed by Air America (leased from Bonneville International), there is no word on whether WZAA's lineup will reflect the national feed 100%. But I guess we'll know soon enough.

  • More updates as they arrive.


    Brady Bonk said...

    I will give it a listen. If I find that I have observations, I can post them here...LTR always with the lowdown...

    Anonymous said...
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    wwrl said...

    i gotta say, i think that lineup is very very week. I like lionel and kuby a lot, but i think you can prepare for WTNT, WMAL, WJFK and others to continue to dominate in the ratings.

    Mike Schwartz said...

    The dial position is ideal-being right in the middle of the dial. As an out of towner, I'd be curious as to what kind of signal the station gets. Can it be heard throughout the entire metro area and into the Virginia suburbs?

    tmode93 said...

    During the day AM-1050 covers the Washington metro DC area fairly well with 3,500 watts (applying to go 10,000 watts at some point). At night though the station drops to light-bulb power at 44 watts so it's pretty much useless unless you're a few miles of their tower (in Wheaton).

    NYLefty said...

    Jack Rice is doing as local show on WZAA. Meanwhile, the Air America national feed is a refeed of Montel Williams.

    JHThree said...

    Well, I'm glad progressive talk is back in DC, but I wish this station would be a mix of Air America and other progressive programming out there. Adding a Stephanie Miller, Thom Hartmann or Bill Press to the lineup would make for a stronger station, I think. I have to agree with those who think the current lineup is weak. Hopefully, it's a work in progress.

    raccoonradio said...

    Jeff Santos of WWZN Boston talks about the progtalk station and their mission and future plans in this Quincy Patriot Ledger piece

    Lu Cifer, http://Lu666Cifer.blogspot.com said...

    From http://www.mediabistro.com/fishbowlDC/radio/randi_rhodes_comes_to_dc_on_air_america_119609.asp

    Air America WZAA 1050AM launched in Washington last Wednesday and the network is rounding out its programming, announcing today Randi Rhodes will broadcast from 3-6pm beginning June 23rd. The program will also stream online at www.airamericawashington.com.

    The "Randi Rhodes" show already airs in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Denver and Portland. In a release today, Air America MediaĆ¢€™s senior vice president of programming Bill Hess said, "Randi's ability to cover a variety of issues each day in an entertaining, aggressive style makes her the perfect fit for the ride home in Washington, D.C., where she's now based."

    6-9 a.m. "The Lionel Show"

    9 a.m.-12 p.m. " "Montel Across America"

    12-1 p.m. - "The Rachel Maddow Show"

    1-3 p.m. " "Live in Washington with Jack Rice"

    3-6 p.m. " "Randi Rhodes"

    6-9 p.m. " "The Ron Reagan Show"

    9-11 p.m. " "Hollywood! CLOUT"

    11p.m.-1 a.m. " "The Nicole Sandler Show"

    wwrl said...

    they kicken kuby out? C'mon, poor guy. Ron's a good man and his show was doin very well then they move it to noon and it loses all it's nyc listenrs now dc too.

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