Wednesday, January 27, 2010

More station shuffling

A few updates on what stations are doing post-Air America...

  • Yesterday, I reported that Norman Goldman gained eight new affiliates, seeking a live show for evenings. Now it appears that Premiere's Randi Rhodes has picked up two three, KPTR Palm Springs (3-6P) and KVOT Taos, NM (4-7P). And KPTK Seattle has just picked up Rhodes for the slot vacated by Ron Reagan. Her show starts airing there next Monday.

  • One of the stations Goldman has picked up is KABQ Albuquerque. The station also adds Mike Malloy live for nights.

  • KTLK Los Angeles has, for some reason, added four hours of consumer finance guru Clark Howard in afternoon drive (3-7P).

  • WDTW Detroit is alive and well, and has added Alan Colmes for nights, WOR's syndicated Joey Reynolds for overnights and a Bill Press rerun for early evenings.

  • Air America refugee Jack Rice is filling in during the old Montel Williams slot (3-6P) on WWRL New York all week. Still no word on what they're doing to fill in other timeslots vacated by Air America.

  • State Of Belief, which had aired weekends on Air America, will continue, mostly as a podcast but will be available to any station wanting it (WXXM Madison is airing it, along with another Air America refugee, Free Thought Radio).

  • KCCT Corpus Christi dropped Air America several years ago, but has dabbled in liberal talk since then. Reportedly, they even ran Thom Hartmann's show, along with various local hosts. That will all change, as the station is currently stunting in preparation for their new format - something called "True Conservative Radio." Essentially, it will be low-tier conservotalkers during the week, and classic country and NASCAR broadcasts on the weekends.

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  • Tuesday, January 26, 2010

    Norman Goldman picks up eight stations

    Not surprisingly, one of the biggest winners in the post-Air America world of progressive talk radio is Norman Goldman, who has gained eight new affiliates looking to fill a gap in their afternoon/evening rosters.

    According to RadioInfo, the show, distributed by Compass Media Networks, picks up WCPT Chicago, WWZN Boston, KKGN San Francisco, KPOJ Portland, KJFK Reno, WXXM Madison and WNYY in Ithaca, NY. His most noteworthy affiliate prior to this was KPTK in Seattle, where his company reportedly paid for the clearance.

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    Updates, shmupdates...

    As I tend to this somewhat-neglected blog, and clean up after the whole Air America demise thing, I've updated the links section in the center column. Hopefully, everything is up to date. Here are a few things I've revised:

  • All Air America links and whatnot are gone. As of last night, the stream officially bit the dust, as they make their way to the Chapter 7 graveyard. Air America hosts that are still doing shows (or may be doing so in the near future) remain, and the links now direct to the proper sites.

  • I took this opportunity to go through the listing of radio websites, and made a few additions and subtractions. Keeping up with the changes on the smaller stations is rather tough, since these stations are a bit out of sight, out of mind. I've noticed only two stations have changed as a direct result of Air America's demise. Obviously WZAA in Washington, DC is no more. And KKEE in Bellingham, WA has reportedly flipped to sports talk. Rational Radio stopped broadcasting on KMNY Dallas a couple months back, but are still going online. They have been moved to the "Progressive Talk Radio - Streaming" section. Other stations, such as WINI in Carbondale, IL dropped liberal talk from their schedule a long time ago, but nobody really noticed. But with all the various subtractions comes one notable addition. WZON (103.1FM), just outside of Bangor, ME, flipped to progressive talk earlier this month. The station is owned by Stephen King (yes, THAT Stephen King). They air liberal talk 24/7.

  • I may have left a few hosts and shows off the list. There are probably quite a few that need to be added, such as local shows, etc. Some former on-air hosts are doing what are essentially podcasts, and not really live shows. For others, I'm still scoping through to see what they're doing and where they're doing it. I do have a tendency, however, to avoid ones that aren't very established, or 'networks' and streaming services that constantly change their lineups. For the same reason, I can sometimes be wary of adding weekend shows, since these change constantly. The more established ones, such as Ring Of Fire and Peter Werbe, are still there, since they aren't going anywhere soon.

  • With all that in mind, if you notice a glaring omission that you feel should be on the list, just leave a comment, a link to their site and perhaps a live stream link. That would be most helpful.

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  • Report: Ron Reagan show up in the air

    BlatherWatch reports that Ron Reagan has abandoned his radio show, hours before he was to launch the post-Air America phase of his on-air career:

    No Ron Reagan on KPTK this afternoon. The Seattle-based son of the eponymous late president says he’s throwing in the towel on his radio show, effective right now.

    Producer Tina Nole says it was his decision, and he has no other plans at the moment.

    No further word on the show's fate, and no updates via the Facebook or Twitter pages for it. Reagan was to continue via his homebase station, KPTK, and possibly self-syndicate to his 47 or so affiliates, though many of the stations airing his show had switched to alternate programming. Other reports have claimed that Reagan had been shopping his show to other networks, and that a deal was pending.

    KPTK is airing repeats of the program for the time being.

    Breaking news, fun and frivolity, always on LTR's Twitter Page. If you have Twitter, please follow.

    Monday, January 25, 2010

    WZAA to flip back to WTOP simulcast

    Following last week's demise of Air America, WZAA, the Washington, DC station that they leased, will flip back to it's previous format - simulcasting all-news WTOP, according to

    Air America had been leasing the suburban AM station from WTOP owner Bonneville International. WZAA will continue to fulfill its local sports commitments. "We have had some very intriguing offers and or suggestions (for a new format), but that's the plan for now," a local Bonneville executive told DCRTV.

    DCRTV also reported that WAVA owner Salem has been looking for a DC AM on which to air its right-wing political talk format, but there have been no talks with Bonneville.

    Breaking news, fun and frivolity, always on LTR's Twitter Page. If you have Twitter, please follow.

    Friday, January 22, 2010

    What's next, post-Air America?

    With the demise of Air America, many stations and hosts are scrambling to fill programming holes, and hosts are scrambling to acquire new gigs and/or syndicators. But seeing as Air America's on-air influence had been greatly diminished as of late, listeners may not notice many differences in their local station lineups.

    First, the stations...

  • Obviously, it appears that WZAA, the station the network had been leasing and operating in Washington, DC, will be no more, unless owner Bonneville International or another entity decides to air a progressive talk format there. No word yet on WWRL New York, the other station that Air America leased time from. However, WWRL's owner does have a stake in Ed Schultz' show, so having a local affiliate in New York would be a benefit to them.

  • John Scott, program director of KKGN in San Francisco, said that the station's format would be unaffected, and that Air America "was dead a long time ago. They're just burying it Monday at 6pm PT." He claimed "management screw ups, overspending, talent management, it was a mess from almost the get go. There were truly some fine, dedicated radio people there that were part of the launch team, but they never had a chance."

    "They offered un-entertaining programming. They deserved this. We are in the ENTERTAINMENT business, I am going to say this for the ten billionth time. We are not in the POLITICAL business."

  • NEW! KTLK Los Angeles will have to make a few changes, but it appears they will stick with progressive talk for the foreseeable future. KTLK PD Robin Bertolucci emailed, stating "We are figuring it out as we speak. Ron Reagan (M-F 3-6pm), Richard Greene (M-F 9-11pm), Rachel Maddow (M-F 2-3am), and some of our weekend shows are from Air America." Changes won't be in place until the beginning of next week. The station serves as the home to Stephanie Miller's show.

  • NEW! KPTK Seattle will remain. Local native Ron Reagan, who was employed by Air America and broadcast his show from the station's studios, will continue to do live shows on the station, while he seeks a new national distributor. Reagan was the network's most-syndicated host (not counting the re-airing of Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show). He is keeping fans updated via his Facebook page.

  • Until now, I didn't even realize that Montel Williams had an affiliate in Tacoma, WA, and a live one at that. But apparently, KLAY did carry his show. But not anymore, of course. Starting Monday, former Tacoma city councilman Mike Lonergan takes the morning slot.

  • KPOJ Portland, WCPT Chicago, KTNF in Minneapolis/St. Paul, WXXM Madison, KABQ in Albuquerque, WVAX Charlottesville, VA, WPEK Asheville, NC and KKZN Denver are among the stations so far that have all confirmed that they will continue with their current formats, though with some schedule modification.

  • Many other progressive talk stations will be unaffected, since they carried little to none of the network's programming, aside from weekends, which can easily be filled with reruns and other programming fare.

  • Former Air America nighttime host Nicole Sandler will continue her show online, via her website, but is looking for another broadcast opportunity. According to AllAccess, she is able to continue or fill in immediately on any station, via ISDN line. Jack Rice announced on his Twitter account that he is now "officially available for birthdays & bar mitzvahs" pending his next radio opportunity. No word on what's next for Lionel, Montel Williams, Richard Greene and the network's other on-air and behind-the-scenes employees.

  • Air America's weekend fare tended to cast a larger footprint with affiliates, though the offerings had been greatly diminished in recent years. Some of the shows are produced outside of the network, and will go on. "Ring Of Fire" is independently-produced, and will continue unchanged as a weekend offering, syndicated by Westwood One. Air America-produced shows such as "Inside Story", "State Of Belief" and "On The Real" are likely dead.

  • And then there's the non-Air America stuff. Ed Schultz, Stephanie Miller, Thom Hartmann and Bill Press are syndicated by Dial Global, not Air America. Nothing changes there. Randi Rhodes is syndicated by Premiere Networks. Mike Malloy, Norman Goldman, Karel and a few others are independently syndicated. All of these hosts have little to do with Air America, except that they shared many affiliates.

  • It didn't take long for others to start feasting on the corpse. Business Talk Radio Network and Lifestyle Talk Radio Network are both offering their programming to all former Air America affiliates on an immediate basis. Network staffers have been contacting the stations since yesterday to offer their services in filling programming holes. It's safe to say many other radio networks, particularly the ones offering liberal talk programming, are hitting the phones heavily as well.

  • So, what will happen to the vast audio archives of Air America? Well, nobody knows the answer to that question. Likely, they could find their way to other sources (might I suggest Internet Archive?). Some hosts did their own archiving, and will thus be unaffected. But it's too soon to tell what will happen there.

    Obviously, there will be much more to share on this whole shakeup, so this entry will be updated.

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  • Thursday, January 21, 2010

    Air America folds

    From Air America's website:

    It is with the greatest regret, on behalf of our Board, that we must announce that Air America Media is ceasing its live programming operations as of this afternoon, and that the Company will file soon under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code to carry out an orderly winding-down of the business.

    The very difficult economic environment has had a significant impact on Air America's business. This past year has seen a "perfect storm" in the media industry generally. National and local advertising revenues have fallen drastically, causing many media companies nationwide to fold or seek bankruptcy protection. From large to small, recent bankruptcies like Citadel Broadcasting and closures like that of the industry's long-time trade publication Radio and Records have signaled that these are very difficult and rapidly changing times.

    Those companies that remain are facing audience fragmentation as a result of new media technologies, are often saddled with crushing debt, and have generally found it difficult to obtain operating or investment capital from traditional sources of funding. In this climate, our painstaking search for new investors has come close several times right up into this week, but ultimately fell short of success.

    With radio industry ad revenues down for 10 consecutive quarters, and reportedly off 21% in 2009, signs of improvement have consisted of hoping things will be less bad. And though Internet/new media revenues are projected to grow, our expanding online efforts face the same monetization and profitability challenges in the short term confronting the Web operations of most media companies

    When Air America Radio launched in April, 2004 with already-known personalities like Al Franken and then-unknown future stars like Rachel Maddow, it was the only full-time progressive voice in the mainstream broadcast media world. At a critical time in our nation's history — when dissent on issues such as the Iraq war were often denounced as "un-American" — Air America and its talented team helped millions of Americans remember the importance of compelling discussion about the most pivotal events and decisions of our generation.

    Through some 100 radio outlets nationwide, Air America helped build a new sense of purpose and determination among American progressives. With this revival, the progressive movement made major gains in the 2006 mid-term elections and, more recently, in the election of President Barack Obama and a strongly Democratic Congress.

    Laws have changed for the better thanks to this revival.....but all the same our company cannot escape the laws of economics. So we intend a rapid, orderly closure over the next few days. All current employees will be paid through today, January 21. A severance package will be offered tomorrow to full-time current employees with more than six months of tenure.

    We will strive to assist affiliates and partners in achieving a smooth transition. Starting at 6 pm EST today, we will provide our affiliates, listeners and users a selection of encore programming until 9 pm EST on Monday, January 25, at which time Air America programming will end.

    We are proud that Air America's mission lives on through the words and actions of so many former radio hosts who are active today in progressive causes and media nationwide. In the years ahead, as we look back, we should all be proud of our passionate determination to assure that our nation's progressive voice would be heard loud and clear. Through the hard work and dedication of current staff, and those who preceded you, a lasting legacy was forged which will now continue through other voices and venues.

    Thank you.

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