Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Former pro wrestler tries talk radio

One of the greatest and most entertaining pro wrestlers of the past few decades, Mick Foley (aka Mankind, Cactus Jack, Dude Love), will be guest host Tuesday and Wednesday morning on the Air America radio network. He will co-host the 6AM to 9AM (ET) morning program with Marc Maron.

Morning Sedition airs on many Air America stations, as well as on XM, Sirius and streaming from a variety of sources. Perhaps Foley is exploring an entry into radio, as he has been very entertaining in many radio interviews and guest spots. And his politics vary wildly from many other wrestlers (WWE seems to be an infomercial for the Bush Administration at times) as his views lean much more to the left.

In the past few years, Foley has been involved in many projects, most notably as an author. He has retired from wrestling quite a few times after taking a shocking amount of physical abuse in his better known profession.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

How 'Progressive Talk' came to San Diego

Radio in San Diego changed radically and historically this year, thanks largely to the efforts of Cliff Albert, program director of Clear Channel Communications' KOGO/AM 600 and KLSD/AM 1360.

In August, KLSD came into existence as "Air America Radio," a liberal talk-radio alternative to such conservative outlets here as KFMB/AM 760, KCBQ/AM 1170, KPRZ/AM 1210, KSDO/AM 1130 and KOGO.

The idea of bringing Air America here occurred to Albert when Air America started up in April with just a handful of outlets across the country. (It now has some 40 stations coast-to-coast.) With the ratings of Clear Channel's KPOP/AM 1360 tumbling, and ad revenues dropping, a format change was taken under consideration to make the outlet more profitable.

Ratings data and audience reaction to a liberal talk station in Portland convinced Albert to lobby his superiors for a similar station here. Albert is no radio novice. From 1979 to 1995, he was news director, on-air news anchor and afternoon personality on KFMB radio and then program director at KSDO for a year before he was hired by Clear Channel.


Friday, December 24, 2004

Ratings Roundup

Just thought I'd catch up with some of the more recent Arbitron trend reports.

* In Denver, KKZN looks to be another success for the format. The station leaps from 0.5 in it's previous stint with a sports format in the Spring book, to 0.9 in the Summer, to 1.2 in last month's trend report to an impressive 1.7 overall for the newest trend, covering September, October and November. KKZN flipped to 'progressive talk' on August 30. KKZN also shows in the Colorado Springs market, showing up for the first time ever with a 0.5, which is not bad considering the signal only covers the northern end of the market.

* KPTK in Seattle has only been doing the format since late October, so it's rating of 0.8 (unchanged from it's previous classic country stint) is still unclear. Stay tuned.

* In Columbus, WTPG rises slightly, from a 0.9 in it's previous format in the Summer book, to 1.0 last month to the current 1.2.

* Miami's WINZ registered at 0.7 in the Summer, rose to 1.0 last month, and jumps up to 1.3 for the current period.

* KXXT in Phoenix, fighting a tough battle in an overcrowded talk market, first showed in the ratings last month with a 0.6. It rises slightly to a 0.7.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Sheldon Drobny predicts profitablility for Air America

Nine months after Air America Radio's birth, venture capitalist Sheldon Drobny remains bullish on the liberal talk network he helped launch.

"I would not have invested in it unless I believed that it was a good business model," Drobny tells Inside TV & Radio, predicting it will start turning a profit in a year.

Is there irony that Clear Channel has been picking up the format for quite a few of their stations?

"I don't find it to be ironic," says Drobny, who has written a book, "Road to Air America" (Select Books, $19.95). "I find it to be a testimonial to our product. The profit system is the greatest enhancement to anything successful."


Monday, December 20, 2004

(More) liberal talk comes to Springfield, MA

As of a few days ago, WMAS (1450) has switched to a mostly liberal talk format (though they air Neal Boortz' show). They add Ed Schultz, Stephanie Miller and Randi Rhodes.

Why the strange schedule? Why no Franken? How did they get away with airing just Randi Rhodes from the Air Ameica lineup? Well, part of this has to do with the local WHMP trimulcast, which airs several AAR shows including Franken's. Therefore, WMAS picked up some programs that were previously unheard or aired in the market.

The schedule looks something like this:

George Murphy 6am-9pm
Stephanie Miller – 9am-12noon
Neal Boortz – 12noon-3pm
Ed Shultz – 3pm-6pm
Randi Rhodes - 6pm-10pm.
The Phil Hendri Show– 10pm-1am ET

Here's the site:


Thursday, December 16, 2004

Ed Schultz drops local ND show to focus nationally

Syndicated liberal talker Ed Schultz is stepping down from his local morning talk show, "News And Views," on Clear Channel KFGO-AM Fargo, N.D., to focus on his national show. His syndicated show is now carried by KFGO-AM from 2-5 p.m. locally, where it replaces "The Jack and Sandy Show," which has been discontinued, according to the Associated Press.

Schultz’ s show is a frequent addition to the Air America line-up at CC stations nationwide.

KFGO-AM is searching for Schultz's replacement on the local morning show.

Talk Tidbits

* KLSD/San Diego keeps rising in the ratings. The new station has leaped even more in the latest Arbitrend midterm report, moving from 2.7 to 3.1 in overall listeners. That's enough to make it the 10th most listened-to station in the San Diego market. And who said liberal talk wouldn't fly in a conservative market? As for other markets, not a lot of movement. WLIB in New York is relatively unchanged. WXKS in Boston is still pretty young, so doesn't really make a splash in the ratings, particularly with it's simulcast partner WKOX. And KQKE in San Francisco is just under a 1.0 share in it's first trend report, but in the San Jose book, it's former format is shown in the ratings survey, which is odd since KABL switched to a suburban FM station that can't be picked up in the market. This is a relatively complicated situation that will take a month or so at the very least to sort out.

* When WSAI signs on with their new 'progressive talk' format soon, they will pick up their former call letters WCKY, which are currently on Clear Channel's sister sports station (1360) in town.

* Clear Channel Launches Progressive Talk In Charleston, SC: Progressive 730 is on the air, and with new call letters - WSSP-AM. Hosts on the new station include Jones Radio Networks' Ed Schultz and Stephanie Miller, Air America Radio's Al Franken and Randi Rhodes and WOR Radio Network's Lionel.

* Listeners in Austin, TX will have to wait a little longer for liberal talk. Local Clear Channel chief Dusty Black admitted that he considered the format for their 102.3 frequency earlier in the fall before settling on 'World Class Rock'. It was determined that the 'triple A' format would work better for the station, and currently, there really isn't a place for liberal talk in Clear Channel's Austin strategy. Clear Channel does not own any news/talk stations in the market.

* And finally, Bill O'Reilly of FOX 'News' chimes in with his take on Air America. According to Media Matters For America, O'Reilly claimed that the progressive activist group MoveOn.org is getting "stealth money" from "shadowy, stealth money men." He also claimed that "they got around the McCain-Feingold [Campaign Finance Reform Act] where, at least you know who was buyin' the [political] ads." In fact, the law requires MoveOn Voter Fund and MoveOn PAC to disclose all their donors. O'Reilly also claimed that unlike FOX News' parent company, News Corporation, Air America Radio has "been bought by crazy fanatics on the left" and told listeners, "they just got $13 million, and we're gonna tell ya who we think it came from 'cause they never will." But in fact, neither Air America Radio nor News Corporation -- nor, for that matter, the company that syndicates O'Reilly's radio show, Westwood One -- disclose its investors to the public.

An exec from the crazy leftie fanatic corporation called Real Networks (makers of the subversive RealPlayer) recently took the reigns of AAR and made an investment in the upstart company. Interesting words coming from a guy who works for FOX, which is owned by 'crazy fanatics on the right'. So much for 'fair and balanced', huh? Bill, go play with your falafel.

Thursday, December 09, 2004


TV talk show host Jerry Springer will debut a three-hour weekday radio talk show here in January.

The former Cincinnati mayor and TV anchor will launch a 9 a.m.-noon call-in show on WSAI-AM (1530) when the Clear Channel station switches from oldies music to liberal talk. He wants to syndicate the show nationally from Cincinnati, he said.

"There is clearly an opportunity for new voices to be heard today around the country," Springer, 60, said today. "There is so much going on in the world today, and to be part of that dialogue will be fun."

Darryl Parks, operations director for Clear Channel's four AM stations here, said the station had been negotiating with the former politician for months.


A few other notes from the article:

- Springer will do the radio show Monday-Wednesday from Chicago, where he tapes his TV show. Likely, this will be from Clear Channel's studios there. He will do his show from Cincinnati on Thursday and Friday.

- This is a one-year deal so far, and he will continue with his TV gig until he gets tired of it.

- No word on who will syndicate his show, but Clear Channel owns Premiere Networks, which syndicates Rush Limbaugh, Dr. Laura, Glen Beck, Jim Rome and Bob and Tom, among others. If he goes with Premiere, this will mark Clear Channel's entry into the liberal talk syndication fray, and he could turn up on other Clear Channel liberal talkers. For now, it's a local show.

- And, as many know, Springer has deep Cincinnati roots, and was even the mayor of the city at one time. He was also a TV news anchor before launching his TV show.

- No word on whether Steve the bouncer will join him, or if there will be fighting spouses on his show.

Talk tidbits

Lots of things going on in liberal talk radio, so I thought I'd catch up with some of the small stuff.

1. First off, Air America has received a $13 million cash infusion to help them as they are starting to expand at a strong rate. According to the Chicago Tribune, the network also announced Wednesday that Rob Glaser, the chairman and CEO of RealNetworks, will take over as chairman of the board of Air America, and that Doug Kreeger, who has served as acting chief executive since May, is stepping down. His replacement has not been named.
Glaser, New York investment banker Eugene Keilin and other investors have recently committed $13 million in new financing, Sinton added. He also said the network has signed on Geico and American Express as advertisers.

2. AAR has signed two of it's highest profile hosts to new contracts. Al Franken was signed to a new two year contract, with an option for a third. Randi Rhodes signed a three year contract as well. Financial terms were not disclosed.

3. KABQ-AM in Albuquerque is making some noise in the ratings. The station, which flipped from a Spanish-language format on August 30, makes a stronger showing in the latest Arbitron ratings trend report, showing an increase from 0.4 in the Summer ratings period in it's previous format to 1.1 in the August/September/October overall (ages 12+) ratings. No information on demographic breakdowns, as I understand is not done for trend reports. But it is a nice jump, and brings KABQ up from obscurity. Congratulations, and look for the full book sometime in January or February.

4. KPOJ-AM in Portland, OR has finally completed it's much-ballyhooed power increase, upping the signal to a strong 25,000 watts. The signal now goes all the way up to the Olympia/Seattle area in the north, and covers much of the state.

5. And finally, thanks to all who sent me the many positive and informative emails. I regret that my time to respond has been lacking, as I have been pre-occupied with my job outside of this site (advertising on this site has earned barely enough to buy a can of soda from a vending machine, so I must pay the bills somehow). And of course, the job carries with it some pretty long hours. Fret not, as this site will not go away anytime soon, and I try to update it daily, provided there's anything to report. As always, stay tuned!

It's official: Air America coming to Washington, D.C.

Air America, the liberal radio network that had a rocky takeoff last spring, has struck a deal to land in Washington.

The arrangement with WRC-AM comes as the fledgling network is gaining altitude, announcing yesterday that it has re-signed star personality Al Franken to a multiyear contract, raised $13 million in new financing and named Rob Glaser, chief executive of RealNetworks, as its chairman.

WRC (1260) plans to drop its syndicated sports talk programming in favor of Franken and some of the rest of Air America's left-leaning lineup while adding other liberal commentators, say people familiar with the matter. This would give WRC's owner, Clear Channel Communications, a "blue state" station to balance its "red state" programs on WTNT (570), which includes conservative hosts Laura Ingraham, G. Gordon Liddy and Michael Savage.

Don Imus, the acid-tongued morning host heard on WTNT, will be simulcast on WRC. Neither station has been a powerhouse in the Arbitron ratings, with WTNT ranked 17th in the market last summer, with an average of 74,500 listeners. WRC, which has a weaker signal, was last at No. 40, averaging 29,800 listeners.

Air America makes it's D.C. debut on Inauguration Day, January 20.

The article also says that AAR has been drawing good ratings. Claims that AAR has been in the top five among listeners ages 25-54 in San Diego, Miami and Portland, OR.

Click the headline for the original article.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

"Progressive 730" comes to Charleston, SC

This one completely slid in under the radar. Looks like Clear Channel's WSCC-AM (730) will split from it's more conservative sister (WSCC-FM 94.3) and become an Air America affiliate.

The flip is slated for December 16.

The FM will stay put with Limbaugh and company.

730AM broadcasts with a directional 5200 watt signal during the day, but powers down to 103 watts at night (many stations farther down the AM dial do this, since they are much more powerful than the ones higher up the dial). The daytime signal covers much of the South Carolina coast, while the nighttime signal is pretty much local only.

You can find out more about the signal here.

Liberal Air America is alive and well, to the surprise of naysayers, founder

Neal Boortz was ragging on the rookie of talk radio. His crystal ball foresaw a smoggy future for Air America, the start-up national network that had appeared out of left field to inject a distinct tone into the chorus of chatmeisters with conservative and libertarian accents.

"This is not something I would invest in," the decidedly unliberal Boortz of Atlanta's WSB-AM (750) said dismissively on his nationally syndicated show earlier this year.

In the coming days, Jon Sinton, the Atlanta radio consultant who midwifed Air America, expects to announce:

• The 8 1/2-month-old network, already in 40 markets including Atlanta, will expand to at least four more, covering about half of the country;

• Al Franken and Janeane Garofalo, its most recognized on-air hosts, will re-up, dousing speculation that they would bolt when one-year commitments expire;

• Investors have sunk enough new money in Air America to see it through to profitability.

"What an incredible accomplishment ... in opening the industry's eyes," says Michael Harrison, editor of the trade magazine Talkers.

"It's clear that the public is aware there is an Air America."

Less clear is whether listeners will set their car radio buttons on the network. Initial ratings are inconclusive but encouraging.

"I didn't think it was going to succeed. I'm pleased that it [might]," Boortz says now, delighted to welcome a new foil. "I'm rooting for them."


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Monday, December 06, 2004

The cat's out of the bag: Liberal talk coming to WSAI/Cincinnati

By John KiesewetterEnquirer staff writer

Air America coming to WSAI

Dusty Rhodes says he'll soon be dumped for Al Franken and Janeane Garofalo.
The Hamilton County auditor, who moonlights as morning DJ on WSAI-AM (1530), says Clear Channel will drop the oldies music to put on the liberal Air America talk lineup by year's end.

Rhodes, who helped bring the Beatles to Cincinnati Gardens as a WSAI disc jockey in 1964, anchors the '50s and '60s format that replaced Nick Clooney and big band music two years ago. The "Real Oldies" lineup has included local rock veterans Jack Stahl, Marty Thompson and Dan Allen.

Forty stations carry the Air America shows with Franken, Garofalo, rapper Chuck D., Lizz Winstead, Katherine Lanpher and Mike Malloy. Adding 50,000-watt WSAI-AM pains Rhodes. "As a Democrat elected in this county, I don't want my party to be seen as the Al Franken party," says Rhodes, who turns 65 Monday.

LTR Note: In addition to Cincinnati, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. are heavily rumored to be picking up Air America before the end of the year. This will bring the total number of affiliates for the network to 43, unless other stations in other markets follow suit.

Also, AAR will be on a pretty powerful frequency. WSAI booms out 50,000 watts on 1530 AM, a signal that on good nights can cover almost the whole midwest and into the south. Perhaps this is an experiment for Clear Channel, as a way of gauging interest in other markets. WSAI gets into neighboring markets such as Dayton, Indianapolis, Louisville and others.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Mo' Rumors: This time, it's Washington, DC

Lots of buzz yet again concerning liberal talk in the nation's capitol. As mentioned here back in October, Washington was mentioned as a destination for Air America. And most rumors pointed to Clear Channel's WWRC-AM (1260), which is currently a FOX Sports affiliate that barely (if at all) shows up in the local ratings.

The Washington rumor was mentioned again on AAR today. They claim that AAR will land in DC after the holidays. Los Angeles was mentioned this week as well, and even online radio trade site All Access is taking this seriously. Add to this some vague rumors about WSAI in Cincinnati, and you've got three intriguing situations going on concerning new affiliates for Air America.

Again, stay tuned!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Roll your own radio (Podcasting becoming a big hit)

...Just when the mainstream media had finally managed to figure out what blogging was all about, Adam Curry had to go ahead and invent podcasting. A podcast is a radio show that listeners subscribe to online. Every time a new program is posted, it automatically feeds into the subscriber’s computer. From there, the listener zaps it onto a digital music player and hits the road: Think of it as TiVo for your MP3 player. “There’s a lot of great radio out there that I would love to listen to when I am ready for it,” says Curry (Remember him from MTV? The guy who changed hairstyles whenever Jon Bon Jovi changed his?). “Anyone can come and party on my MP3 player.”


And podcasting, unlike blogging, has been instantly, if cautiously, recognized by Big Media for its potential. Since its inception just a few months ago, Minnesota Public Radio, Air America, Boston public-radio station WGBH, Public Radio International’s popular “This American Life” and BBC radio, to name a few, have all started their own podcasts. Jon Gordon, host of Minnesota Public Radio's nationally syndicated program “Future Tense,” says his Web traffic doubled in October when he began podcasting. “Listening online, you’re tied to a single location, that’s the big difference,” he says. “This is very portable and you can dump a whole bunch of programs on your iPod and take it with you.” For the moment he says his podcasts include no original content, but he has plans to begin podcasting exclusive tidbits and segments of interviews he couldn’t cram into his five-minute radio spots.

Ooops! Sorry. That's not Adam Curry. This is:

You can check out Curry's audio blog here:

Daily Source Code

And you can do your own thing with lots of great liberal talk shows here:

White Rose Society

And here:

Air America Place

Michael Smerconish is a dumbshit

Rush Limbaugh wannabe Michal Smerconish of Philadelphia wrote a column in the Philadelphia Daily News entitled Defund The People's Republic Of NPR.


Gee, how original and cute. Yet another wingnut mouthbreather claiming NPR is 'liberal' (probably because they're not as obsessed with the Clintons as the hacks on the AM dial are), and therefore, 'Communist'. Gee, party like it's 1949, huh? Anyways, Smirky rambles on about an employee of Philadelphia's NPR affiliate who left a nasty message on the voice mail of a conservative web site. The webmaster did a little search of the domain she posted from, and found out where she worked. As a result of the flap, the woman resigned.

Smirky then goes off on an idiotic rant about what he calls "Radio Pravda", and bemoaning the fact that it's 'taxpayer supported'. First off, the woman, Rachel Buchman was not employed by NPR. She was employed by WHYY, an NPR affiliate. Second, NPR is not 'government supported'. According to Wikipedia and NPR, very little money actually comes from the government. NPR states this figure to be 0.2%. Most of their money comes from affiliate fees, pledge drives, underwriting announcements and donations from individuals, organizations and corporations. In other words, it's likely that NPR benefits from government tax breaks (as a non-profit organization) about as much as, say, people like Jerry Falwell, who uses his position with his 'church' to bash gays, liberals, Catholics, and others he doesn't like. We pay people like Tom DeLay, Rick Santorum and others more money to spew hateful rhetoric and circumvent the democratic process than we pay NPR to present a relatively even-handed account of the news from around the world and the ability to hear subversive fare like 'Car Talk' on the weekends. Wonder what Smirky has to say about that?

Furthermore, NPR isn't all that liberal. Many of their shows tend to take a centrist slant, though some shows veer off to each end of the political spectrum. All liberal, it isn't. But wait: Why do I feature NPR and it's affiliates so prominently in my site's links? Well, because it's a non-conservative network that aims toward a heavily left-leaning audience. In short, many liberals make NPR and public radio in general their preferred choice for news and information content on the radio, so I provide the links to it. NPR is communist like conservative radio is facist, meaning they aren't really, but it's a cheap and easy way to attack the other side. Smirky is a lazy idiot who's dumbing down for his audience. He's taking the easy way out, and I'm shocked that a major daily newspaper gives this moron an outlet for spewing utter stupidity. Wonder what his opinion of the Dan Rather/documents controversy is, especially since he himself is playing fast and loose with the facts, intentionally deceiving his readership. All five of them. And, according to his bio, he's a Phi Beta Kappa graduate in government and journalism. Some journalist, huh?

Gotta hand it to Smirky, though. In one newspaper column, he bashed liberals, NPR, Air America, people who don't like conservatives, and communists. And, rather than actually presenting the facts (which took me mere minutes to find), prefers to pull it all out of his ass for his lemming fans to easily digest. Rush would be so proud of his clone. I think he's a complete idiot, and if he really had even a dash of talent, he'd be syndicated like a zillion other fools riding Limbaugh's coattails and popping Oxy pills. I think he'd have a better radio career as a Morning Zoo stuntboy running naked in downtown traffic and making an ass out of himself. Well, he's got the second part right.

A rumor that won't die: Liberal talk coming to L.A.

This one has been bandied about for awhile, and I posted about this a few months ago. Seems Clear Channel has been planning to shift some formats around in Los Angeles and San Diego. This would involve the simulcast of XTRA Sports (XETRA-AM 690 and KXTA 1150) being broken up (perhaps even dropping it's licencing of the Tijuana, Mexico-based 690). Sports talk and Lakers games will move to 570 in L.A., displacing it's adult standards format. An 1150 will be L.A.'s home of... Air America.

Confused? Yeah, so am I. But it is likely to happen, especially given the success of KLSD in San Diego. Hosts on San Diego sports talk rival XEPRS (1090) have been feeding the rumors, obviously to get in one last jab at it's rival. And FOX Sports' Jim Rome is moving from his homebase of 690 to 1190.

Now, adding more fuel to the fire, Janeane Garofalo said on her Air America show tonight that Air America is indeed coming to Los Angeles. And, while she didn't mention any station in particular, it looks to be KXTA (1150).

Stay tuned, as I'll keep you all updated.

In the meantime, you can check out these sites for rumors and the like:

Radio Info

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Rumor: Liberal talk coming to Cincinnati?

Rumors are flying on the Radio-Info boards about Clear Channel's possible flip of a station in that liberal hotbed of Cincinnati (just kidding about the 'liberal hotbed' part). The rumor centers mostly around WSAI (1530), which has a powerful signal that blasts much of the midwest after dark. The station is currently programming Clear Channel's "Real Oldies" format, which consists of the usual 50's-60's fare, mixed with standards from the likes of Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett.

Another possibility involves sister station WCKY (1360), a 5000 watt station currently airing a sports format as "The Homer". In this scenario, The Homer moves with their sports format to 1530, and 1360 picks up Air America.

The flip supposedly will happen around January 1, 2005.

You can follow the banter here:

Radio-Info Cincinnati Board

Again, these are rumors, so take with proverbial truckload of salt.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Ratings Roundup: The Fall '04 Phase 1 trend reports

®R&R - Radio & Records.

(Note: These are overall trend reports, courtesy of Arbitron. They are based on all listeners, ages 12 and up, and are not official Arbitron ratings period numbers. But they do give somewhat of a glance as far as upward or downward movement. So far, liberal talkers seem to be on the rise in several markets.

New York - WLIB climbs slightly to a 1.5 overall.
Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood - WINZ makes a nice jump, from 0.7 to 1.0. Not bad so far.
San Diego - KLSD continues its rise, going from a 2.6 to 2.7.
Nassau-Suffolk - New York's WLIB inches to a 1.2 from 1.1 on Long Island.
Denver-Boulder - KKZN is doing well in its first few months, going from 0.5 as a sports station to 0.9 after a month with liberal talk. Now they sit at 1.2.
Columbus - New talker WTPG moves 0.1 to a 1.0 in its first partial report since changing formats.
Middlesex-Somerset-Union, NJ - WLIB holds steady at 0.4 in Northern New Jersey.

Keep in mind, this is only a partial report, and doesn't take into account brand new stations that haven't been surveyed with the new format yet, such as Boston and San Francisco/San Jose. Atlanta's WWAA just moved in closer to its market, allowing better reception there. In Minneapolis, Straight Talk Radio recently switched stations, so the ratings for all involved are a bit fuzzy. In Phoenix, KXXT is a new sign-on, and is saddled by a somewhat weak citywide signal in a market with many talk stations and not many people listening to them. Phoenix is not a big talk radio market. In markets like Philadelphia, Honolulu, West Palm Beach and Riverside/San Bernadino, stations there only carry a few AAR shows, so it's difficult to judge based on an overall rating covering all dayparts.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

New AAR affiliate: KTRC 1260 AM in Santa Fe, NM

KTRCConservative Republicans might control the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court, but the right-wing dominance of a local talk-radio station is about to end as the unabashedly liberal Air America network readies to start broadcasting at KTRC 1260 AM in Santa Fe.

"Santa Fe is a natural for us," said Jon Sinton, president of Air America, in a telephone interview Monday. "We're very excited."Air America, which broadcasts on more than 40 stations and two satellite networks, features shows hosted by left-of-center entertainers such as comedians Al Franken and Janeane Garofalo, rapper Chuck D and country singer Steve Earle as well as liberal commentators such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Mike Malloy and Randi Rhodes.

The network was supposed to begin airing on KTRC on Monday, but technical difficulties with satellite equipment delayed the debut until today or Wednesday, Sinton said.KTRC, which is owned by the AGM radio group, for years broadcast left-leaning programs from the I.E. America Network, which was affiliated with the United Auto Workers union.

However, I.E. America shut down early this year. KTRC kept one of the old I.E. America shows, The Thom Hartmann Radio Program, but added ultra-conservative talk shows such as Worldnet Daily Radio Active.

Last spring, a Texas radio company announced that it would bring Air America to Santa Fe. However, those plans fell through. "I don't know what happened to those guys," Sinton said.


Monday, November 15, 2004

Election draws national attention to Lynn Cullen

WPTT-AM (1360) talk host Lynn Cullen's liberal philosophy has set her apart from the pack in the largely conservative world of talk radio. So in a way it's ironic that the presidential election ended up putting her show in the national and international spotlight.

Last month she was featured in a CNN International Report, along with KDKA-AM's (1020) Mike Pintek, on opposing talk host viewpoints in battleground states. Then C-Span simulcast her program a week before the elections and ended up repeating the broadcast.

The TV exposure generated more than 3,000 e-mails. "I'm still digging out," says Cullen, who still has about 1,600 left to read. Combine that with the station's presence on the Internet -- its talk shows are streamed live -- and you have something akin to electronic syndication.

Syndication in some other form may not be far behind, the host says.

"That's a possibility. There's an audience."


Cullen would be happy to go national -- as long as she can do it from Pittsburgh. "I want to stay here. I'm not going to pick up and do this somewhere else. I had opportunities to leave. It's not who I am. I'm not nomadic. My son's life is here. My life is here."


Thursday, November 11, 2004

"Fahrenheit 9/11½."

Michael Moore met with Harvey Weinstein and Moore says they plan to start working -- now -- on "Fahrenheit 9/11½."

"We want to get cameras rolling now and have it ready in two-three years," Moore says. "We want to document and commercialize it. Fifty-one percent of the American people lacked information (in this election) and we want to educate and enlighten them. They weren't told the truth. We're communicators and it's up to us to start doing it now. The official mourning period is over today and there is a silver lining -- George W. Bush is prohibited by law from running again."

And as for those who claim that Hollywood was an albatross on the Democrats' neck, Moore says, "America loves Hollywood. When given a chance to vote for someone from Hollywood, they jump in." He cited the history of successful Republican actor-politicians from George Murphy to Ronnie Reagan to Arnold. "Who is the Democrats' Arnold? We have a number of them. What American wouldn't vote for Tom Hanks? Hollywood is full of people like that." When I asked what actor would trade a $20 million salary and a percentage of the gross, he countered with "Let's pay the actor-politicians a presidential salary of $20 million -- plus a percentage of the GNP."

He says "Hollywood gets a chance for one more vote this year": Moore and Harvey are going ahead on the Oscar campaign for "Fahrenheit 9/11" in best picture and other applicable categories. Harvey told him, "Let's do it. And I said 'whatever Harvey wants, I'm ready.'" He isn't bothered by the absence of suitable category for a Golden Globe nomination --" We're not a musical, comedy or dramatic feature." He laughingly admits, "I don't know if people want to see me on the stage of the Kodak again. However, since my wife (Kathleen) was the producer, if I win -- she speaks!". Thousands of the "Fahrenheit" DVDs have been donated to libraries and schools. He gave them away on his trek through 63 cities in the past month -- they included stops in Ohio and Florida.

The issues (for the next film) have not changed because of the election. "They are Iraq and terrorism." He says he continues to get mail from the armed forces telling of their disappointments." I asked about his hate mail? "There's very little. It's dropped down to a few drive-by gloaters." And yes, he'll continue preparing his other film, "Sicko," on the national health care industry.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Air America comes to Eugene

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Liberal-leaning Air America radio is coming to the Eugene-Springfield area.

(KOPT 1450 AM is the Air America affiliate. A sister station is picking up a Spanish language format.)

And both stations should find a niche in a well-known liberal stronghold where 59 percent of the population voted for John Kerry. The region has also seen an influx of immigrants in the past decade or so.

The Eugene area already has two stations that broadcast conservative talk show programs, which was just what KOPT station manager Phil Polter is counting on.

"We figured if two radio stations were servicing the 41 percent of conservatives, who is going to service the 59 percent?" Polter said. "Well, here we are."

KOPT will have a strong signal in Eugene-Springfield and much of the surrounding area.

Both stations are licensed to McKenzie River Broadcasting Company. No word on whether the entire lineup will be carried, or if any other shows will be on the station. The new format on 1450 will begin Wednesday morning.

KOPT broadcasts with 1,000 watts of power day and night. Here is the estimated signal coverage area:


Friday, November 05, 2004

17 Reasons Not to Slit Your Wrists...by Michael Moore

Friday, November 5th, 2004

Dear Friends,

Ok, it sucks. Really sucks. But before you go and cash it all in, let's, in the words of Monty Python, “always look on the bright side of life!” There IS some good news from Tuesday's election.

Here are 17 reasons not to slit your wrists:

1. It is against the law for George W. Bush to run for president again.

2. Bush's victory was the NARROWEST win for a sitting president since Woodrow Wilson in 1916.

3. The only age group in which the majority voted for Kerry was young adults (Kerry: 54%, Bush: 44%), proving once again that your parents are always wrong and you should never listen to them.

4. In spite of Bush's win, the majority of the Americans still think the country is headed in the wrong direction (56%), think the war wasn't worth fighting (51%), and don’t approve of the job George W. Bush is doing (52%). (Note to foreigners: Don't try to figure this one out. It's an American thing, like Pop Tarts.)

5. The Republicans will not have a filibuster-proof 60-seat majority in the Senate. If the Democrats do their job, Bush won't be able to pack the Supreme Court with right-wing ideologues. Did I say "if the Democrats do their job?" Um, maybe better to scratch this one.

6. Michigan voted for Kerry! So did the entire Northeast, the birthplace of our democracy. So did 6 of the 8 Great Lakes States. And the whole West Coast! Plus Hawaii. Ok, that's a start. We've got most of the fresh water, all of Broadway, and Mt. St. Helens. We can dehydrate them or bury them in lava. And no more show tunes!

7. Once again we are reminded that the buckeye is a nut, and not just any old nut -- a poisonous nut. A great nation was felled by a poisonous nut. May Ohio State pay dearly this Saturday when it faces Michigan.

8. 88% of Bush's support came from white voters. In 50 years, America will no longer have a white majority. Hey, 50 years isn't such a long time! If you're ten years old and reading this, your golden years will be truly golden and you will be well cared for in your old age.

9. Gays, thanks to the ballot measures passed on Tuesday, cannot get married in 11 new states. Thank God. Just think of all those wedding gifts we won't have to buy now.

10. Five more African Americans were elected as members of Congress, including the return of Cynthia McKinney of Georgia. It's always good to have more blacks in there fighting for us and doing the job our candidates can't.

11. The CEO of Coors was defeated for Senate in Colorado. Drink up!

12. Admit it: We like the Bush twins and we don't want them to go away.

13. At the state legislative level, Democrats picked up a net of at least 3 chambers in Tuesday's elections. Of the 98 partisan-controlled state legislative chambers (house/assembly and senate), Democrats went into the 2004 elections in control of 44 chambers, Republicans controlled 53 chambers, and 1 chamber was tied. After Tuesday, Democrats now control 47 chambers, Republicans control 49 chambers, 1 chamber is tied and 1 chamber (Montana House) is still undecided.

14. Bush is now a lame duck president. He will have no greater moment than the one he's having this week. It's all downhill for him from here on out -- and, more significantly, he's just not going to want to do all the hard work that will be expected of him. It'll be like everyone's last month in 12th grade -- you've already made it, so it's party time! Perhaps he'll treat the next four years like a permanent Friday, spending even more time at the ranch or in Kennebunkport. And why shouldn't he? He's already proved his point, avenged his father and kicked our ass.

15. Should Bush decide to show up to work and take this country down a very dark road, it is also just as likely that either of the following two scenarios will happen: a) Now that he doesn't ever need to pander to the Christian conservatives again to get elected, someone may whisper in his ear that he should spend these last four years building "a legacy" so that history will render a kinder verdict on him and thus he will not push for too aggressive a right-wing agenda; or b) He will become so cocky and arrogant -- and thus, reckless -- that he will commit a blunder of such major proportions that even his own party will have to remove him from office.

16. There are nearly 300 million Americans -- 200 million of them of voting age. We only lost by three and a half million! That's not a landslide -- it means we're almost there. Imagine losing by 20 million. If you had 58 yards to go before you reached the goal line and then you barreled down 55 of those yards, would you stop on the three yard line, pick up the ball and go home crying -- especially when you get to start the next down on the three yard line? Of course not! Buck up! Have hope! More sports analogies are coming!!!

17. Finally and most importantly, over 55 million Americans voted for the candidate dubbed "The #1 Liberal in the Senate." That's more than the total number of voters who voted for either Reagan, Bush I, Clinton or Gore. Again, more people voted for Kerry than Reagan. If the media are looking for a trend it should be this -- that so many Americans were, for the first time since Kennedy, willing to vote for an out-and-out liberal. The country has always been filled with evangelicals -- that is not news. What IS news is that so many people have shifted toward a Massachusetts liberal. In fact, that's BIG news. Which means, don't expect the mainstream media, the ones who brought you the Iraq War, to ever report the real truth about November 2, 2004. In fact, it's better that they don't. We'll need the element of surprise in 2008.
Feeling better? I hope so. As my friend Mort wrote me yesterday, "My Romanian grandfather used to say to me, 'Remember, Morton, this is such a wonderful country -- it doesn't even need a president!'"

But it needs us. Rest up, I'll write you again tomorrow.


Michael Moore

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

A picture is worth a thousand words

Monday, November 01, 2004

WAVZ-AM (New Haven, CT) leaves ‘The Zone,’ switches to liberal talk format

Officials at Clear Channel Communications announced over the weekend that the New Haven-Hamden station would be changing from Fox Sports Radio to "The Voice" progressive talk radio.

The liberal talk format, which contrasts with sister station WELI’s conservative format, will begin today, said Jerry Kristafer of Clear Channel.

WAVZ, a popular-music station in the 1960s and ’70s, eventually came under the Clear Channel chain and switched to formats such as nostalgic music and, more recently, Fox Sports Radio ("The Zone").

That format couldn’t draw enough listeners away from New York’s WFAN and Hartford’s ESPN Radio (1410).

"I talked about doing this back in February, and corporate folks talked about it," said Kristafer. "I think it’s the right thing to do myself."

Music listeners have migrated in the past 25 years to FM radio, including Clear Channel’s WKCI.

WELI is a 5,000-watt station based at Hamden’s Radio Towers Park. WAVZ, soon expected to be granted new call letters, is a 1,000-watt station.

The station will run shows from the syndicated liberal network Air America including "Morning Sedition" from 6 to 9 a.m. and Al Franken’s noon to 3 p.m. show, in addition to Jones Broadcasting’s show with Ed Schultz in the afternoon, and WABC-AM veteran "Lionel" hosting at 10 p.m.

Sunday mornings will feature the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s program "Keep Hope Alive!" No local programs were announced for the retooled station.

Here's some info about WAVZ and their signal. And the website's already up and can be found here.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Is KLSD the most-listened to station among adults in San Diego?

From the San Diego Union-Tribune:

San Diego's first liberal talk-radio station – KLSD/AM 1360 – has made a big out-of-the-gate impression. Sources say the station was the most-listened-to outlet among 40 stations in the area among 25-to 54-year-olds during September. KLSD came on line Aug. 23, replacing KPOP/AM 1360, which played music from the 1940s, '50s and '60s.

The Arbitron Co., which measures radio listenership, publicly discloses data pertaining to listeners 12 years of age and older. Arbitron's figures say AM 1360 attracted 2.6 percent of the radio listening audience here during the summer quarter (July, August, September). As a result, KPOP/KLSD climbed to 17th place in the summer from 23rd in the spring. KLSD will have its first complete Arbitron quarter October, November and December.

Granted, it's tought to get full demographic information from Arbitron, but it's likely that KLSD did phenomenally well with certain high-demand demographics. I must say, not too shabby for a one month old station in San Diego. Now let's see how long it takes to go on up the road in Los Angeles.

Sirius Left announces Election Night coverage

From All Access:

Sirius is gearing up for election night with lots of special programming on their in-house channels, as well as from networks they carry, such as NPR and Air America. On Sirius Left, look for special election night shows with Alex Bennett, Lynn Samuels and the Young Turks. OUTQ is featuring it's new "OUTQuotient" index (in partnership with The Advocate) measuring the impact of gay voters, candidates, and issues, with John McMullen and Michaelangelo Signorile anchoring the coverage with News Dir. Tim Curran and analyst Corey Johnson. Oh, and their conservative channels are also planning special programming.

As I hear about any other special programming, I'll pass it on.

From the "Is this how rumors get started?" department

Supposedly, TWO CC stations are stunting in Salt Lake City: 105.7 and 99.5.

From AllAccess.com :

CLEAR CHANNEL Alternative KCPX (CHANNEL 105.7)/SALT LAKE CITY is in stunt-mode through ELECTION DAY as "ALL DEBATE, ALL THE TIME," according to today's (10/29) DESERT NEWS. KCPX is airing a loop of three presidential debates. On NOVEMBER 2nd, KCPX will start reporting local and national election results.

ALL ACCESS hears the format wheel will spin at KCPX late in the day on TUESDAY to an Adult format. Will sister Classic Rock KURR (ROCK 99) also be making a change? Stay tuned for more details.

According to a
Utah message board, 105.7 is stunting with political stuff and 99.5 is playing U2 songs. There is this site, which may get some people wondering:


And no, I highly doubt Air America will find it's way on either station. Granted, I think AAR could make it, even in a conservative hotbed like Utah. But if it appears there, it will be on an AM signal, as I figure that businesses there may be lukewarm to support it on a big signal. A weak AM with nothing to lose could stay afloat with it. And keep in mind, Clear Channel recently flipped their underperforming AM, KALL (700) to sports. As for what formats will wind up on those two stations, it looks like 99.5 could be an older-skewing alternative station and 105.7 could go Spanish or Triple A (like KBCO in Denver)

If one of them flips to AAR, I'll eat my keyboard. But at least there's a place for Salt Lake City political junkies to keep up with election day news and information.

Isn't it fun to spread rumors?

Does Rep. David Dreier (R-CA) want a return of the Fairness Doctrine?

Also reported by All Access.com. You can also go to Raw Story.

A complaint to the Federal Election Commission by Rep. David Dreier (R-CA) through the National Republican Congressional Committee charges that KFI-A/Los Angeles afternoon hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou should be criminally punished for "felonies" for doing shows advocating Dreier's defeat in his re-election campaign. Dreier is the target of John and Ken's "Political Human Sacrifice" campaign, which aims to make a Republican Congressman pay for not fighting illegal immigration strongly enough.

The team has done remote broadcasts from rallies outside Dreier's Glendora office, and Dreier used transcripts of the live broadcasts to claim that the shows violated Federal law by advocating a candidate's defeat, an interpretation rejected by Clear Channel lawyers, according to Kobylt, who tells All Access that "when we went after (former California Democratic Gov.) Gray Davis and supported Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dreier was Schwarzenegger's campaign coordinator, he didn't complain then. Republicans have had a free ride for 15 years from AM talk radio," Kobylt laughed, "and now one show goes after one guy over one issue, and we should be sent to prison." John and Ken spent much of Thursday's show skewering Dreier for the attempt to muzzle them.

Ironic politicos like Dreier have no problem with media people trashing people they don't like, but when it hits too close to home, they run screaming home to mommy. Dreier is the biggest wuss in Congress, and anyone who saw him walk off the set of HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" a few months back can attest to that. The man has no spine.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Ratings Roundup: Madison, Albuquerque

Madison's two progressive talkers make a fairly decent showing in the Summer ratings. WXXM (92.1), the only FM signal carrying Air America programming, moves up a couple notches, from 1.7 for the previous adult contemporary format to a 1.9. Whether this is related to the new talk format remains to be seen, since the switch happened only a few weeks prior to the end of the Summer ratings period. There is no relative ratings spike or drop here, unlike San Diego or Sacramento. Meanwhile, on the AM side, WTDY comes in a point below, at 1.8, up one notch. They refocused in more of a left-leaning approach around the time of 92.1's switch, so any ratings success remains to be seen. Stay tuned.

In Albuquerque, KABQ makes a showing in the ratings for the first time in a while, splashing with a 0.4 rating. KABQ picked up the format on August 30, so we have to wait and see as far as any real ratings success here.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Air America Station Knocked Off Air 'by Conservatives'

An amusing story from New Mexico where KABQ 1350 was knocked off the air and the regularly scheduled Air America was substituted with conservative talk! "It seems in this election year, everything is politicized. A transmitter power outage for radio station KABQ 1350 AM had some listeners worried. The station was off the air for 20 to 30 minutes Thursday morning. When KABQ is off the air, 1310 AM -- which carries conservative talk radio -- will bleed over. The outage caused listeners to call Action 7 News, saying the Republicans knocked the station off the air." Can you imagine the feeling of betrayal those listeners must've felt?

LTR Note: I wouldn't worry about Republicans sabotaging the station with right-wing programming. Quite often in radio, when a station is knocked off the air accidentally, often due to transmitter problems, there will be bleed-through from another station. This can happen especially with AM, but usually a station on the same frequency from hundreds of miles away may come in. 1310 came through likely because of the location of their transmitter. Albuquerque AAR fans can relax - this is not unusual in radio, and is often repaired quickly.

News Roundup - 10/28

RADIO LINES Rocky Mountain News, CO
Creative renewal and personal concerns fuel Steve Earle’s ... LA City Beat, CA
100 leaders and 40 families launch 911 Truth Statement YubaNet, United States
Franken to air Nov. 1 show from Portland Portsmouth Herald News, United States
Holding on to Objectivity, Richard Sambrook's Poliak LeMedia Bulletin, UK
Politicos jam radio, TV talk showsRocky Mountain News, CO
Entertainment and Politics Back Stage, NY
Al Franken: a political activist both on and off the air San Francisco Chronicle, CA
TCU INSIDER Fort Worth Star Telegram (subscription), TX
Franken for Kerry? What a shocker MSNBC

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Ratings Roundup: Sacramento

Sacramento's KSQR-AM makes a huge leap in the overall ratings, moving from nonexistant in the Winter book, to 0.4 in the Spring (with less than a whole ratings period as an AAR affiliate) to a 1.6 overall for the just-released Summer book. Nice showing.

It's interesting to note that KSQR, along with WLIB in New York, are the only two stations where AAR still leases time, as opposed to the current, preferred barter syndication method. I wonder if another station will eventually offer to pick up AAR programming via barter, thereby negating the need to lease KSQR. There is a KLIB in Sacramento, at 1110 AM. Gotta admit - it would be kinda cool. But I don't see much for available AM frequencies there.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Portland advertisers see an opportunity in alternative to conservative talk radio

Insurance agent Tom Hasselstrom likes to call himself a red-meat-eating, gun-toting liberal. He never dreamed of advertising on any of Portland’s talk radio stations until the “progressive” talk format on KPOJ (620 AM) was launched last spring.

“The advertising is definitely paying for itself,” says Hasselstrom, whose commercials have aired since May on KPOJ. “I’m not a big advertiser, but I wanted to advertise on the station and give it some support.”

Hasselstrom, a retired chief warrant officer who served for 20 years in the U.S. Army, says his ads are attracting about three new clients a month to his Farmers Insurance Agency in Hillsboro.


Last year, when KPOJ still was in its music format, total listeners numbered about 33,000, according to the Arbitron radio ratings service. Now, the station’s audience is almost 127,000.


Ad revenue, which averaged about $25,000 a month before the changeover, now is in the $200,000 range, thanks in large part to election-year ads.


If John Kerry wins the presidential vote, there’s speculation that Franken and some of the others might leave — figuring their job is done. Would listenership fall off as a result?

As one radio consultant explains: “George W. Bush winning didn’t hurt Limbaugh any. Talk -radio isn’t going anywhere no matter who’s in the White House.”

KPOJ is banking on it.

Who says liberal talk radio can't succeed?

Ratings Roundup: Portland, Rochester

KPOJ-AM in Portland is still going strong, increasing their overall number from 3.7 to 4.0 and seventh place in the market. However, they slide slightly in the 25-54 demographic, going from 3rd place to a still respectable 6th, behind a bunch of music stations, which traditionally do better during the summer. In that demographic, they are by far the top talk station in the market. Overall, they are behind sister station KEX-AM. All in all, they do the best of all the talkers in the so-called 'money demos'. Also worth mentioning is that they're beating KXL-AM, home of Randi Rhodes' nemesis Lars Larson. Bragging rights potential there.

In Rochester, WROC-AM is steady overall in the summer ratings, their first with a liberal talk format. They hold at a 0.7, which is decent considering Entercom blew the entire station up and started over with new talk hosts and a radically different political orientation. We'll see what happens here.

The Honolulu book was also released, but analyzing KUMU-AM's overall performance when all they have in liberal talk is Franken live in morning drive (this is Hawaii, after all) and Randi Rhodes on tape delay in the evenings would be migraine inducing. I won't even bother, except to note the overall rating slides a half point to 0.7. Honolulu is a terrible market for talk radio. Take the ratings for what they're worth.

Howard Stern Assails FCC Chairman On KGO

From Radio and Records:

The WXRK/New York-based syndicated morning host made a surprise phone call to Michael Powell this morning as the head of the FCC took part in an in-studio interview with KGO/San Francisco mid-morning host Ronn Owens. During the last half of the 9am hour, Stern phoned the station and immediately began a contentious conversation that included rants about, in his opinion, Powell's lack of credentials to be FCC Chairman. He also charged that Powell's father — Secretary of State Colin Powell — was responsible for the younger Powell getting the job, a charge the FCC chief "denied exceedingly" and called "a cheap shot." Stern said, "The commissioner has fined me millions of dollars for things that I said and consistently avoids me and avoids asking my questions, and I'm wondering how long he'll stay on the phone with me." He then asked Powell, "Does it make you nervous to talk to me?" He said no. Stern also accused the Powell-led FCC with "racketeering," saying that the commission forces companies to "pay up" or hold up a station's license renewal. Powell later suggested that what Stern really wants is unlimited restrictions to what he can say or do on the air. But he denied that the commission has singled Stern out in any way. The call by Stern is believed to be his first to another host's radio show; it marked the first time Stern and Powell have spoken. An audio excerpt of the exchange is available through noon ET tomorrow at

Thanks to Howard Stern's official message board, here's an MP3. Just right-click, and 'save target as'.

Eminem's 'October Surprise'

Who'da thunk that one of the most damning statements of the Bush Administration would be delivered by a mega-successful white rapper out of Detroit? Well, in this ever-intriguing election campaign season, anything goes. Eminem has come out with a slashing diatribe of President Bush and his handling of the Iraq War and the economy. And it is powerful stuff, even if you don't like Eminem or rap in general.

Here's a little background on the video:


Michael Moore, the "Fahrenheit 9/11" filmmaker who tried his hand at directing music videos with Rage Against the Machine (Ed note: I thought it was System Of A Down), would certainly approve of Eminem's new clip, "Mosh," which has just hit the Internet.

A scathing indictment of President Bush and the war in Iraq (see
"Em Changes Targets From Jacko To Bush On New Track 'Mosh' "), the animated video begins with the jarring image of a commercial airliner flying over a school and then exploding offscreen. The point of view then zooms into the school, where Eminem is reading a children's book to a class in a scene reminiscent of the minutes following the 9-11 attacks, when Bush was at a Florida elementary school reading to second graders. Eminem is holding his book upside down.

From there, "Mosh" moves to Eminem's apartment, where the walls are covered with articles critical of the Bush administration and its policies. Filled with anger, he puts on gloves and dons a hooded jacket. Clips of Em rapping the track are then interspersed with scenes of domestic problems facing the country, such as racial profiling (an animated Lloyd Banks is harassed by police) and poverty (an inner-city family receives an eviction notice as their TV set shows Bush promising tax cuts for the wealthy).

"Mosh" portrays Eminem as a powerful rebellious figure who just by using his voice and music has the ability to mobilize people who are fed up with the president. With his following uniformly dressed in dark hoodies, the group looks to be storming toward the White House but actually end up signing up to vote. At the same time in the song, Em talks about the people assembling to disarm what he calls the real weapon of mass destruction: George W. Bush.

A pro-vote message is tagged on at the end of the clip, directed by Ian Inaba of the Guerrilla News Network, which is hosting the video at GNN.tv. Eminem's Encore is due November 16.

Here's a little about how the video and song came together, and matched up. The director was influenced by Greg Palast and various works that GNN was doing:


As a music video director, ideas for videos usually come independent of the song and are then adapted to fit the timing and lyrics of the featured track. I initially developed a concept for this video in June 2004 and contacted Interscope shortly after to find out what artists in their roster would be releasing albums near the election. The goal was to make a video that inspired young people to vote because they too often disregard it as a powerless exercise. To show them that political decisions do impact their daily lives and that voting is the most powerful act we all have to voice our opinion and effect change. And to educate and reiterate the point that whether or not people want to accept it, there are forces in play that attempt to suppress the youth and minority vote.

When I got the callback that our favorite conspirator of controversy, Eminem would be releasing an album in November, I knew we had the potential to
say something that would be heard by the masses. And after hearing the song later that month it seemed Mr. Mathers had also been in the lab concocting his own plans for the election and it was precisely the anthem I had been looking for. So with less than six weeks to deliver we put together a team and forgot about what it meant to sleep. In order to produce animation for a song that runs 5:20 in just over 5 weeks we were going to need a lot of green tea and mate and a little help from Marshall himself. This video was made possible by a team of artists who came together inspired by a song and video that might be able to effect the next four years of all of our lives.

Two years ago, this video would not have been approved by a single record label. A year ago it would never had the possibility of being played on television. But with the changing tide of public sentiment marked by the success of our last video for Chronic Future, an anti-war message that made it into rotation on TRL we think it might just have a chance.

But will MTV play it? You can vote for it on TRL by writing it in. I hope everyone sees it, it is a powerful video and song, even if you don't like rap.

You can see the video here:

Rap Basement

Or here:


C-SPAN: Political Talk Show Week

From the site:

In the remaining days leading up to next week's election, C-SPAN is simulcasting various talk radio shows around the country. On Tuesday, we have Michael Smerconish of WPHT 1210-AM Philadelphia and Lynn Cullen of WPTT 1360-AM Pittsburgh.

It looks like they're still fleshing out the schedule, but so far tomorrow, it looks like Lincoln Ware of African-American talk station WDBZ in Cincinnati, OH and conservative Denny Schaffer of WSPD-AM, Toledo, OH. I have also heard rumors of a simulcast of Thom Hartmann's show, but I'll keep you posted.

You can also check C-SPAN's site for more info.

Surprise! Sinclair Anti-Kerry Show A Ratings Dud

From DCRTV.com

10/26 - "A POW Story," Baltimore-based Sinclair's heavily hyped anti-John Kerry program, took 3rd place via Channel 45/ WBFF last Friday evening. "A POW Story" was seen in 32,000 Charm City area households at 8 PM. But, 14,000 tune-outs during the program caused it to drop to 4th place by 8:30. National ratings are not available. The Baltimore Sun has more. Also, Sinclair honcho David Smith denies that he's "a right-wing loony-tune conservative." He tells the DC Post that he rarely watches the shows his stations air.....

News Roundup - 10/26

Live, in Portland, it's Al Franken MaineToday.com
Reality Check for Women AlterNet, CA
Jon Stewart v. 'Perception Management' Consortium News
Reality Check for Women AlterNet, CA
GOP Disrupts the Ohio Vote AlterNet, CA
George Krenz letter: Work together for a strong America In-Forum (subscription), ND
Liberal Air America makes its Seattle debut Media Life Magazine (scroll down)

Monday, October 25, 2004

Deal is sealed on liberal talk radio

Here's a good article about Air America Radio, written particularly about their newest affiliate, KPTK in Seattle. Also some good background about the network in general. You can see the whole article by clicking the headline above. Here are a few snippets:

Air America has taken this long to establish a foothold in Seattle, Sinton said, because the network wanted to hit the nation's largest markets first, and Seattle ranks in the next tier down. He asserted, however, that Seattle is a "natural fit" for Air America, which is hustling to reach a critical mass for national advertising as quickly as possible. Also, he said, no Seattle stations earlier were clamoring to land the liberal network.

"The top 10 markets are really critical, but that's not to say if someone had raised their hand in Seattle and said we've got to have you, we wouldn't have been on the air in Seattle," Sinton said.
Air America has been able to expand quickly because it does not pay stations an upfront fee, and instead shares advertising revenue. In contrast with the Air America model, radio stations often take the spendier route of paying a national network for syndicated programming -- such as the Rush Limbaugh show -- and then augmenting that with their own, locally produced shows.


John Hart, president and owner of Nashville, Tenn.-based Bullseye Marketing Research Inc., said the Northwest is an obvious fit for Air America.

"In the South, they'd be dead in the water," Hart said. "But in the Northwest, I'd be concerned they would draw some numbers if they were moving in across the street from me."
Ramsey said Air America is likely to make it in markets with what he calls successful "John Mayer stations," (in reference to the mellow rock singer) such as Seattle's KMTT-FM.

"The stations have similar granola ethos and attract the liberal-minded upscale sensibility," Ramsey said.

News Roundup - 10/25

Surprise, surprise! New York Daily News, NY
Should Sinclair Management Be Liable to its Shareholders for ... Findlaw.com, CA
Caribbean Programming Still On WLIB Hardbeatnews.com, NY
The Left Contemplates the Unthinkable Washington Post, DC
And Now a Few Words About Our Candidates New York Times, NY
Partisan programming forces more Waterbury Republican American, United States
JON STEWART GETS SERIOUS If You Interview Kissinger, Are You Still ... New York Times, NY
Four . . . More . . . Years? Washington Post

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Good news for webcasting: ASCAP negotiates new deal with stations

This cleans up an old deal from a few years ago that threatened to kill webcasting, and prevent the new medium from becoming a force.

The whole licensing thing is still pretty screwed up and prevents a lot of great broadcasters from streaming their programming over the web. Hopefully, this is a step in the right direction.

Web radio gets $1.7 billion boost

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers announced Monday that it has reached a $1.7 billion deal with the Radio Music License Committee to let stations legally stream their on-air content over the Internet.

With the deal, the radio group said, its 12,000 member stations gain the right to program ASCAP-regulated music online simultaneously with their on-air signals. The two industry groups labeled the agreement as the largest licensing deal in the history of American radio.


The groups said the agreement includes retroactive licensing fees for the years 2001 to 2003 and establishes a new guideline to be followed from 2004 until 2009. The deal replaces an existing system of revenue-based licensing fees with a royalties schedule for stations that will stream significant amounts of ASCAP-controlled content.

Like I said, it's confusing, especially when you factor in the RIAA's fingers in the webcasting pie. But at least things are cleaned up a bit with ASCAP. Hopefully, this will help boost webcasting as a whole. It would be nice to get real variety on the radio, especially with the coming of improved wireless capability.

Here's a little about a webcaster that was almost killed by ridiculous licensing:


Newspaper Roundup: 10/23

KMPS-FM tops in Sound market Seattle Post Intelligencer, WA
The Media's Shrinking Free-Speech Zone Tech Central Station, OH
Sit and Spin Zone: Bill O'Reilly to publish erotica book The Wired Press (satire)
Byline: Day of the dead...ly important election North Shore Sunday, United States
O'Reilly accuser seeking deal? Big News Network.com, Australia
Best weekend bets ("Wellstone") The Capital Times, WI
Did I attend a Democratic fundraiser or a Harlem Globetrotters' ... Knoxville Journal Express, IA
The Fox News Factor: Why the Left is targeting Bill O’Reilly Michnews.com, MI
O'Reilly made the wrong call, porn star says Cincinnati Enquirer, OH
Readings and events (Ed Schultz appearance) OregonLive.com

Ratings Roundup: Atlanta, Miami, Columbus

Not much to report here on three new progressive talkers.

Atlanta: WWAA (1690) hasn't showed up in the ratings yet, but this may be due to the late summer sign-on and a change of facilities location. The station was originally located far outside of the Atlanta market, and may have recently moved in to Atlanta. I have no confirmation on this, but if anyone has any information on this, let me know. The new signal covers the entire city, so we should be seeing some activity soon.

Miami: WINZ (940) is another new sign-on, switching to talk in late July. The station seems to be working hand-in-hand with it's West Palm Beach sister WJNO (1290), where they timeshift Randi Rhodes to run outside of her live show in WPB. Ed Schultz, who's timeshifted to evenings there is run live on 940. Confused? Anyhow, the station rises slightly in the ratings, and shows it's best overall ratings since last summer. We'll see how they do with talk.

Columbus: WTPG (1230) is brand new, coming on in early September. With only a few weeks in the ratings period, it's a bit too early to see significant ratings here, and the station holds steady with it's previous showing as an oldies station.

Again, no demographics breakdowns are available here, but if I run across them, I will share.

On Monday, look for the ratings book for Phoenix, among other markets. Keep in mind that KXXT changed to liberal talk on September 23, at the very end of the Summer book, therefore, KXXT's new format will not show here. Look for it in future monthly trend reports, though.

In other news...

The Randi Rhodes Show "Illegal" Archives has long listed KBME (790) in Houston as a future AAR affiliate. You can officially scratch it off the list, as they have officially announced a pending format change, only they're switching to sports as of January 1, 2005. No AAR coming to Houston at this time. Other 'coming soon' listings there are also fairly dated, such as

KBAC (610) Boulder, CO (AAR is actually now on 760)
KBZC (1300) Colorado Springs, CO (station flipped to sports instead)
WMQM (1600) Memphis, TN (this is an old rumor, and likely not happening)
WSNH (900) Nashua, NH (ditto)
KOOT (101.5) Santa Fe, NM (is actually KWRP, and programs a Spanish format. Cross this one off as well)

Friday, October 22, 2004

Newspaper Roundup: 10/22

Air America Radio lands here Monday Seattle Times, WA
Readings and events OregonLive.com
Winter's Wild Ride Daytona Beach News-Journal, FL
Comedian From ABQ Lands on His Feet as Liberal Talk Radio DJ Albuquerque Journal (subscription), NM
Politics play out on TV Wisconsin State Journal, WI
Air America grabs ratings Denver Business Journal, CO
Car makers add momentum to satellite radio Record-Searchlight (subscription), CA
Sahl's satire doesn't ride political fence Cleveland Plain Dealer, OH
Doug Moe: Madison music in 'Motorcycle' The Capital Times, WI
Editorial: Broadcast populist The Capital Times, WI

Seattle: AAR is coming to KYCW!

Country-music fans tuning in to 1090-AM next week are in for a radical change. As of 12:01 a.m. Monday, KYCW will be KPTK, Seattle's new home for the liberal Air America Radio.

The New York-based network, home of Al Franken, Janeane Garofalo and other left-wing talkers, made the announcement yesterday. Before adding the Seattle station, Air America's Web site (www.airamericaradio.com ) listed 36 local affiliates and XM and Sirius satellite radio, which carry its programming along with its Internet broadcast.

KPTK's owner, Infinity Broadcasting, didn't have much to lose by switching formats from the low-rated "classic country" to "progressive talk," said Dave McDonald, senior vice president and general manager of Infinity Radio Seattle. He said KYCW's air talent will all be retained in other positions among Seattle's four other Infinity stations, housed in Suite 100 at 1000 Dexter Ave. N.: KMPS-FM (94.1, country), KRQI-FM "K-Rock" (96.5, alternative), KBKS-FM (106.1, Top 40) and KZOK-FM (102.5, classic rock).

Here's the lineup:

3A-6A Morning Sedition
6A-9A Unfiltered
9A-Noon Al Franken
Noon-3P Ed Schultz
3P-7P Randi Rhodes
7P-10P Majority Report
10P-1A Best of Franken
1A-3A Best of Randi Rhodes

Station Info:


50,000 watt signal that hits the entire area, though it fades a bit in the eastern suburbs due to bad ground conductivity. But coupled with KPOJ out of Portland, OR, AAR should be loud and clear the length of I-5 through most of Oregon and all of Washington up into British Columbia. Road trip, anyone?

This is a good move, and it marks Infinity's arrival into the liberal talk game. I should point out that Infinity is not keen on streaming of their product, and rarely does, so don't look for a seperate webcast. But this adds a new powerhouse company to the format. Will they be in competition with the likes of Clear Channel and Entercom to flip stations in various markets? Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Ratings Roundup: Denver, Minneapolis

KKZN/Denver doubles it's overall rating. Nothing phenomenal, as it's still just under a full share. But only a few weeks of it's new liberal talk are included in this book (format changed August 30). It's still the highest the station has been in over a year. Future books and monthly trends will tell a different story. Stay tuned.

In Minneapolis, it's the first and last book for KSMM/WMIN, as the "Straight Talk Radio" format has moved off the suburban rimshot simulcast onto it's own centrally located 24-hour signal at 950AM. 1530 and 740 log in just under a full share, the first showing ever in the ratings for these two stations. Keep in mind, 740 goes off the air at sunset, and 1530 reduces coverage to just a few square miles in the west suburbs at that time. The next book will undoubtedly be higher.

Again, you can go to the usual trade industry sites (like Radio and Records) for exact overall numbers, which I'm not allowed to publish here. If I hear of demographic breakdowns, I'll let you know. Keep in mind, demographic and daypart results tend to be higher.

Tomorrow, look for ratings reports from Atlanta, Miami, and Columbus, among other places.

Want to help bring Air America to Orlando? Here's a petition

From this blog:


I salute what they're trying to do, and I wish them luck, but I think they're going about it the wrong way.

The main problem is that they're targeting WDBO (580), which, according to the Arbitron ratings, is the #1 station in
Orlando. Unless they want to give the program director something to laugh about, I would recommend not bothering them with it. As long as their ratings are through the roof, they won't do anything. Cox will stay put with this station.

I'm not sure how effective petitions really are, and I know it won't work with the big stations in the market (so scratch WDBO, WTKS, WFLF and Radio Disney off the list). Try some of the weak stations in the market, and do some research on them. If they're airing oldies or third tier talk shows off satellite, contact them. I guess it won't hurt. Though, looking through the listings of Orlando stations, I don't really see many candidates. Lots of religious and Spanish formats. But I am not at all familiar with the market, so if you're interested in helping to bring AAR to your market, go through these lists:

Radio Locator

TV-Radio World

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