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.



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