Thursday, March 31, 2005

Air America's Chicago holding pattern

Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of Air America, the liberal talk radio network launched on somewhat less than a shoestring to compete with the dominant conservative voices up and down the dial.

Several weeks ago, mid-day host Al Franken, the star of the network, announced that a new Chicago affiliate would go on the air March 31 to mark that anniversary.

But Franken was "a bit overenthusiastic," according to Fred Eychaner, a local entrepreneur and nationally prominent progressive philanthropist. Eychaner is the president of Chicago Newsweb Corporation, owners of WAIT-AM(850), the most likely new Chicago-area home for Air America.

"Nothing will happen by Thursday," he said.

WAIT is a daytime-only station in Crystal Lake with a 2.5-kilowatt signal that reaches into most of Chicago (here’s the coverage map). It now plays oldies rock, and Chicago Newsweb vice president Harvey Wells said Air America is "only one of the options" the station is considering as it prepares to make a format shift of some sort.

(click headline link for more)

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Goodbye, Dr. Don

Okay, he had nothing to do with liberal radio, but he was one of the funniest damn air personalities in broadcast history. Dr. Don Rose had a way of making the absolute worst one liners (which he fired off in heavy rapid succession complete with non-stop outrageous sound effects) make listeners keel over in gut-busting laughter. I listened to him occasionally when I was growing up in Northern California (though I was more of an Alex Bennett fan), but as juvenile as he was, Dr. Don was a mad genius. He will be sorely missed.

Click the headline for the story, and click the following links to sample the good doctor at his best:

Dr Don Rose and the Weather, KFRC, 1975
Dr Don Rose, KFRC November 1973
Dr Don Rose, WFIL Philadelphia, 1970
Dr Don Rose 2500th KFRC San Francisco 1984
Dr Don Rose, Charlie Van Dyke, KFRC, 1974
Dr Don Rose on KFRC, 1978
Dr Don Rose, KFRC, 1973
Dr Don Rose and WFIL, Philadelphia, 1972

Links from Go to this site - this is how radio is supposed to sound.

Here's some more about him:

Dr. Don's official website

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Nancy Skinner, liberal talk radio, strikes back in Detroit

...It was on Jan. 20, Bush's second Inauguration Day, that Clear Channel transformed its floundering, low-rated talk station WXDX into Progressive Talk WDTW, and lefty Skinner debuted her morning show from 6 to 9 a.m.

The lively 39-year-old, a Royal Oak native, hit the ground running. On a recent Friday she was complaining loudly about a Super Bowl TV ad that Fox TV yanked from the second half.

Half-laughing, half snorting, she compares the current climate of repression on the TV and radio airwaves to that of Iran.

"They have mullahs, we have Brent Bozell (of the conservative Media Research Center)," Skinner charges. "Since when did a girl in a T-shirt become offensive? One small group shouldn't have a veto over what the rest of us see."


Nancy Skinner

Friday, March 25, 2005

Doug Basham enters syndication

(From a press release):

(Las Vegas; March 24, 2005) – Henderson Radio Networks and local radio host Doug Basham are pleased to announce an agreement that will syndicate Basham's daily radio show to radio stations across the country beginning May 2. The new program will be heard weeknights from 10pm-1am Pacific time, and will feature the Vegas resident's take on the issues of the day with his signature bombastic, liberal perspective.

"We've been listening to Doug for awhile now, and it's clear that he's developed among the most compelling programs on today's talk radio landscape," said Andrew J. Henderson, President of syndicator Henderson Radio Networks, based in Phoenix. "This is a voice that needs to be heard, and our ability to offer the only live overnight progressive talk show in talk radio history is very exciting."

The Doug Basham Program will be heard on stations from California and Nevada to Massachusetts and Florida, offering a respite from boring nighttime talk that focuses on niche topics. "The issues we discuss are important to everyone," says Basham. Prior to syndication, Basham was heard on 50,000-watt blowtorch KDWN (AM 720), where he was summarily fired for speaking out against the policies of the Bush administration. While at KDWN, Basham improved ratings as much as 300% in his timeslots, including his greatest success going head-to-head with internet columnist Matt Drudge, winning by phenomenal margins. Currently, Basham hosts a morning program on KLAV (AM 1230), where he performs well against conservative standard-bearer Rush Limbaugh and other right-wing dominated talk. Before entering radio, Basham has been an entertainer, performer, and magician.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

HBO to Air Docu on Air America: "Left of the Dial"

Air America gets a one-year birthday present from HBO on March 31 when the cable network airs the documentary “Left of the Dial” by director Patrick Farrelly and producer Kate O'Callaghan. The film tracks most of the past year’s travails as the liberal network started, faltered and was yanked off the air in some major markets. A Drudge Report review of the documentary played up “The doubts. The lies. The bounced checks. The heartbreak.”

Air America Radio president Jon Sinton told Billboard Radio Monitor “This documentary is a sanctioned event. Matt Drudge, notwithstanding, we’ve signed off on it. The filmmakers had access to us and it truly is a story of birth, death and resurrection. It’s a very redemptive story. We’re not displeased with it at all.”

An HBO release says the documentary “reveals the nervous expectations of investors who staked their careers on the network,” including Evan Cohen, Air America’s former chairman, David Goodfriend, who becomes the network’s general counsel, and investor Doug Kreeger. Along with profiles of many of the networks personalities, descriptions of nervous debuts, shouting matches and other frenzied activity, HBO says the documentary closes late in 2004 when, “in December 2004, a new round of investors brings Air America a measure of financial stability.” HBO pegs the affiliate roster at 40 by year’s end.

As of March 23, Air America has added another 11 stations and now boasts 51 affiliates.

The film will debut on Thursday, March 31 at 8pm (ET), with other playdates on April 5, 11 and 14.

No fooling: Springer's show joins AAR lineup April 1

CINCINNATI - More people will be able to hear trash TV host Jerry Springer under a deal announced Wednesday to take his radio program nationwide.

Springer's show will go live weekdays on the Air America Radio network beginning April 1. The liberal all-talk network currently broadcasts on 51 radio stations and on the Sirius and XM satellite networks.

Springer will be heard on about 45 of those stations initially.

"I said when I started the show that I am committed to making this radio program work, not only because I enjoy it, but because we need to hear progressive voices as well as conservative voices in our conversation today," Springer said in a telephone interview from Chicago.

Note: Springer's show airs from 9AM-12N ET, the same time as the floundering 'Unfiltered'. No word as to the fate of the show, which recently lost co-host Lizz Winstead.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Jerry Springer, Air America talking

JERRY Springer is trying to hook up with the all-liberal Air America network — meaning his new radio talk show could soon be heard in New York.

"Obviously, I would love to be in New York — that's where I grew up," said Springer, 60, who was born in London and raised in Kew Gardens, Queens.

"Hopefully, something will be worked out in the next couple weeks," Springer told The Post late yesterday.

The trash-TV titan surprised many last January by turning serious and launching a daily political talk show based in Cincinnati. He continues to tape his controversial TV show in Chicago.

His radio show is already in five cities. Springer could be the spark Air America needs — in New York at least, where it's based at WLIB (1190 AM). After a solid debut last spring, especially among younger listeners, it appeared to fade last fall.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

San Antonio To Get Two Liberal Talkers

Taking Texas by storm...

In spite of its slogan, “where hip-hop lives,” Clear Channel R&B/hip-hop KHTY (Hot 92.5) San Antonio will flip to liberal talk on March 17 as KRPT. It joins a short list of liberal talkers on the FM dial.

Jerry Springer, Phil Hendrie, Lionel, Jesse Jackson and Ed Schultz will all have a presence on the new station, as will local talk vet Ron Aaron, according to

The station’s lineup, interestingly, doesn’t appear to include any offerings from Air America, who CC has partnered with in its other liberal launches. That has lead to speculation that a second liberal talker is on the horizon for San Antonio.Air America is currently on in Corpus Christi and Austin, and will debut in Dallas on March 21.

The new KRPT site can be found here. The station has a rimshot signal, with a tower based near Pearsall, TX, southwest of San Antonio. The signal is relatively weak in San Antonio. It is rumored by several trade magazines that Air America may surface on KZDC 1250AM, whose daytime and nighttime signals are local, and therefore easier to receive in the San Antonio area.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Air America does Dallas

Air America's round-the-clock political talk will hit the air Monday in Austin and debut March 21 in the Dallas area, replacing the Spanish-language programming on KXEB-AM (910). Air America is already on in Corpus Christi.

In North Texas, Air America's success could be limited by the reach of the low-wattage station. Static nearly drowns out KXEB in some areas, but officials at Border Media Partners, the station's owners, said they were trying to strengthen the signal.

Air America executives, who called the expansion in Texas the high point for the network, said Mr. Franken will find an audience, even in President Bush's home state.

"We're providing an alternative for a minority that feels alienated," CEO Danny Goldberg said.

KXEB's signal is not the greatest, and it gets a bit fuzzy to the west in Fort Worth. You can see the predicted signal contours here.

KOKE (1600) in Austin picks up the format next week. Brownsville is another market that has been rumored as well. And Corpus Cristi just signed on a few weeks ago.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Winstead Exits Air America

Lizz Winstead, one of the original programmers for Air America Radio and co-host of the network’s mid-morning show Unfiltered (9 a.m. to Noon), has exited the liberal radio network.

No reason for her departure was given. In a prepared statement, the network said, “We plan to take the show in a different direction.” Winstead, the comedian who co-created Comedy Central’s Daily Show, has been with the network since its debut last March. Winstead’s current co-hosts, Rapper Chuck D and Rachel Maddow are still on the air.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Thom Hartmann picks up affiliates in Pittsburgh and Los Alamos, NM

WPTT-AM (1360) will add the syndicated "Thom Hartmann Show" to its talk lineup, starting March 14. It will air weeknights from 8 to 10.

The station ran Hartmann's program as a temporary fill-in last month while host Lynn Cullen was on a month-long leave. Because of the high volume of listener response, WPTT decided to pick it up as part of its regular schedule, said WPTT program director John Poister.

The new program will replace two hours of the four-hour syndicated Michael Reagan show, which will air from 6 to 8 p.m. starting March 14.

The Vermont-based Hartmann is one of the few nationally syndicated hosts with a progressive/liberal point of view. His career started in 1968, and he has worked in all areas of radio programming -- as disc jockey, news anchor and reporter, as well as talk host. His syndicated program was launched in 2003. Hartmann also is a psychotherapist and author.

Also, Hartmann replaces his old Santa Fe affiliate with one in nearby Los Alamos, NM. He will be heard on KRSN-AM (1490), displacing Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Jay Marvin now archived at White Rose Society

Thanks to Ben Burch for the heads up.

You can find archived shows (by permission) on Ben's site:

You can also find archived shows from Mike Malloy, Thom Hartmann, Randi Rhodes, Jay Marvin, Peter Werbe and many others on this great site site.

Jay Marvin is now heard on AM 760 in Denver/Boulder. You can also find Jay's official website here.

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