Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Air America shuffles morning lineup

Looking to make its mornings more competitive, Air America Radio is dropping “Morning Sedition” from its lineup and replacing it with a new reformatted morning block, beginning January 3.

“Air America Mornings” will consist of a pair of separate two-hour programs. Current “Morning Sedition” co-host Mark Riley will highlight the day’s top news stories and interview guests from 5-7 a.m., followed from 7-9 a.m. by “The Rachel Maddow Show,” which the network describes as “fast paced news and witty sound bites,” along with guest interviews.


The network also hopes to capitalize on the ratings growth of Maddow’s show. Currently heard from 5-6 a.m., it climbed from a 0.3 to a 1.7 in summer among adults on WLIB-AM, the network’s flagship in New York. Maddow, one of the original co-hosts of AAR’s former late-morning show, Unfiltered, has more recently guest-hosted Franken’s show and is a regular contributor to MSNBC’s The Situation with Tucker Carlson.

In reformatting morning drive, the liberal talk network heard on 72 stations is breaking up the Mark Riley and Marc Maron team. Returning to Los Angeles, Maron is in talks with Air America to host his own syndicated show. He will be a regular morning show contributor.

Former VH1 VP of music programming Paul Marszalek is joining the net as morning show executive producer. Marszalek has programmed Susquehanna triple A KFOG San Francisco and worked in the programming department at Infinity triple A WXRT Chicago.

“We are committed to generating at least one show in 2006 from Los Angeles to connect us more closely with the progressive creative community there, and thus to offer our affiliates a widening menu of politics, comedy, information and entertainment,” said Gary Krantz, president for AAR.


Thursday, November 24, 2005

KRPT Dumps Progressive Talk for Texas Music

From All Access (subscription required):

CLEAR CHANNEL/SAN ANTONIO is flipping Progressive Talk KRPT to "92.5 THE OUTLAW," a music outlet specializing in TEXAS music. Listeners of sister Country KAJA's popular “Other Side of KJ” (a SUNDAY specialty program featuring TEXAS music that has been heard on KAJA for the past two years) will also enjoy the familiar voice of HANK MOON, who will be the host and MD for 92.5 THE OUTLAW. 92.5 THE OUTLAW will also feature TEXAS high school football and BAYLOR college football on weekends in the fall.

The station will be found online at www.925theoutlaw.com.

My take:

To call this station a San Antonio station is an overstatement at best. The signal is way too far outside of SA to be a ratings success in any format (it bombed in it's previous hip-hop incarnation). This is not really a San Antonio station.

Quite frankly, I've always wondered why CC flipped this thing to progressive talk in the first place. It was one of those stations (like WHJJ and WHAT) where I honestly thought flipping was a very strange idea. Unless it was to keep tabs on the format in CC's home market. Or hoping that listeners were gung-ho enough about the format that they'd put up with the static.

This 'Texas Outlaw' format, whatever that is, sounds intriguing, and a better format for it's area of coverage. The flip does not affect another San Antonio rimshot, AAR affiliate KTXX (KRPT did not air any AAR programming, save for Jerry Springer).

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Bill O'Reilly to go 'McCarthy' on your ass after issuing controversial fatwa

Going off topic quite a bit (slow news lately), but Bill O'Reilly has been digging himself a deeper and deeper hole after reaction toward his controversial fatwa directed at the people of San Francisco, liberals, anti-war people, and the usual suspects went over less than enthusiastically. Of course, O'Reilly would never do anything like admit he was wrong, or even apologize. Rather, he's going old school and channelling Richard Nixon and Joe McCarthy. Yep, he's issuing an 'enemies list'.

Supposedly this list will be published on his website. Likely to be included on his hit list would be current nemesis #1 Media Matters For America, which does an amazing job at exposing the hateful trash that comes from O'Reilly's mouth.

I know this post has absolutely nothing to do with liberal radio, but it's what everyone's talking about, and although I don't stand a chance of being included on 'Falafel Boy's' shit list. This is actually the first time I've even mentioned here. But if that's what it takes to get dissed by Bill O'Reilly, I'll be more than happy to do my part.

Hey Bill:

Friday, November 11, 2005

AAR Hints at "Raising Profile" of Maddow

From AllAccess (free subscription required)

What's up with early morning host RACHEL MADDOW at AIR AMERICA RADIO? An article to run in the NEW YORK TIMES this SUNDAY profiling MADDOW and fellow AAR host RANDI RHODES says that the network plans to raise MADDOW's profile in the network's morning show. Could that have anything to do with "MORNING SEDITION" host MARK MARON's frequent comments on the air about the pending expiration of his contract?

Meanwhile, AAR's AL FRANKEN's "THE TRUTH (WITH JOKES)" will debut at number 1 on the TIMES' nonfiction best seller list in SUNDAY's BOOK REVIEW.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Military backs down, will carry Ed Schultz Show overseas

Armed Forces Radio has decided to include the Ed Schultz Show in overseas programming, RAW STORY has learned.

The show recently got into a fracas with the Defense Department after the liberal radio host called out Allison Barber, a deputy assistant secretary of defense, for staging a teleconference event between President Bush and U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

The Department had intended to begin carrying Schultz's show earlier, but that deal was put on hold after Schultz's remarks. Several Democratic senators then wrote to officials in the Defense Department.


Friday, November 04, 2005

Democracy Radio folds, CEO Athans joins Air America

NOTE: The demise of Democracy Radio does not affect the status of Ed Schultz, Stephanie Miller or Nancy Skinner. Their shows will carry on as before.

From the site:

Dear Friends and Supporters,

As you know, for the past three years Democracy Radio has been at the forefront of the effort to change the talk radio airwaves that have been so overwhelmingly one-sided in America. For nearly two decades Americans only heard one political perspective on their airwaves - the conservative perspective. It had clearly reached a point where diversity of opinion was truly suffering and American democracy was being undermined because of a proliferation of only one political perspective being broadcast. I'm so very proud to say that with your help and support, that's no longer the case.

Through your unyielding support, Progressive Talk Radio is now a reality. I'm proud to report that Democracy Radio's first program, The Ed Schultz Show, is now heard on more than 100 stations nationwide. The Stephanie Miller Show is heard on more than 40 stations. Combined, both shows reach nine of the top ten markets in the United States and have played an impactful role in the astounding success of Progressive Talk Radio.

Great credit, however, also belongs to Air America. Air America has been an integral part of the successful birth and growth of Progressive Talk as a legitimate radio format. Because Air America offered a full day of programming, radio stations were able to completely reformat to a progressive talk lineup. Clear Channel alone reformatted 28 of its stations to a 24/7 Progressive Talk format in major cities throughout the U.S.

Without question, as two separate entities, Democracy Radio and Air America have made a significant impact on the talk radio landscape. Democracy Radio has achieved what it set out to do - it changed the face of talk radio in America. Through all our efforts, Progressive Talk is now a commercially viable format which it was not just 2 years ago. I am very proud of that. However, I believe that now is the time to move this important cause forward in as one unified effort.

Therefore, I am pleased to let you know that I have decided to join the management team at Air America. This will mean the end of Democracy Radio as an organization, but certainly not its work and purpose which I will carry on at Air America. There's no question that unified as one, we will achieve so much more than we ever could as competitors.

As you may know, Air America had a few struggles during its first year. However, in recent months the company has been reorganized, its business model and strategy has been revised, and a dynamic new management team has been assembled with music industry titan Danny Goldberg leading the company as CEO. Air America is poised to expand and grow Progressive Talk like never before imagined - and they will need your continued support. To learn more about how you can support Air America, go to www.airamericaradio.com.

Please accept my heartfelt thanks for your tremendous support of Democracy Radio. Your support created the success of Ed Schultz and Stephanie Miller and made Progressive Talk Radio a reality for all Americans. I encourage you to stay engaged in the effort. There's still much to do and with your support we will achieve the diversity of opinion on our airwaves that is reflective of all of America.

Best wishes,

Tom Athans
CEO, Democracy Radio

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Radio One's new urban talk format, featuring Al Sharpton

Two powerhouses of urban radio are teaming up to launch an African-American-centered talk-radio network, the cornerstone of which will be programming hosted by the Rev. Al Sharpton.

Baltimore-based Radio One, the nation's seventh-largest radio company, and Reach Media, which owns and syndicates the highly successful ''Tom Joyner Morning Show," aim to roll out the network after the first of the year. Radio One owns a controlling interest in Reach Media.

The ambitious plan was discussed yesterday by Radio One CEO Alfred Liggins III during an interview at the new WILD offices at Marina Bay. WILD-AM, which will carry the new network's programming, and its sister station, WILD-FM (the former Hot 97.7 WBOT-FM), underwent format changes on Oct. 20. Both are owned by Radio One.

If all goes as planned, the fledgling talk network will begin broadcasting on as many as 10 of Radio One's 70 stations, including AM outlets in Baltimore, Detroit, Miami, Cleveland, Washington D.C., and a handful of other cities. The programming would also be offered to stations not owned by Radio One.

''When we look across the landscape of formats that are missing," Liggins said, ''black -- African-American -- [talk radio] is one that is really underrepresented."

While programming has not been finalized, Liggins said that the as-yet-unnamed network will provide programming from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Air America Taps Tom Athans as Exec. VP

To help build its newly formed syndication division, Air America Radio announced Tuesday that Tom Athans has joined the Progressive Talk network as Executive VP.

As the co-founder and former CEO for Democracy Radio, Athans was responsible for developing and producing two of Progressive Talk’s most popular shows, The Ed Schultz Show, currently syndicated by P1 Productions on more than 100 stations and The Stephanie Miller Show, developed in association with WYD Media.

In his new position, Athans will head up Air America’s new syndication division and develop new programming to expand AAR’s lineup. He will also head AAR’s Washington, D.C. office.

“Athans comes to us with a proven record of success as one of the pioneers of the format and we are certain that he will make a strong addition to our team,” said Danny Goldberg, CEO for AAR.


Maron to leave morning show at Air America

Marc Maron announced on his show, Air America Radio’s Morning Sedition that the CEO, Danny Goldberg, decided not to renew his contract, and will be off the show sometime this month.

No word yet as to a replacement for this very funny host, though rumor has it that AAR is looking at veteran morning show talents around the country.

More here:



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