Saturday, January 19, 2008

Weekend quickies

A few items concerning a few stations. Much of it concerns what you'll be hearing come Monday.

1. 3WT shuffles Miller, Rhodes

Good news and bad news for liberal fans tuning in to the Washington, DC-area trimulcast that is WWWT (3WT, 1500AM, 107.7FM, 820AM). First, Randi Rhodes' show, which had aired on all three signals, is now only on one, as the station, for some strange reason, gives hemorrhoidal harpie Glenn Beck the time slot on 1500AM (Washington) and 107.7FM (Northern Virginia). Rhodes is still on 820AM, which is based in Frederick, MD and serves the area west of Baltimore. No explanation was given, though conspiracy theorists may try to make a connection between owner Bonneville International, which itself is owned by the LDS Church, and Beck, who in recent years has converted to the Mormon faith. But Bonneville has never been a company that attempted to rock the boat or get preachy on their stations. Their M.O. seems to be to please everyone. They're basically a bland, inoffensive company that programs bland, inoffensive formats. 3WT is actually one of their rare forays into partisan political talk, and the station carries talkers with multiple viewpoints.

Speaking of 3WT, there is some good news to report, as Stephanie Miller, who's show has aired on an evening delay whenever the Washington Capitals NHL team had the night off, moves to late mornings, 10A-12P, swapping places with pseudo-libertarian Neal Boortz. Meaning that the only way Boortz will be on the air more is if he suits up and hits the ice for the Capitals. The change takes place Monday. You'll notice that only two hours of her show will air. That's because local guy Tony Kornheiser returns that day from his Monday Night Football gig to take back the 8-10A shift. It's a good show, and Tony's pretty middle-of-the-road, politically.

2. If it ain't broke, keep fixing it

I got quite a few emails on this one, and many Bay Area progressive talk listeners are pretty steamed. KKGN (Green 960AM) in San Francisco is totally shuffling its lineup for the second time in less than a month. The most recent change saw local talker Peter B. Collins taking the live 3-6P shift on the station (Collins does his show from San Francisco and syndicates it to several stations out west), displacing program director John Scott's show. Well, Scott hits the air once again, as he will helm a new morning show starting Monday, and airing from 7-9A PT. obviously, this means that Miller's show will be reduced to only the first hour on the station, and it's a move that isn't sitting well with listeners. Some may think the recent oil spill off the San Francisco coast has rearranged a few brain cells over there...

Listeners so far are also not happy that Collins' show will now be bumped into the late night hours, airing from 12-3A weeknights. In the upheaval, Rachel Maddow gets a split shift and Randi Rhodes moves up to the late afternoon time slot.

3. Air America Atlantic City

Across the country to the East Coast, we check in with WTAA in Atlantic City, NJ. The low=powered station flipped to progressive talk late last summer. So far, according to the local Press, the change hasn't resulted in a ratings boost as of yet, but it may be soon to tell. Besides, it's not like that station ever showed up in the ratings before. Still, they're trying. They recently added Don Imus to mornings and a local host, Virginia McCabe, to the 3-6P drive time shift. Station management like the idea of counteracting the mostly conservative AM radio landscape, and plan to carry the format on WTAA at least through the elections.

4. Taylor movin' on up

Okay, so he moves up one hour. Stacy Taylor, of XEPE (1700AM) in San Diego is moving come Monday, as his show will air from 3-6P local time (6-9P ET, for you webcast listeners). The station is slowly balancing its on-air lineup, as it also adds Lionel on delay, from 1-4A PT. There may be another shift open, since Dennis Miller's show runs twice a day currently. Don't be surprised if something else interesting lands there. After all, consider that KLSD, with its all-progressive talk format, just bumped up almost half a ratings point in the most recent Arbitron survey, its last before flipping to sports. San Diego 1700, as perhaps the fourth of fifth conservotalk station in the market, was nowhere to be found. Do the math.


tmode93 said...

Where's Fredricksburg, MD ?? You probably mean mean FREDERICK, MD ;)

AM 820 has a decent footprint for the northern DC area, but not nearly as DC covering as 1500 or 107.7.


ltr said...

My bad. Hey, we all make mistakes, right? It's been corrected.

wvmc3d said...

Interesting to see how the Bay Area will take the truncated Stephie show. I am guessing the local Green 960 program will be a resounding thud like the earlier effort with comedians Will Durst and Willie Brown. John Scott's local news program was very uncompelling radio.

shewolf said...

I agree with the comment above. John Scott has lost his mind. Kudos to him for moving Randi Rhodes up. Great line-up from 4pm-2am. Which leads me back to, "What could he possibly be thinking?".

To replace the funniest, most energetic, and talented group on progressive radio with a flat, boring, lackluster show is unbelievable! Especially since it's a morning show. I know I look forward to waking up to boring news stories, NOT!

What makes him think his show will succeed where Will Durst, a comedian, and Willie Brown, the colorful ex-mayor, couldn't?

And it was so sad this morning, he actually read a fart joke on the air trying to be funny like Stephanie Miller. It was pathetic. It's like the serious guy in the class wanting desperately to be the popular guy in class and just not cutting it. John, it ain't gonna ever happen. Please, for your listener's, give it up!

wvmc3d said...

I gave it a shot and this one is going nowhere in its current form. Just plodding and boring in the current environment. I'll listen to Steph for an hour and then off to Morning Edition until someone brings back Seder and/or Maron.

litebug said...

I agree with all of the previous comments about KKGN/960. The problem, in my opinion, is that John Scott has a massive ego, a passionate love for the sound of his own voice, an incessant need for self-promotion and a desire to have his own show, even if no one else is interested in it. These are behind his loony decisions and constant reshuffling of the program schedule. Notice how he's increased his own show from 1 to 2 hours as time as gone on and how he's tried more than once to horn into the afternoon prime drive time. Failing that, he's now trying the same with the morning prime drive time. That he thinks for a moment that he is any competition or replacement for Stephanie Miller is absurd to the point of being self-delusional. The new lineup would be OK with me if John Scott were to be removed from it entirely and the 2 hours of Stephanie's show resumed. If someone doesn't do something about this pompous fool he is going to run our only progressive station into the dirt by turning off even very loyal listeners, like myself. I listen nearly all waking hours during the weekdays except when there is a John Scott show, then I turn the radio OFF because I can't bear his condescending, patonizing, phony way of speaking and his shows are boring. This morning I heard his opening remarks on my way across the room to turn off the radio and they were about the CORN DOG he had last night! This is the radio equivalent of waterboarding!

I'd never heard of him before I started listening to KQKE in 2004. Over the years he's increasingly rubbed me the wrong way because of the way he's callously jerked we listeners and the syndicated shows around while pursuing his own personal agenda, which, like the video he currently has up on the Green 960 site, seems first and foremost to be always be mostly all about HIM.

I don't want to be all negative: I like the small "green" segments scattered throughout the day and think there could be more of those. This is much better than the short-lived, afternoon green show, which was way too NPR. This info is better presented in small doses. I applaud him for the efforts to raise green awareness but that's about it. Otherwise, I'm madder than Hell and am singing the Steph theme song, "We ain't gonna take it!"

wvmc3d said...

Agreed, litebug. When did Bob Agnew leave? He was a big problem. They have a poll today on the Green 960 website about bringing back Steph, SM winning 9-1.

isohappy said...

John Scott show is boring, boring, boring. He is not positive at all...he brings you down. His show is depressing and no way to start a morning. He must be out of his mind. He reminds me of the conservatives who are determined to run the government down and then claim that government doesn't work. He will run KKGN down by staying on--& will destroy his audience base and hurt the cause of progressive radio. It's insane.

litebug said...

Yesterday I received from John Scott (KKGN) the email copied below. I assume this has gone out to all who sent him letters of complaint about recent changes, particularly the replacement of 2 hours of Stephanie Miller with his own show, from 7-9 a.m. I also got a response from a Debbie Greenbaum from that station urging me to listen Mon. and Tues., especially Tues., at 7 a.m.

Back to Scott's initial reaction, and that of another person I asked to read it, was that it has about it a whiff of ransom note! I don't know what he's up to. I wondered if this could all be a publicity stunt of some kind but I tend to think it is more likely a frantic attempt at face-saving after so many people complained. I really gagged at his saying "if we love Stephanie as much as he does"! HA! RIGHT! He loves her so much he cut out 2/3 of her program and replaced it with his own lame show. He's such a phony and a jerk and he talks down to people. He has a superior attitude and demeanor that is just nauseating. Who is he accusing of not having democratic ideals? Stephanie? We, the audience? I found that statement a little strange too. Here's his email. Judge for yourself.

Dear Friends,
It appears we have a fine example of the activism of the bay area's progressive nation occuring right now.

Monday morning beginning at 7am, We're going to have a talk on the radio about Stephanie Miller.

We as a station MUST mirror the democratic ideals we discuss so much on this station.

We are listening.

Will you support us if we bring her back? Will you tell your friends? Will you email folks and let them know what's happening?

Will you put links to our website on your blog?

Will you support our legit local advertisers?

Unless the answer is YES, we cannot give you what you've told us you so badly want.

We put a poll up on the home page of


But I encourage you to do so, so that we know how to communicate to you our thoughts for the future, and give you a chance to feedback.

Vote for her, if you love her as much as I do. Look for a new video from me on the site Monday showing how much support you have given her.

Progressive Talk needs grassroots and netroots support. WE CAN COUNTER THE RIGHT WING BLOWHARDS.

Now, it's up to you. Thanks.

John Scott

The Program Director of Green 960

John Scott
Director of AM Operations
Stephanie Miller Fan
green 960 am
Total Traffic Network
San Francisco
415-975-5404 OFFICE
415-203-4168 CELL
AIM: johnscottsf

wvmc3d said...

Listening to Green 960 tin cup show now. I did not get that e-mail even though I sent in a complaint and am on the mailing list. I think the station must be mismanaged.

Someone just gave a shout out to Marc and Mark and Morning Sedition.

wvmc3d said...

Gee, Stephie has been restored and is coming up Friday for a big station party. Hmmm?!

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