Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Cleaning out the closet Part 3: Floozies, flips, leftovers and the dearly departed

Here it is, part 3 of my recap of all things LTR. In this one, I'll talk about all the stuff that didn't fit in the previous two installments. And I'll start with a little breaking news:

  • As of right now, right-wing bloggers across the tubes are getting hard-ons about yet another political prostitute scandal, so quick on the heels of the whole Eliot Spitzer mess. This one concerns LTR fan Tom Athans, husband of Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), the former boss of Democracy Radio (where he introduced us to Ed Schultz and Stephanie Miller), a former VP at Air America Radio, and current CEO of upstart syndicator Talk USA Radio, which syndicates Leslie Marshall's show and Washington Monthly On The Air. I'm not sticking up for him, and I'm certainly not spinning. But I say let Athans and his wife sort it out, since there's really no hypocrisy involved in this case, unlike the Spitzer ordeal and others like it. Since Athans isn't an elected politician, and merely a businessman who's married to one, does it really matter? Simply put, I can't really pass judgement here.

    Better yet, why, on the finger-pointing blogs, does a search for disgraced whorehound Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), congressional page molester Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) or toe-tapping closeted cruiser Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) yield few to no results? Or why do these holier-than-thou conservative types drool like rabid dogs in heat at the mere mention of hanky-panky? Or, why do so-called 'compassionate conservatives' love so much to wallow in human misery? Hmmm... interesting. Nonetheless, I'll keep an eye on this one.

  • Before I was so rudely interrupted by that tawdry business, a follow-up on something that piqued my curiosity yesterday. I mentioned that Thom Hartmann had picked up four new affiliates for his show. I was familiar with the stations in Miami and Jacksonville. The Bellingham, WA station is fairly new, but I have it listed. But there is the question of WNWF (1120AM) in Destin, FL. Never heard of this one. The best my sleuthing could come up with is that it is a recent convert to progressive talk. Currently, their lineup consists of Bill Press, Stephanie Miller, Hartmann and Ed Schultz. The station is a little 1,000 watt daytimer located on the Florida Panhandle and serves the Destin/Walton Beach area. They also feature an audio stream, which you can find at this link. WNWF, which is owned by Andala Enterprises, formerly aired programming from FOX News Radio.

  • In another follow-up to the same entry, this one on main affiliate WWRL (1600AM) in New York, which underwent substantial on-air changes, reportedly due to the end of Air America's time lease on the station. Tom Taylor at Radio-Info had this to say about Air America and the developments at WWRL:

    New controlling owner Charlie Kireker certainly wants to get former WABC personality Lionel plugged back into the market, and ditto for Thom Hartmann. He’d no doubt love being on a more competitive signal than WWRL. So the Daily News reports the ongoing quest for a new affiliate, and also the launch of a “vastly expanded” website at Massachusetts-born and Vermont-based Kireker took over control of Air America from the Green family and so far the’ve been no reports of cash-flow problems. Air America started out with enormous hype and expectations that were pegged way too high. Its subsequent financial troubles and management changes kept it in the headlines. Now things seem to have stabilized – but its place in the progressive talk universe during a big election year seems to be usurped by bloggers and sites like Daily Kaos and Huffington Post. Making its website more of a competitor to those way-stations for liberals would surely help out its radio operation.

    Taylor also relays this item:

    T-R-I reader and Media Syndication Services president Woodhull emails to say “I’m sorry that Mike Malloy [per Malloy’s quote to the Sacramento Bee] and Randi Rhodes have difficulty attracting advertisers, but I want to make sure your readers know” that shows like Bill Press, Ed Schultz and Stephanie Miller “attract premium advertisers.” And he happily lists the national advertisers just on the Bill Press show for the first three months of 2008. They range from Ace Hardware and Advance Auto Parts to Bayer/Alka Seltzer, Geico, Johnson & Johnson and Scott’s Miracle Gro. The three shows Woodhull mentions are syndicated by Jones and repped by Jones MediaAmerica.

  • KCCT (1150AM) in Corpus Christi, which last year dropped it's Air America-fueled talk format for a Regional Mexican music format, switches back to talk. No Air America this time around, but Stephanie Miller will be on 10A-1P. Otherwise, you get right-wing puker Mancow Muller, fourth-tier rightie talker Jerry Doyle, the neutered Phil Hendrie and the always entertaining sports commentary of Dan Patrick.

  • KTNF (950AM) in Minneapolis is no longer Air America Minnesota. Not to worry, though. The programming remains mostly unchanged, but now they call themselves 'The Voice Of Minnesota.' Makes sense, since much of the stations' programming comes from other networks.

  • And finally, a few passings to note. First, Chicago radio legend Wally Phillips, who hosted mornings on WGN from 1965 through 1986, and then moved to afternoons until 1998. The station reported that PHILLIPS passed away last week after a five-year battle with Alzheimer's disease at 82.

    Top 40 radio legend Jack Armstrong also passed away last week at the age of 63. Armstrong had a long career, with stops in Cleveland, New York, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Miami, Los Angeles and others on his itinerary. Some of the famed stations included WNBC, WWKB, KFRC, KTNQ and many others.

    And here's a real shocker. Darian O'Toole, well-known to listeners in San Francisco, Philadelphia and New York died suddenly of an longtime undisclosed illness yesterday. The witty Canadian redhead first came to fame as the morning hostess at KSAN in San Francisco, and went on to a variety of stations since. In recent years, she's been working the CBS "Free FM" circuit (KIFR in San Francisco), and was at one time rumored to have perished during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, which of course was found to be untrue. No further word on how or why she died.


    FSL said...

    Tom Athans at Democracy Radio spent a lot less money than Air America and launched the two most successful liberal talk shows.

    Tom Athans still knows how to economize. He spent a lot less than Elliot Spitzer to get his horns trimmed.

    Who says all Democrats are big spenders!

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