Two views on Prog. Talk

Dan Strassberg
Thu Mar 31 15:39:41 EST 2005

Not clear whether Jurkowitz or Maloney was the more inaccurate. Jurkowitz
called WXKS and WKOX daytimers, which, as a point of fact, is untrue, even
though neither covers the City of Boston at night. Maloney referred to
right-wing talkers KSFO 560 San Francisco and KVI 570 Seattle as "tiny
signals." In fact these two low-on-the-dial 5-kW AMs have some of the best
AM signals in their markets. KVI, in particular, which is ND-U is arguably
Seattle's best AM signal, notwithstanding a very large number of 50 kW AMs
710, 770, 820 (which is 5 kW-N), 880 (which is 10 kW-N), 950, 1000, and
1090. In SF, KSFO is ND days and covers inland better than any Bay area AM
except for 50 kW ND-U KNBR. Like Seattle, the Bay area has many 50 kW AMs
(680, 740, 810, 1050, and 1100, with 860 not yet built). Because of its TX
location on the SF waterfront, KSFO gives up some coverage in Silcon Valley,
especially at night, however.

Anyhow, CCU, which owns and leases out many billboards, in addition to
owning quite a few stations, including WKOXKS, that carry "progressive
talk," has been very reluctant to promote its progressive talkers. Sure, if
creating a buzz by using Weblogs gets the promotional job done for free, the
strategy will have worked. But I'm sure that if the strategy fails, a number
of CCU execs will heave big sighs of relief notwithstanding the company's
relatively modest investment (for a company of CCU's size) in the format.
CCU is a notoriously right-wing company and liberals/progressives are 100%
right to be suspicious of the company's motives. Progressive talk only got a
chance thanks to CCU, but if the format fails, CCU execs will be able to say
"Sorry about that, but we gave it a shot and we found what many had
predicted--that the listener support just wasn't there." Meanwhile, these
execs will be gleefully snickering under their breath.

Of course, Air America itself deserves some of the blame. Much of the AAR
product is weak. Springer may be a bright enough guy, but all that he brings
to the lineup is a well recognized (albeit, for the wrong reasons) name. If
the five weeks of Springer that we heard in Boston while Randi Rhodes was
recovering from surgery were any example, Springer will decimate the ratings
of any station that airs his show (except maybe if Springer airs in the
overnight hours that have been occupied by reruns). Springer may well be Air
America's second kiss of death. (The first was the backers' financial
shenanigans that took place a year ago when the network was brand new.)

All that said, Mr Maloney can hardly be called an objective critic.The piece
on his Web site that followed his AAR piece (I forget the subject) made it
abundantly clear where his sentimets like. He is a neo-con like Limbaugh,
Hannity, O' Reilly, et al.

Dan Strassberg,
eFax 707-215-6367

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bob Nelson" <>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, March 31, 2005 2:39 PM
Subject: Two views on Prog. Talk

> Mark Jurkowitz talks about Air America on its first birthday. But while he
quotes one source as saying it's a "smashing success", check out the
> (WXKS didn't even show up in the latest book.)
> Rebuttal via Brian Maloney's Radio Equalizer:
> _______________________________________________
> No banners. No pop-ups. No kidding.
> Make My Way your home on the Web -

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