Herald: Where have you gone Air America

Dan Strassberg dan.strassberg@att.net
Mon Sep 18 08:20:35 EDT 2006

But having the only such network in the hands of a bunch of ego-driven
investors who don't know the radio business and apparently don't want to
learn is, alas, no recipe for giving the concept of a progressive-talk
network a chance to develop. If AAR does fold, it will just give the many
nay-sayers on the right an opportunity to say "I told you so." Many, many
inside and outside the industry will be only too happy to accept what the
righties say and not dig into the real causes of the failure.

Other companies do syndicate progressive talk, of course. Besides Jones,
there are--at least--the companies that syndicate Lionel and (is it Bill?)
Press. Can anyone identify the syndicators of these shows? There are others
as well. One talker who is no Liberal or progressive, but who is being
lumped by the righties with progressives because he doesn't like Bush, is
the black-helicopter guy, Alex Jones. I think there is another
black-helicopter show hosted by a woman from Missouri who also doesn't like
Bush and therefore is also incorrectly labeled as a progressive.

Dan Strassberg, dan.strassberg@att.net
eFax 707-215-6367

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Tomm" <nostaticatall@charter.net>
To: "Donna Halper" <dlh@donnahalper.com>
Cc: <boston-radio-interest@rolinin.bostonradio.org>
Sent: Monday, September 18, 2006 3:38 AM
Subject: Re: Herald: Where have you gone Air America

> It's no big surprise that Peter Smythe (WTKK) and Jason Wolfe (WRKO)
> weigh in negatively against progressive talk.  Of course, both of them
> would love to have the consistent 25-54 numbers that WBUR has.  It's
> not "liberal talk" per se, but that's where the pool of potential
> liberal talk listeners currently resides.  Why would these listeners
> switch from a dominant FM frequency that is (in theory) commercial free
> to a noisy AM signal and have to endure four long spot breaks every
> hour?
> If this is a "conservative country" as Smythe suggests, why isn't
> ultra-conservative talker WTTT doing better?  Maybe it's because they
> have a low-powered AM signal, or maybe it's the all satellite fed
> lineup they have.  It could be the lack of  promotion by Salem, or
> possibly the strong ideological bent of the hosts.  Or it could just be
> that the potential audience has other, more established places to go
> for the format that have better signals.  Funny, you can apply the same
> reasoning to WKOX/WXKS.
> This isn't to say that AAR doesn't have issues, they do.  But if they
> do go belly up that does not mean that "liberal talk" is dead.  As
> Donna mentions, other syndicators are finding success marketing
> left-leaning talk shows.  There are plenty of success stories in the
> format.  However, the successful stations have competitive signals and
> at least some local hosts, particularly in the drives.
> When Rush started out, he was on 5K fringe AM stations and it took him
> awhile to get established.  Once his show moved to some of the 50K
> blowtorch AM's, it took off.  The same thing needs to happen to liberal
> talkers.  It isn't about ideology.  It's about market penetration.  It
> hasn't gotten there yet and it's still very early in the game.
> --Dave Tomm
> "Mike Thomas"
> On Sep 18, 2006, at 2:47 AM, Donna Halper wrote:
> > At 01:57 AM 9/18/2006, Bob Nelson wrote:
> >> "...The nation hasn't turned its ears to you." In the heart of Kennedy
> >> Country, AAR hasn't really made a dent.
> >>
> >> http://business.bostonherald.com/businessNews/view.bg?articleid=158055
> >
> > Given how the Herald leans Republican, I am not surprised that they
> > would feel negatively about progressive talk-- at least the author
> > tried to be fair and did mention the horrible signal the Boston
> > affiliate has-- I can't even hear it in Quincy... but again, the
> > format really is doing just fine in some cities, and the Jones Radio
> > Network folks (like Ed Schultz and Stephanie Miller, as well as Thom
> > Hartmann, who I believe is part Jones and part AAR)  are actually
> > gaining audience, according to Talkers magazine.  Like him or not, Ed
> > Schultz is now the #9 most listened to talk show host in the country,
> > with more than 2.5 million listeners a week. Air America has a
> > horrible business model and has been very poorly run.  I've offered to
> > consult 'em, but alas, my phone ain't ringing... Still, it took Rush
> > Limbaugh nearly 6 years to become popular, and AAR is still fairly
> > new.  Will they survive?  I can't say.  But already certain
> > progressive talkers are finding niches in a number of cities.  Time
> > will tell if the format has staying power, but personally, I think
> > it's good for democracy to have both sides of current issues
> > discussed.

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