KXXT-AM/ Phoenix Dropping Air America Radio
Air America Radio Loses Phoenix Station
For Air America Radio, it's officially fade-to-black in the Valley of the Sun. Roll the end credits, please.
After months of speculation and an ownership change, KXXT-AM's fate is finally clear: its future lies in religious programming, not liberal talk radio. Could a format flip be any more dramatic?
Especially strange were the station's continued assertions they weren't sure what would happen, even as hosts on conservative competitor KFYI-AM repeatedly declared it ready for the dust bin.
As recently as a few weeks ago, a KXXT manager told me there were no plans to change the station's programming. On February 1st, however, it'll be over for Franken & Co.
In several ways, Phoenix is a key market for radio and television broadcasting. Ranked 15th largest by Arbitron, the region is exploding in size, adding young families and professionals, particularly craved by advertisers.
KXXT's ratings had stalled at around a 1.5 share for all listeners 12 and older, good for 21st place. Compare that to conservative KFYI's typical first or second place finishes.
Best known among the station's personalities is Charles Goyette, seen in the above image, who has worked for several Phoenix-area stations.
Yesterday, Goyette revealed this in an email to the Radio Equalizer:
"The station has been sold as part of a package by James Crystal to Communicom, religious broadcasters out of Denver. I am told to expect close of escrow on Feb 1. No guesses on a new home, but the station is operating profitably."
An interesting KXXT side note, picked up by BoreAmerica:
Even better, the Truth to Power Hour, featuring Kyrsten Sinema and her co-host, Jeff "No neck" Farias will apparently be leaving the airwaves. Sinema is not only an Arizona State legislator, she's quite a piece of work with a clear pro-illegal immigration agenda.
The Radio Equalizer previously detailed Rep. Sinema's crusade against Sean Hannity here.
Brainster's Blog adds this:
The local manager is talking bravely about raising capital to purchase another station, but I suspect that AA is facing its final days in the Valley of the Sun.
There was a fair amount of gallows humor on the show; Goyette did an ad for a computer company noting that they'd done such a good job with KXXT's computers that he'd be able to type up his resume quickly. At one point the station GM said the word "sh*t" without the bleep.
Could Air America find a new home in Phoenix? It's possible, but so far there's no indication it will happen.
Meanwhile, while entertainment industry trades focused yesterday on a relatively minor news position hire at Air America (more on this later), little or nothing is being said about the liberal radio network losing one of its most important outlets.
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