The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

31 March 2006

Air America Anniversary, Sacramento, New York City, Al Franken, Bill O'Reilly


After Two Years, How Else To Describe Air America?

As certain as the presence of a dozen Dunkin' Donuts outlets in every New England town, today's second Air America Radio on-air anniversary is sure to bring mainstream media accolades from every corner of the country.

When looking at the network honestly, however, how can we conclude it's been anything other than a debacle?

--- Ratings are in the toilet (another update soon on the way).

--- Just to stay afloat, it requires constant cash infusions from Rob Glaser and George Soros.

--- To sustain a bloated management and staff structure, company spending remains outrageous, with lavish salaries, perks and other benefits. Franken and some of its other hosts are compensated at rates up to ten times industry norms.

--- Does the firm ever intend to make money, or is it merely a political operation?

--- From skits advocating violence against President Bush, to the Gloria Wise taxpayer funds transfer scandal, Air America has had a nearly endless knack for generating bad publicity.

Getting a head start on the fresh round of praise was the ultraliberal and ever-shrinking New York Daily News:

After 2 years, Air America grows progressively upbeat


It was two years ago tomorrow that the progressive network Air America took to the radio, like a band of pioneers seeking a foothold in territory long dominated by hostile conservatives.

The ride has been as rocky as any 19th-century wagon train, and it's still not clear where the network is ultimately headed.

But count Randi Rhodes, the 3-7 p.m. host, among those who think a lot of turf has been claimed, with more to come.

"For a long time, there was a big hole," said Rhodes, "and it's not there anymore. Now there's another side on the radio. People who think our government has been going in the wrong direction don't feel like they're alone anymore.

"I'm much more optimistic today than I was two years ago. Much more hopeful."

Air America launched amid considerable optimism of its own - heady talk of buying its own network of stations while derailing the re-election of President Bush.

--- Given the huge number of liberal talk shows that have failed in the past, how are Air America's hosts "pioneers"?

--- How are conservatives "hostile"?

--- Given the company's inner turmoil, ongoing questions about the future of its flagship New York City station and ratings troubles, why is Randi so hopeful?

Perhaps the real hope is that her salary will yet overcome that of Al Franken's executive producer Billy Kimball, who clears over $600,000 a year.

From the story, more Air America spin:

Affiliates, ratings and revenue are rising, he said, challenging critics, like Bill O'Reilly, who have regularly declared the network close to dead.

One of the major arguments by O'Reilly and other critics is that Air America will never succeed as long as it sounds like a Democratic Party mouthpiece.

Network hosts maintain they often chastize Democrats - over not opposing the war more strongly, for instance - and Rhodes says Air America's critics wouldn't be so persistent if the network wasn't making a difference.

"It's a sign of fear and loathing," she said. "They see where we've gotten with zero promotion, and they're terrified."

Zero promotion? From the New York Times to the Washington Post, when has any upstart media operation ever had more fawning free publicity heaped upon it?

As for O'Reilly's point, he's right. Conservative talk radio never directly ties itself to the Republican Party, because that's a huge mistake. Nor does it usually call attention to its right-leaning nature (with a few West Coast exceptions).

To recognize the programming as conservative, it's up to the listener.

Air America, however, isn't just tied to the Democrats, it's directly promoting their candidacies and participating in partisan events. From the Sacramento Bee:

Democrats' delight: Candidates get airtime as Franken brings radio show to Sacramento

By Peter Hecht -- Bee Capitol Bureau
Thursday, March 30, 2006

Democratic gubernatorial contender Phil Angelides turned to Harvard classmate Al Franken - author, liberal satirist and foil to conservatives - to burnish his progressive political credentials.

Franken is touring California this week for broadcasts of his 9 a.m.-noon radio show. And Angelides was among several Democratic politicians to bask in the road show by the author of "The Truth (With Jokes)," "Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot" and "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right."

Also interviewed on the Franken show Wednesday was former Sacramento Assemblyman Darrell Steinberg, who is running for the state Senate, and Bill Durston, a Democrat who is challenging Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Gold River, in California's 3rd District.

Meanwhile, state Sen. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, who is running for lieutenant governor, told Franken of her fight against steroids and dietary supplements for high school students.

Other than an in-kind campaign contribution for these candidates, we can't imagine what else to call Franken's Sacramento visit. No doubt Al neglected to mention Angelides' past as a decidedly un-PC land developer.

While Air America may have reached its second on-air anniversary, the company's situation has never looked more precarious. Don't expect to read much about that in the next round of upbeat press reports.

Welcome Allahpundit/Michelle Malkin visitors! Please see main page for new Franken updates.

Your Amazon orders that begin with clicks here, regardless of your final purchases, are vital to supporting this site's efforts. Thanks again!

Silence: David A Lunde for the Radio Equalizer, Fluff images: Pete at IHillary, Franken with Sen. Speier: KCRA-TV

30 March 2006

Dave Lenihan, NAACP, Cynthia McKinney, KTRS


For Canned Host, Even NAACP Demands Reality Check

After yet another
instance of a certain Georgia congresswoman stirring up racial tension via her infamously bizarre personality quirks, it's nice to know others are instead working toward constructive change for the better.

If only they could get some of the attention now showered upon moonbat Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA):

(Michael H King- WXIA-TV 11 Atlanta) According to sources on Capitol Hill, U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) punched a Capitol police officer on Wednesday afternoon after he mistakenly pursued her for failing to pass through a metal detector.

Members of Congress are not required to pass through metal detectors.

Sources say that the officer was at a position in the Longworth House Office Building, and neither recognized McKinney, nor saw her credentials as she went around the metal detector.

The officer called out, “Ma’am, Ma’am,” and walked after her in an attempt to stop her. When he caught McKinney, he grabbed her by the arm.

Witnesses say McKinney pulled her arm away, and with her cell phone in hand, punched the officer in the chest.

McKinney’s office has not responded to requests for comment.

According to the Drudge Report, the entire incident is on tape.

No charges have been filed. Capitol Police spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider says that senior officials have been made aware of the incident and are investigating.

A statement attributed to McKinney has been released on the Internet, where she allegedly claims to have been harassed by Capitol Hill Police.

The statement's writer says that she has been harassed by white police officers she says do not recognize her due to her recently changed hairstyle.

"Do I have to contact the police every time I change my hairstyle? How do we account for the fact that when I wore my braids every day for 11 years, I still faced this problem, primarily from certain white police officers," the statement says.

While McKinney looks to divide us all (refusing to wear her Congressional pin when passing the security checkpoint makes the situation needlessly difficult) to serve her own political purposes, on another issue, the St. Louis chapter of the NAACP has instead chosen to take the high road.

Commenting for the first time on the now-infamous on-air slip up by a rookie KTRS-AM radio host, the local organization believes the firing of Dave Lenihan was unjustified and the story overblown.

Last week, Lenihan mistakenly used the word "coon" in a discussion on Condi Rice.

From the St Louis Post-Dispatch:

"This is an event that the press has blown out of proportion," said NAACP chapter president Harold Crumpton.

Seated next to him at news conference this morning was the organization's newest members:

Lenihan and his wife, Karen.

"He doesn't even say those words," she said. "We're just trying to find a way to make a positive out of this."

NAACP member Sam Moore said some people might find it strange that the organization had come to the rescue of a talk-show host who used the word "coon" while talking about Rice.

"We're gonna take some hits," he said. "People are going to wonder why we are sticking up for my new found friend here. But I am in the forgiving business."

Said Lenihan: "One of the things I found truly amazing was the support these gentlemen have given me."

Of course, Lenihan is still out of work, but Moore's position speaks well for his local organization. Last Sunday, Rice herself also forgave the previously little-known Lenihan for the error, during a FOX News interview.

More updates at STLMedia.

Equally constructive
is Sylvester Brown Jr.'s latest Post-Dispatch column:

Blacks aren't a monolithic group. I only speak for myself. But that doesn't stop readers from demanding that I investigate or elaborate on racially peppered local and national incidents.

Yet, when it came to Dave Lenihan, no one asked my opinion. Perhaps they thought I'd immediately defend the firing of the former KTRS radio host Wednesday after he used a racial slur in reference to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

If so, they'd be so wrong.

"What's the big deal?" I thought, after reading Lenihan's comments while he discussed Rice's qualifications for the job as NFL commissioner:

"I mean she's just got the patent resume of somebody that's got some serious skill. She loves football," Lenihan said during his morning broadcast. "She's African-American, which would kind of be a big coon. . . . A big coon? Oh my God. I am totally, totally, totally, totally, totally sorry for that. OK? I didn't mean that. That was just a slip of the tongue."

I totally, totally, totally, totally, totally agree. Lenihan suffered a slip of the tongue. Unless he was playing some psychotic mind game of compliment-to-destroy, the "coon" reference wasn't even consistent with his words.

Based on what I had read, I believed radio station CEO Tim Dorsey overreacted when he fired Lenihan.

I listened to the tape and still didn't hear it. No sarcasm. No pleasure. All I heard was a guy who seemed sincerely embarrassed by his ill-chosen words.

By the way, columnist Brown is no right-winger, just take a look at his blog, here.

While McKinney deserves every ounce of scorn heaped upon her today, let's not forget those who are instead working to bring us together, at least in this instance. For setting the example, many thanks to our friends in St. Louis.

Your Amazon orders that begin with clicks here, regardless of your final purchases, are vital to supporting this site's efforts. Thanks again!

Brown photo: Post-Dispatch, Rice: Fox News Channel

29 March 2006

Air America, Ratings, New York City, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego


For Air America, Latest Ratings Bring More Bad News

Two days into
the latest batch of big-city Arbitron radio ratings releases, not even one piece of good news has yet emerged for Air America.

With the liberal radio network's second anniversary just days away, that leaves little to celebrate when it comes to real audience growth. After fresh numbers from New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Diego and elsewhere, here's a quick scorecard:

--- In New York City, temporary network flagship WLIB-AM showed losses. From an overall 1.4 audience share last month, it fell to a 1.2 this time around.

In the broadest measurement of listeners, this critically important station still is unable to crack the top 20.

Meanwhile, Limbaugh affiliate WABC showed gains: from a 3.4 to a 3.7.

--- Still stuck in the Southland's bottom tier, KTLK-AM/ Los Angeles moved from a tiny 0.8 to this month's 0.9 share.

In order to avoid continuing to pay station owner Clear Channel high fees to run Air America programming there, KTLK needs to see dramatic ratings improvement. A quarterly finish above 1.0 would help a bit.

Conservative KFI held a 3.7 overall share.

--- In Chicago, Air America's WCPT-AM hasn't budged, still turning in a miniscule 0.7 share. Since last summer, the station has been unable to show any growth.

Rush's WLS-AM gained, moving from a 3.7 to a 4.0.

--- Both Hub stations combined couldn't bring the slightest improvement for the liberal network, as WXKS and WKOX-AM/ Boston again reveal a paltry 0.5 share. Only three distant, tiny outlets showed up with smaller numbers.

--- Especially ominous news has emerged from San Diego, where the previously somewhat successful KLSD-AM has seen gains erased. From a respectable 3.1 last fall, it's taken a huge hit, now down to a 1.8 share.

Representing the second phase of a three-month ratings period, final Winter 2006 Arbitron figures will emerge in April.

With nearly all of Air America's stations still ranked outside the top twenty, however, how could the network ever expect to attract a significant advertiser base?

For the network's coming second anniversary celebrations, expect the bubbly to be covered by our friend George Soros.

WELCOME Allahpundit/Michelle Malkin visitors! Click here for new Franken updates.

Your Amazon orders that begin with clicks here, regardless of your final purchases, are vital to supporting this site's efforts. Thanks again!

Images provided by David A Lunde for the Radio Equalizer

28 March 2006

Sean Hannity, Alec Baldwin, WABC, New York City


Alec Baldwin And Sean Hannity In Radio Cockfight

After an ugly on-air meltdown between actor/ guest host Alec Baldwin and caller Sean Hannity Sunday evening, New York radio fans are wondering: was this a planned stunt?

Whatever the intent, the end result was one Hollywood elitist taking his marbles and going home mid-performance. In radio, that just isn't kosher.

Phoning in during the show was Hannity and friend Mark Levin, the latter offering only personal insults for Baldwin.

Hannity, on the other hand, began by grilling the actor on why he apparently refuses to appear on the former's nationally syndicated talk show.

With nastiness on all sides, things quickly went south.

With talk radio so boring these days, the Radio Equalizer is torn: was this cockfight a rare return to edgy, compelling programming? Or was it merely a two-bit street brawl that should have been taken to a nearby alley?

Upon listening to the WABC broadcast, we're left with these nagging questions:

--- Why was Baldwin, with no real talk radio experience, allowed to co-host a show? Hannity referenced a deal reached between the actor's agent and ABC Radio.

--- Merely because he's famous, why would that make him qualified for his own program? Unless this was a publicity stunt, it appears ABC isn't any smarter than Air America.

--- Was a visit to Hannity's show part of Baldwin's deal? Did he chicken out?

--- As gutter-level as much of this long segment came across, Hannity has never sounded more passionate, even fiery. We liked that.

--- Why did the station allow both Hannity and Levin to call in at the same time? In addition, minutes later, why were they able to return for a second round of shouting?

--- Why Baldwin's short fuse? Several callers were on his side. Storming out of the station seemed childish.

--- Once everybody was finished fighting, weekend host Brian Whitman seemed disoriented and a bit unsure how to continue his show.

In today's editions, New York City newspapers were quick to jump on the story. From the New York Post's John Mainelli:

The activist actor, who was road-testing his own potential talk show, called Hannity a "no-talent whore" and an "incredibly ignorant boob from Long Island.

Hannity called Baldwin - a favorite punching-bag for conservatives - on the air just as he was beginning his show, and that's when the fur started to fly.

"At first I thought this was a joke," Baldwin told his co-host, Brian Whitman.

Hannity, furious that Baldwin allegedly broke a promise to appear on his show before Whitman's, wasted no time ripping into the liberal activist.

"Welcome to WABC, considering you were supposed to come on my program last week and you didn't show. What happened?" Hannity demanded.

"Why would I want to come on with a no-talent, former-construction-worker hack like you?" Baldwin answered.

"Are you the reckless, third-rate Hollywood actor who said our vice-president, while we're at war, is a terrorist? Are you the guy?" Hannity asked.

"No wonder you didn't come on my program and defend it, you gutless coward."

"I challenge you [to] come on my program, to say on my program that our president is a mass murderer. You don't have the courage," Hannity said.

The fiery exchange continued until WABC's yappy Mark Levin, who'd also called in, asked Baldwin why ex-wife Kim Basinger is "so p--ed off at you."

At that point Baldwin bolted from the studio, cutting his planned two-hour audition in half.

Later, Baldwin wrote about the experience for the Huffington Post:

After some back and forth between myself and Hannity, most of it predictable, Levin made a comment connected to my divorce proceedings. I turned to Whitman, who knew that I was due to depart the show no later than 8:30 PM New York time anyway, and told him I had to go.

I thought that Levin, whoever he may be and whatever code he does or does not operate by, had crossed a line and I was under no obligation to continue in that vein.

Hannity, a McCarthy-esque figure in American media, but without McCarthy's influence or audience, spent most of his on-air day gloating that he had put me in my place and indicating that I had slurred construction workers with my call for him to return to that (his former) profession.

While we agree Levin was out of line, Hannity's shots were similar to Baldwin's, meaning no apology should be necessary.

Because ABC's reputation is one of play-it-safe radio, we don't believe network suits intended for any of this to occur.

As for the actor, because he stormed out mid-show, he can kiss any future talk hosting aspirations goodbye, forever.

ALSO: TVNewser has info on the one-night-only "Hannity On Broadway" performance.

Expose The Left has the Hannity & Colmes segment where this WABC meltdown was discussed.

Riehl World View has a link to the audio and more commentary. Welcome Michelle Malkin readers.

Your Amazon orders that begin with clicks here, regardless of your final purchases, are vital to supporting this site's efforts. Thanks again!

Hannity image provided by Pete at IHillary for the Radio Equalizer. Baldwin photo: New York Post

Al Franken, San Francisco, Los Angeles


Between Several Events, A Curious Franken Pattern Develops

Is Al Franken now avoiding potentially embarrassing debate circumstances?

Between three events which began last night and extend through early April, only in media-free surroundings has the Air America host agreed to debate a conservative.

Where reporters are allowed, the other panelists are either "progressive", or Franken's sitting it out entirely.

When he is willing to take on a right-leaning opponent, targets are carefully chosen, such as last night's match-up against Ann Coulter in Los Angeles. There, of course, the media was barred.

Just look what happened when gutsy blogger LoneWacko at BoreAmerica tried to get a press pass:

If Ann Coulter debates Al Franken and kicks his arse back to Minnesota and there are no reporters or blogger-reporters around to hear it, does Al Franken make a sound as he contemplates throwing a chair or something?

On Monday, March 27, Al and Ann will be debating in Los Angeles. However, it appears to be part of a series and the series costs $225. And, my request for a press pass - accompanied with the URL to this site - was met with this terse reply:

Sorry we do not have press at our events.

In San Francisco, it's even more clear Franken fears circumstances he can't control.

Not only is he sitting out tonight's left-right debate put together by sister Clear Channel talk stations KNEW and KQKE, but the audience for his live San Francisco City Hall broadcast this morning has been carefully screened.

For KQKE, his Bay Area affiliate, that leaves a strange forum lineup: syndicated weekender Stephanie Miller, Fargo's Ed Schultz and the station's two morning show co-hosts, Will Durst and Willie Brown.

From conservative KNEW-AM, it's an equally odd assortment, consisting of two Sacramento-based morning show personalities, as well as political strategist Karen Hanretty and a syndicated host.

With a lineup like that, it's amazing Franken couldn't find a way to stick around town for a few extra hours, especially with moonbat San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom serving as "moderator".

Where the media is welcome, however, is at an April 5 event in Washington.

In a overt pairing of lefty interests, David Brock's anti-O'Reilly Media Matters site will team up with Air America, for an all-liberal discussion:

Can progressives find their media voice? Is news coverage skewed to either side? What can consumers of news do to ensure accurate and reliable reporting? These and other questions will be explored on April 5 at George Washington University by a range of media practitioners and critics. They'll identify both problems and potential solutions.


-- David Brock, president and CEO, Media Matters for America

-- Eleanor Clift, contributing editor, Newsweek

-- Al Franken, Host, The Al Franken Show

-- Danny Goldberg, CEO, Air America Radio

-- Helen Thomas, syndicated columnist, Hearst News Service

REGISTRATION: Free and open to the public. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. Early registration is highly recommended. Seating is limited, to register please visit

Editor's Note: The event is "open press." Camera crews are encouraged to arrive at 2 p.m. for early set-up.

For both Media Matters and Air America, no doubt the best "potential solution" is more money from George Soros.

Why is Franken afraid of events with both conservative opponents and the media?

Only he can answer that question.

UPDATE: Looks like Franken will remain in California through Wednesday, so why skip the SF debate?

Air America's Al Franken, who broadcast a show in May from the sold-out Crest Theatre, will return to that venue at 9 a.m. Wednesday. The show, as always, can be heard on KCTC (1320 AM). One of his guests will be Enid Goldstein, KCTC's afternoon talk-radio host. Free tickets are available at

Your Amazon orders that begin with clicks here, regardless of your final purchases, are vital to supporting this site's efforts. Thanks again!

Images provided by David A Lunde and Pete at IHillary for the Radio Equalizer.

27 March 2006

Dave Lenihan, Condi Rice, St Louis, KTRS, St Louis Cardinals


For St. Louis Host, Even Condi Can't Help

With every passing hour, the story of fired KTRS-AM host Dave Lenihan becomes more outrageous and grossly unfair.

After a slip of the tongue on the Cardinals-owned station, the St. Louis radio personality used the word "coon" instead of "coup" in a discussion about Condi Rice.

The latest disturbing details:

--- Missed by the mainstream media: for some time, racist symbols have apparently been featured on the website of another KTRS personality. When confronted by STLMedia's Mike Anderson, however, they were quickly removed:

The St. Louis Cardinals have an employee with a personal website that contained white supremacist imagery. It was here (RR) but the images have been removed since this was posted. He offers this, though, as an excuse:

Where you grew up accounts a lot for how you view the image of the confederate flag. My family sees the flag as a way of missing the old South and how it used to be, meaning we see that time as peaceful, hospitable, and a nice 'romantic' time in history.

Why is that person still employed by the Cards when Dr. Lenihan was dismissed from the 50% Cardinal-owned KTRS for what has been described by most media and civil rights agencies as a "slip of the tongue"? The 'Birds have some 'splainin' to do, dontcha think?

--- Even after a Sunday interview where Rice herself indicated she'd accepted Lenihan's explanation, the fired host still has no hope of returning to his job.

--- According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, he's also been suspended from his college teaching position, pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

--- In Lenihan's place goes a previously fired KTRS host, the notoriously milquetoast McGraw Milhaven, says the paper. With this move, there's no chance anyone will be offended by anything.

--- While the AP's Rice update was carried on the websites of hundreds of media outlets worldwide, some sanitized the language to avoid "offending" anyone.

Here's how KABC-TV/Los Angeles ran the story:

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says she has accepted the apology of a disc jockey fired for using a racial slur when talking about her.

Rice told "Fox New Sunday" that everyone says things they shouldn't say or didn't mean to say. But she also says the incident shows that even mature democracies have a way to go in healing racial tensions.

Dave Lenihan of KTRS in St. Louis apologized on the air immediately after making what he said was a slip of the tongue last week.

Lenihan was praising Rice as a potential candidate for NFL commissioner. He says he meant to say that having an African-American in the job would be a "coup" but another word came out.

Carried by WPRI-TV/Providence, here's the other version:

Dave Lenihan of K-T-R-S in St. Louis apologized on the air immediately after making what he said was a slip of the tongue last week.

Lenihan was praising Rice as a potential candidate for N-F-L commissioner. He says he meant to say that having an African-American in the job would be a "coup" but another word came out (coon).

--- In an expanded AP story version, Rice brilliantly put the matter into context:

Rice said Sunday that the incident is evidence that the "birth defect" of slavery infuses even mature democracies with racial tensions that take generations to heal.

Rice added that she hopes the episode inspires Americans to "be a little bit more humble" about the progress of emerging democracies such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan.

--- Finally, some area broadcast professionals are wondering out loud whether Lenihan was sacrificed so a troubled station could obtain badly-needed publicity.

Looking horrible: the St. Louis Cardinals, who've so far had no comment on the PR fiasco.

Are they too busy trying to remember why they wanted to own a talk radio station?

Your Amazon orders that begin with clicks here, regardless of your final purchases, are vital to supporting this site's efforts. Thanks again!

25 March 2006

Atlanta, WWAA, Air America, Jon Sinton


In Atlanta, Air America's Future Looks Bleak

For the increasingly troubled Air America Radio network, is Atlanta next to go?

For their alerts on this story, thanks to a number of readers and bloggers, including TC Lynch and others.

Based on an Atlanta-area liberal publication's report, that appears to be the case for WWAA 1690-AM. Adding to the intrigue: later in the story, highly inaccurate claims are made about the network's performance.

Sure to get conspiracy theorists/ defenders worked up: the likely change is due to a station purchase. That, of course, gives rise to more of the "right-wing is trying to shut us down by buying out the affiliates" nonsense that recently popped up in Phoenix and Missoula.

One problem: according to Creative Loafing, the new owner doesn't exactly appear conservative. From their report:

Joe Weber, president of JW Broadcasting, won't disclose plans for his new purchase. Weber's company currently operates WMLB-AM (1160), an eclectic mix of opera, R&B, poetry and jazz.

Sounds more beatnik than Gingrich, doesn't it?

Meanwhile, for Air America, the story just gets more depressing:

Two-year-old WWAA-AM (1690), the local affiliate of progressive radio network Air America, was sold to JW Broadcasting for $12 million in late January from Intermart, a Scottsdale-based broadcasting company. Intermart says the sale was always part of their plan.

"The station's stockholders wanted to sell the station from the beginning," says Bill Brown, a spokesman for Intermart. "There have been several offers since the station has been on air. The right opportunity just came along."

In other words, selling the operation was always a better plan than hoping for elusive profits from Air America's programming.

Then, suddenly, this story takes an especially weird turn:

"More and more people are turning to the Internet or their iPods [for radio shows]," says Jon Sinton, the Atlanta-based president of Air America. "We have to market unduplicated programming to see growth."

Despite the challenges of new technology, Sinton says Air America is climbing in popularity across the nation. In Portland, Air America is the No. 3 station, Sinton says, and signals in Denver, Los Angeles and Miami have seen a jump in ratings.

According to Arbitron, a media research firm, Portland's Air America affiliate received a 4.1 rating in fall 2005, while Atlanta's station received a bleak 0.4. Sinton says Atlanta's ratings show that the station has a small but loyal fan base. Al Franken affirmed that notion in December when he broadcast from Variety Playhouse in Little Five Points in front of a packed crowd.

While Weber decides whether to keep Air America programming, Sinton says the network will shop its programming around Atlanta.

"There's probably someone out there not making money," Sinton says. "We'll see what we can find and go with the best possible signal."


--- Sinton's never been Air America's president, he's a former company exec who now serves as a consultant, on a contract basis.

--- According to Radio & Records, KPOJ-AM/Portland ranks sixth, not third, with a 4.1 overall audience share. That's down from a 4.5 in the Spring 2005 survey. It remains Air America's most popular station.

--- In Denver, KKZN's ratings have been falling for nearly a year, from a 2.0 last spring to a 1.4 in the most recent Arbitron listener survey.

--- In Los Angeles, KTLK-AM is stuck with a tiny 0.8 overall audience share, exactly where it was last spring.

--- And, in Miami, WINZ-AM has dropped from a 2.0 in spring 2005, to a 1.6 in the most recently released ratings.

Wow, that's got to be a record: zero-for-five in accuracy at-bats. A sure way to get kicked right out of spring training, don't you think?

Your Amazon orders that begin with clicks here, regardless of your final purchases, are vital to supporting this site's efforts. Thanks again!

Sinking Frankenboat: Pete at IHillary

24 March 2006

Randi Rhodes, CNN, Lou Dobbs


Rhodes Boasts Of 'On-Air Chemistry' With CNN's Dobbs

In a mass e-mail sent to listeners, Randi Rhodes just couldn't wait to brag about her recent CNN appearance with Lou Dobbs:


Randi's debut on Lou Dobbs showers viewers with truth, intelligence and can't-miss chemistry between the The Dobbs and our Randi.

And, according to one insider who contacted us, Randi's been "beaming" ever since the CNN studio visit!

Hey, why shouldn't she, given that:

--- During the 10-minute segment, Dobbs didn't challenge a single point she made. That included her insane revelation that moving stem-cell research to Mexico could help solve our illegal immigration crisis!

--- In addition, he allowed Rhodes to dominate the discussion, at the expense of the other two guests.

--- For once, she managed to look reasonably put together, rather than exhibiting the bizarre, probably unintentional Courtney Love impression usually seen in the past.

Her ill-fated C-SPAN fiasco with conservative commentator Janet Parshall comes to mind.

After watching the CNN segment, the Radio Equalizer was left wondering more about Dobbs than Rhodes, with the cable host not a previous target here.

While there's nothing wrong with a bit of good "chemistry", why the blatant rear-end kissing of guests like Rhodes?

Was he simply having a bit of an off night?

Your Amazon orders that begin with clicks here, regardless of your final purchases, are vital to supporting this site's efforts. Thanks again!

23 March 2006

St Louis, KTRS, Condi Rice, David Lenihan


After Condi Slip-Up, Host's Sacking Looks Unjustified

Why wasn't the
dump button pressed?

In the wake of this headline-making instant termination of a St. Louis talk show host Wednesday, that's the first question that comes to mind.

After just eight days on the air, Dave Lenihan made what is quite clearly an unfortunate tongue malfunction regarding Condi Rice:

Lenihan was listing what assets Rice could bring to the league, including her tenure as a top academic officer at Stanford University and the fact that she is African-American.

“She’s just got a patent resume, of somebody that’s got such serious skill,” Linehan said on the air. “She loves football, she’s African-American, which would kind of be a big coon, a big coon – oh my God, I am totally, totally, totally, totally, totally sorry for that, OK? I didn’t mean that. That was just a slip of the tongue.”

Lenihan later said he meant to use the word "coup." (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

At STLMedia, Mike Anderson has been all over this (audio here, click on "misspoke"), as has Tom Calhoun at The Time Of My Life:

Based on what I heard, the guy actually had a brain fart and committed a slip of the tongue. He seemed instantly aware of how his mistake would be perceived and apologized profusely. But he only made the problem worse by apologizing and calling attention to what he had said.

Back in Broadcasting 101 you are taught that if you make a mistake, you can't take it back, you keep going on and DON'T CALL ATTENTION TO IT.

If he had just kept on talking and acted as though nothing had happened, someone may have called him on it but most of the audience would have realized it was a legitimate error and forgotten about it and the rest would have thought they must have misheard him.

He certainly didn't help himself either when soon after his slip, and resulting apology, he seemed to giggle as he went to a commercial break.

Damage control is the key phrase here. KTRS is trumpeting a new "edgier" and "hipper" direction and of course, its new partnership with the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals, or their radio station, can't be drug into any kind of a racial-oriented public relations problem and moving swiftly to nip any potential controversy in the bud was what had to be done.

Our reaction:

1) While we hadn't previously heard of Lenihan, it's obvious he's a Condi supporter, so this was clearly an accident. In the audio, there's no doubt the second "coon" was his own stunned reaction to the gaffe.

Moments later, the "giggling" represents his disbelief over what has just occurred. One quick apology would have been more appropriate.

Listen for yourself, there's simply no other fair interpretation.

"Hosts" are often plucked right off the street now, there is no "Broadcasting 101" these days. That leads to nervous air talent. Though he'd worked at a crosstown station, Lenihan had just eight days at KTRS, meaning he was probably still quite uncomfortable.

3) Perhaps the worst offender in the business, KTRS has a terrible revolving-door staff reputation. No talented, experienced talk host would be caught dead moving his or her family to St. Louis for a KTRS gig.

At this perpetually-floundering mess of a radio station, ugly terminations are a near-certainty.

At STLMedia, longtime industry analyst Mike Anderson has been exposing KTRS sleaze for years, taking abuse from the station in the process.

4) With baseball and football teams beginning to take control of radio stations all over the country, a new element of political pandering is now added to talk radio's hassle mix.

Since teams and their leagues are notoriously moronic when it comes to dealing with these sorts of flaps, talk radio gains yet another new headache.

5) The biggie: doesn't KTRS have a delay system? Between the host, board-op and producer, nobody saw fit to press the dump button? To the Radio Equalizer, something doesn't smell right, as this never should have reached the airwaves.

If they don't have one, they're risking a heap of future FCC trouble.

6) Don't forget the obvious racial double-standard: nobody would get canned for calling Bush a "cracker", even if done intentionally.

With talk radio's frequent termination controversies, there are often fuzzy gray areas that make taking a strong stand on the fired host difficult. Not here: Lenihan was wrongly terminated.

What does Rice think? Will someone ask her?

Anderson's new comment:

What happened this morning at KTRS was nothing less than another representation of the ongoing inability of management there to manage. He speaks quickly on the air and Lenihan misspoke himself as he delivered effusive praise of Condoleeza Rice. Listen to the audio, linked below. It's obvious he did not say it to be intentionally cruel or racist. The word "coon" doesn't even fit in the context of the sentence he was forming.

Lenihan's a bright guy...a Chiropractor and a teacher. And because of the predictable over-the-top media swarm (this thing's even linked on Drudge), I understand he's been suspended from his teaching position. The guy is being unfairly castigated because he bumbled a word, and it began with the actions of Tim Dorsey, who has been bumbling the management of KTRS for almost a decade.

Now let's look to Dave's future. The Internet has plastered this patently false story around the world. At least one of his former workmates has stated unequivocally on his website that he should have been fired. The truth of the matter, though, is that Lenihan is guilty of nothing more than a simple slip of the tongue. There's considerable evidence to back that up...especially the audio record.

Now, how does he get his reputation back?
Your Amazon orders that begin with clicks here, regardless of your final purchases, are vital to supporting this site's efforts. Thanks again!

22 March 2006

Lou Dobbs, CNN, Randi Rhodes, Mexico, Illegal Immigration


On CNN, Randi Solves Our Illegal Immigration Problem!

Of all the radio
talk show hosts currently hoping to blaze a left-wing trail, Randi Rhodes is surely the most incoherent.

Even on Randi's best days, we've heard her struggle to follow a thought to its logical conclusion. More often than not, bizarre, unrelated issues are thrown into the mix.

It's as if she learned early on that it's better to say something, rather than allow even a moment of unacceptable dead air.

Unfortunately, what fills that gap should have at least some remote relationship to the topic at hand.

Another theory: unlike the rest of talk radio, Air America's hosts have become so spoiled by teams of writers, they're increasingly unable to think on their feet.

What exactly does Rhodes offer so-called "progressives"? We've yet to hear a decent explanation.

True to form, Rhodes did it again last night, this time with Lou Dobbs on CNN: she argued in favor of moving stem cell research to Mexico, claiming it could help solve our nation's illegal immigration crisis!

Expose The Left has the video segment ready to view, while CNN provides this transcript:

RHODES: So what are we going to do when you have a situation where we have a 2,000-mile hole and only one side of the hole is trying to plug up the hole?

And other side keeps -- I mean, the only way to actually discuss this is to broaden it out and realize that America's had this love affair with cheap labor for centuries, and unless Mexico actually develops some sort of a business plan for itself, then you are going to have people risking their lives, dying in the desert, trying to get here. Knowing that when they get here, we have a CEO of America who belongs in the mail room, not in the boardroom. And doesn't do --

DOBBS: You've said that before, haven't you? You just made that up? I like that.

RHODES: I was watching you on "Bill Maher" and you know Lou's got a good point there. And I thought, he's not the CEO president. He belongs in the mail room. That's where Bush belongs. And until we get serious on both ends, of finding people who hire cheap labor, and ending their love affair with cheap labor, because it's no longer permitted, you'll be breaking the law if you hire somebody for less than a working wage.

And actually engaging Mexico in some sort of an industry that the president doesn't want us to be engaged in. For instance, President's got a problem with stem cell research, right?

Let Mexico become the preeminent stem cell research hub of North America. You know, some things got to develop for them.

Earth to Randi: to engage in stem cell research, do you really believe day laborers headed for Orange County would have the necessary educational credentials? If such an industry were located in Mexico, it would need to import experts from all over the world.

Earth to Randi II: against liberal Hollywood elitists and their insatiable appetite for hiring illegals at rock-bottom wages, how soon will we hear you speak out?

We won't hold our breath waiting.

As for Dobbs, we couldn't understand his docile approach to the guests in this segment. At CNN, is this a job requirement?

It's almost as if Larry King hovers over the other hosts, ready to scold anyone with a tough question.

Welcome National Review's Media Blog visitors! And thanks to The Anchoress, Ace Of Spades and Rightwingsparkle for recent links. Also to Captain's Quarters, today featuring a full rundown on the ugly CNN-Gallup split.

Your Amazon orders that begin with clicks here, regardless of your final purchases, are vital to supporting this site's efforts. Thanks again!

21 March 2006

Jane Fonda, Rosie O'Donnell, Billie Jean King, Gloria Steinem


For Network Debut, Feminists Line Up Ca$h

*** 12 Sept 2006: Note Update Below ***

Q: What can GreenStone Media do, that Air America Radio can't?

A: Raise millions of dollars from celebrity feminists and Hollywood liberals.

Take that, Al Franken!

After months of planning, a new network talk radio venture for women has $3.1 million in early-stage funding and talk hosts in place, if only it can find some radio stations.

Led by former FCC Commissioner Susan Hess and Jones MediaAmerica exec Edie Hilliard, a Seattle-based supporter, the fledgling operation claims its programming will focus on lifestyle topics, rather than politics.

With Jane Fonda, Rosie O'Donnell, Billie Jean King and Gloria Steinem providing financing, in addition to Hilliard's far-left background and that of its newly-hired hosts, however, will this really be possible?

Or is it now impossible to raise money with "liberal politics" found anywhere inside a business plan?

While at Jones, Hilliard was notorious for making her extremist political slant clear to all. In addition, she openly pushed for far-left talk radio syndication several years before Air America was created.

And, in a previously unreported twist, GreenStone's success, if any, could provide badly needed funding for Air America's ca$h-starved operations. More on that in a moment.

While the company claims it spent a year researching the marketplace, one wonders if there is really a need for female-targeted 24-7 talk radio programming. Having been attempted by ABC in Los Angeles and elsewhere in the past, the outcome was nightmarish.

And those poor results were achieved using experienced broadcasters, something GreenStone doesn't find necessary. Why not learn from Air America's mistakes?

Plucking people off the street and turning them into radio talk show hosts almost never works.

Recently, ABC was forced to pay Air America to run its own female-oriented show, The Satellite Sisters, on WLIB in New York City. Despite significant marketing, the weekday lifestyle-focused talk show has struggled to gain affiliates.

Are women really underserved in radio? As Bill Virgin wrote recently in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

It's not that women haven't made it nationally as talk hosts. Relationship consultants Laura Schlessinger and Joy Browne, political commentators including Stephanie Miller, Randi Rhodes and Laura Ingraham, sports-talker Nanci "the Fabulous Sports Babe" Donnellan and technology-show host Kim Komando come to mind.

Not to mention a huge name in female-focused radio, based in Seattle: Delilah, queen of late-night FM chatter. She was originally syndicated by Broadcast Programming, since gobbled up by Jones.

Nearly all of these women have substantial broadcasting backgrounds.

For GreenStone's lineup, it's a different story, taking its cues from Air America's strange habit of placing comedians and actors in the host's chair. At the company's website, audio clips are available of trial-run "broadcasts".

Here are the posted bios of its morning hosts:

MAUREEN LANGAN is an award-winning stand-up comic and broadcaster. She created and hosted Bloomberg Television and Radio's popular entertainment programming and was a reporter for WNET-TV in New York. She was named "Best Female Commentator" by the Newswomen's Club of New York and was the recipient of Planned Parenthood's prestigious Maggie Award. As a comic, Maureen performs at New York City's top clubs and in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. She has appeared on HBO, WE Television, and in many national commercials. She and her husband Peter live in Manhattan.

CORY KAHANEY is a stand-up comic and performer, was a top five finalist on NBC's Last Comic Standing, hosted her own special on Comedy Central, and appeared on Last Call with Carson Daly, Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, The View, and Politically Incorrect. Cory is remarried with one child in college and another in diapers.

NELSIE SPENCER is an accomplished actress, playwright, writer, and stand-up comic. She parlayed her experience as a mom into a successful novel, The Playgroup, which the New York Post acclaimed "Momsational." She co-wrote and costarred in, My Heart Belongs to Daddy, which was lauded by critics far and wide. Nelsie lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

In listening to the demo clips, the Radio Equalizer wondered why one host seemed to dominate, while the others seemed along for the ride. They were warm and friendly, but used local New York City references that might mean little to women elsewhere.

That raises a question: can women really be lumped into one giant demographic category? What does the housewife in suburban Kansas City have in common with Manhattan or Los Angeles socialites?

In the same way FM "talk radio for guys" has failed in several markets, one wonders how Gloria Steinem could really have her finger on the pulse of broadcasting's future here. Aren't the seventies over?

And what does former FCC Commissioner Hess know about programming talk radio?

How does GreenStone's potential success help Air America? By leasing unused New York City studio and satellite time from Piquant LLC.

After an upfront payment of $25,000, that same amount monthly for the first six and $35,000 for the next six, it gets access to facilities and airtime (not Air America's stations, however).

While that kind of dough will barely cover Al Franken and Billy Kimball's restaurant tabs, Piquant will take anything it can get to stay alive.

Isn't it great to see liberals helping their friends pay the bills? It takes a village to keep Air America afloat.

UPDATE: This article has since been updated, click here for more.

Your Amazon orders that begin with clicks here, regardless of your final purchases, are vital to supporting this site's efforts. Thanks again!

Technorati Tags:

20 March 2006

Air America Affiliates, Political Calculations, Radio Stations


Assessing Air America's True Station Reach

Between interviews and emails, it's the question we're most commonly asked: how many stations does Air America Radio really have?

Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, it's one we've never been able to answer.

However, thanks to new research done by Political Calculations, as well as our own additional analysis, we should finally be able to shed some light on the liberal radio network's real nationwide reach.

Why does it matter? If Air America can prove it's a viable, growing concern, it might be able to entice stations to carry their programs, or get advertisers on board.

At least in theory, that is.

What does the company actually claim? What can be verified? From either end of the debate over its performance, it's not as black and white as one might imagine.

As a result, this will not be considered a definitive report, just an educated guess.

Company No Longer Trumpeting Affiliate Count

Until a recent website redesign, Air America prominently touted its latest station count at the top of the main page. Because the number continued to increase, it was an obvious attempt at painting a picture of rapid growth.

In the early months, they actually were picking up stations, so there was little reason to question the tally. In addition, there's also a website affiliate page, so it was a simple matter of comparing that list with the stated number.

So how did this previously straightforward situation become fuzzy?

As with other syndicated radio and television programming, affiliates come and go over time. Whenever one signed on, Air America's website list was amended. When others were lost, however, were they removed?

And what about stations that kept just one or two AAR shows in their ongoing lineup? Are they still properly considered network affilates, or is that stretching the truth a bit?

Enter a key grey area.

And in the last year, a bigger issue arose: should they be able to count stations running only the syndicated Thom Hartmann Show as network affiliates? Clearly, they believed the answer was yes.

While Air America parent company Piquant LLC does distribute Hartmann's program, it isn't part of the network's lineup. In fact, he runs at the same time as Al Franken's show.

As a result, that's where criticism of Air America's public affiliate count becomes fair game.

The Difficulty In Determining An Exact Count

In a recent press release, the network claimed 89 affiliates.

Building on the report by Political Calculations, we attempted to look up website addresses for the stations listed at Air America's site, to find their current status.

Making it exceptionally difficult to determine whether they really run Air America, almost a third were too tiny to have any Internet presence.

Raising the possibility they serve merely as translators (and therefore probably aren't affiliates at all), a few others redirect to the websites of larger outlets in bigger cities.

Here's their most recent tally:


XM Satellite Radio ch. 167


Akron, OH - WARF-AM 1350 AM
Ann Arbor, MI - WLBY-AM 1290 AM
Asheville, NC - WPEK-AM 880 AM
Atlanta, GA - WWAA-AM 1690 AM
Bennington, VT - WBTN-AM 1370
Binghamton, NY - WYOS-AM 1360 AM
Boston, MA - WXKS-AM 1430 AM
Boston, MA - WKOX-AM 1200 AM
Brattleboro, VT - WKVT-AM 1490 AM
Buffalo, NY - WHLD-AM 1270 AM
Burlington, VT - WVAA-AM 1390 AM
Chapel Hill, NC - WCHL-AM 1360 AM
Charlottesville, VA - WVAX-AM 1450 AM
Chattanooga, TN - WDOD-AM 1310 AM
Cincinnati, OH - WCKY-AM 1530 AM
Cleveland, OH - WTAM-AM 1100 AM
Columbia, SC - WOIC-AM 1230 AM
Columbus, OH - WTPG-AM 1230 AM
Detroit, MI - WDTW-AM 1310 AM
East Longmeadow, MA - WHNP-AM 1600 AM
Grand Rapids, MI - WTKG-AM 1230
Greenfield, MA - WHMQ-AM 1240 AM
Huntington, WV - WRVC-AM 930 AM
Ithaca, NY - WNYY-AM 1470-AM
Key West, FL - WKIZ-AM 1500 AM
Miami, FL - WINZ-AM 940 AM
Montpelier/Barre/St Johnsbury, VT - WDEV-AM 550
New Haven, CT - WAVZ-AM 1300 AM
New York, NY - WLIB 1190 AM
Petoskey, MI - WWKK-AM 750 AM
Pittsburgh, PA - WPTT-AM 1360
Portland, ME - WLVP-AM 870 AM
Providence-Warwick-Pawtucket, RI - WHJJ-AM 920
Rochester, NY - WROC-AM 950 AM
Rocky Mount, NC - WEED-AM 1390
Sarasota-Bradenton, FL - WSRQ-AM 1450 AM
Springfield, MA - WHMP-AM 1400 AM
State College, PA - WBLF-AM 970 AM
Washington, DC - WWRC-AM 1260 AM
West Palm Beach, FL - WJNO-AM 1290 AM


Austin, TX - KOKE-AM 1600 AM
Baton Rouge, LA - WYNK-AM 1380 AM
Brainerd, MN - WWWI-AM 1270 AM
Chicago, IL - WCPT-AM 850 AM
Corpus Christi, TX - KCCT-AM 1150 AM
Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX - KXEB-AM 910 AM
Davenport, IA - WKBF-AM 1270 AM
Duluth-Superior, MN - KQDS-AM 1490 AM
Ely/Hibbing, MN - WELY-AM 1450 AM
Lafayette, LA - KEUN-AM 1490 AM
Madison, WI - WXXM-FM 92.1 FM
Marion/Carbondale, IL - WINI-AM 1420
Memphis, TN - WWTQ-AM 680 AM
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN - KTNF-AM 950 AM
New Orleans, LA - WSMB-AM 1350 AM
San Antonio, TX - KTXX-FM 103.1 FM


Albuquerque, NM - KABQ-AM 1350 AM
Denver, CO - KKZN-AM 760 AM
El Paso, TX - KHRO-AM 1650 AM
Santa Fe, NM - KTRC-AM 1260 AM
Taos, NM - KVOT-AM 1340


Albany, OR - KTHH-AM 990 AM
Eugene, OR - KOPT-AM 1600 AM
Eureka, CA - KGOE-AM 1480
Fresno, CA - KFPT-AM 790 AM
Los Angeles, CA - KTLK-AM 1150 AM
Monterey-Salinas-Santa Cruz, CA - KRXA-AM 540
North Bend / Coos Bay, OR - KBBR-AM 1340
Portland, OR - KPOJ-AM 620 AM
Reno, NV - KJFK-AM 1230 AM
Riverside, CA - KCAA-AM 1050 AM
Sacramento, CA - KCTC-AM 1320
San Diego, CA - KLSD-AM 1360 AM
San Francisco, CA - KQKE-AM 960 AM
San Francisco, CA - KSRO-AM 1350
San Luis Obispo, CA - KYNS-AM 1340 AM
Santa Barbara, CA - KIST-AM 1340 AM
Santa Cruz - Monterey, CA - KOMY-AM 1340 AM
Seattle, WA - KPTK-AM 1090 AM
Spokane, WA - KPTQ-AM 1280 AM
Victor Valley, CA - KSZL-AM 1230 AM


Anchorage, AK - KUDO-AM 1080 AM
Honolulu, HI - KUMU-AM 1500 AM
Kihei, HI - KAOI-AM 1110 AM
Lihue, HI - KQNG-AM 570 AM

For their analysis, Political Calculations used Wikipedia's count of 84, closely matching the 85 on Air America's official list.

So why, in corporate press releases, does the company claim 89? We don't know.

While stations in Phoenix and Missoula have been dropped from their list, Cleveland's WTAM-AM remains, even though it is cancelling Jerry Springer's radio show.

Current count: 84.

Political Calculations couldn't find Air America on these listed stations:

* (4) KSRO 1350 AM - San Francisco, CA
* (23) WPTT 1360 AM - Pittsburgh, PA
* (136) WTWK 1070 AM - Plattsburgh, NY
* (235) WINI 1420 AM - Carbondale, IL
* (79) KXRA 540 AM - Monterey-Salinas-Santa Cruz

While WTWK has been removed from Air America's site, the other four are still listed. KSRO (actually in Santa Rosa, not San Francisco as the company claims) hasn't a trace of their programming on its current schedule.

WPTT and KXRA run Hartmann for three hours daily, WINI for one. KXRA was actually set up as a left-wing outlet to counter Air America programming on nearby KOMY-AM.

We don't believe these should be counted.

Current count: 80

In PC's "low content" category are these:

(36) WHJJ 920 AM - Providence, RI (Randi Rhodes)
(52) WHLD 1270 AM - Buffalo, NY (Al Franken, Randi Rhodes, Mike Malloy)
(63) KUMU 1500 AM - Honolulu, HI (Al Franken, Randi Rhodes)
(73) WARF 1350 AM - Akron, OH (Al Franken, Randi Rhodes)
(172) KUDO 1080 AM - Anchorage, AK (Al Franken)
(179) WYOS 1360 AM - Binghampton, NY (Al Franken, Randi Rhodes)
(192) WWKK 750 AM - Petoskey, MI (Al Franken, Randi Rhodes, Jerry Springer, Majority Report)
(219) WWWI 1270 AM - Brainerd, ND (Al Franken)

Because Air America markets itself as a full-time network, we don't believe stations carrying just a small portion of the lineup should rightly be considered affiliates.

What's fair? That's a tough call, so we'll err on the side of caution and keep those running at least two shows.

Current count: 77

In addition, we found several double-counted translators or simulcasts in Massachusetts and elsewhere. In the western part of the Bay State, one station is counted on the company's list this way three times, while Boston's two signals are really one legitimate outlet.

In addition, we have questions about KIST-AM in California, which may be a simulcast of KTLK/Los Angeles, but will include it for now.

Current count: 74

Also, we found Eureka's KGOE to be carrying only Hartmann and Sarasota's WSRQ running Springer (next to Rush and Hannity!) Alaska's KUDO-AM 1080 runs Franken and Hartmann. We'll leave it in our count.

KAOI-AM in Hawaii runs Franken in the evenings, after Rush and religious programming! Sorry, Charlie.

Current count: 71

Other question marks- perhaps you can help us with these:

- KTXX-FM Texas (what is it running?)
- KIST-AM Santa Barbara (as mentioned above)
- Others on Air America's list we didn't mention because we couldn't track down station information. For instance, there could be a dozen additional stations running only Hartmann.

Are they in your neck of the woods? Please let us know.

To correct potential errors, omissions and to subtract other stations running little or no Air America programming, we anticipate revising this piece as needed.

What We've Learned

Very few land-based stations carry all, or even most of Air America's network line-up. Outside of Franken and Rhodes, several shows seem to have extremely limited reach outside of New York and a handful of other cities.

In addition, many affiliates are tiny. Three of its biggest stations, in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, are paid large sums to run network programming.

As we've mentioned previously, some of America's largest syndicated radio shows are heard on as many as 400 stations nationwide.

And just as importantly, we don't know how Air America arrives at the 89 stations it claims in press releases. Where are they?

Your Amazon orders that begin with clicks here, regardless of your final purchases, are vital to supporting this site's efforts. Thanks again!

AAR Economics by Pete at IHillary, AAR Crash by David A Lunde

19 March 2006

Phoenix, Liberal Talk Radio, New Times


Conspiracy-Wielding Phoenix Lib Talk Backers Scolded

From a very unlikely place, Air America Radio's Phoenix backers faced a print media scolding this week.

Aimed right at the tinfoil hat-wearing crowd, the "progressive" weekly tabloid Phoenix New Times cut right through the rampant conspiracy theories now used to explain Air America's Valley of the Sun demise.

While remaining firmly on the left, the paper essentially advised former staffers and fans to get a fast grip on reality.

Here's an excerpt:

The Bird thinks that the only thing more unfortunate than the death of Air America Phoenix is the whining and bitch-fighting that's taken place since the liberal radio station's funeral.

Former employees of Air America Phoenix are as busy slinging mud and pointing fingers as they are scrambling to relaunch their hyper-liberal chat station with one of those "save our sunk ship" fund-raising sites -- behavior that The Bird thought liberal radio types were way above.

Wrong. The guys from Air America's Phoenix affiliate -- home to famed chat hosts Charles "Fearless Talk Radio" Goyette and lefty Ed Schultz, and found on the AM dial at KXXT 1010 until March 1, when the station's new owners, Denver-based religious broadcasters Communicom, switched to an all-Jesus format -- are taking the sort of self-pitying "Mom, he hit me!" stance so popular with, well, conservative Christians.

"Air America's Phoenix station was taken off the air by a Christian broadcasting company," according to the group's woe-is-me Web site (, which goes on to beg for $500,000 in donations from former listeners.

Please. As much as The Bird enjoys a good conspiracy theory, and as much as it enjoys going after big-bucks-corrupted Christians, even a pretend pigeon can tell that this is merely a case of someone with a bigger pile of dough buying out a little guy who couldn't say no.

Air America Phoenix's former station manager Robert J. Christy agrees.

"There's no conspiracy here," he moaned to The Bird. "S**t happens. Like a radio station gets offered a ton of money and decides to sell. There's nothing surprising about that. Everyone knew what was happening."

Not so, said former Air America employee Jeff Farias, who produced the station's Mike Newcomb Show and co-hosted a weekend chat fest with The Bird's favorite legislative lefty, state Representative Kyrsten Sinema (see "Howl of Sanity," March 9). "We were as shocked as our listeners. We found out the night we went off the air, when Ed Schultz announced on his show that he was going off the air in Phoenix."

"B*****t!" Christy squawked to this foul fowl. "These naive people that I gave paychecks to think they're smarter than I am. They don't know what it takes to put up a successful broadcasting business. Fifty-dollar donations from listeners aren't enough to finance a station -- the bank will throw their ass out the door!"

Christy hasn't given up, however, as the story continues:

But the former Air America-ers won't need a bank, if all goes according to their plan. "We're going to find a rich Democrat," Farias explained to The Bird. "We've already found a station in town that we can lease for a year. We had a meeting with our attorneys, and now we're looking for that wealthy Dem who wants to bankroll a radio station."

Hey, if these guys can get liberal talk radio back on the air in Phoenix, the Radio Equalizer thinks they should go for it. And if they've found a way to make it viable, who are we to stop them?

But why bother to re-affiliate with Air America?

From our perspective, it appeared KXXT's local programming garnered the most publicity and listener support. So why not stick with what worked best?

We'll be watching this one.

Your Amazon orders that begin with clicks here, regardless of your final purchases, are vital to supporting this site's efforts. Thanks again!

Page Rank Checker

Powered by Blogger