The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

08 March 2007

Marc Germain, Mr KABC, KTLK, Los Angeles Talk Radio

NOT LIBERAL ENOUGH?

At New Libtalk Home, Host Catches Static







With low- rated libtalker KTLK's latest hire at issue, there's trouble brewing in La La Land this week. Is the new guy too conservative for the Air America crowd?

Known in the past as "Mr KABC" and "Mr KFI", Marc Germain has enjoyed unusually long stints as a Southland late night talk host. Recently let go from the ABC owned and operated (O&O) station, Germain quickly found a new home at KTLK, which has been an Air America affiliate for the last two years.

While previously thought to be a fairly apolitical talk host, Germain says he generally holds liberal beliefs, according to the LA City Beat:


Radio industry observers sounded the alarm last week when “Progressive Talk” KTLK-AM 1150, L.A.’s standard-bearer for liberal talk radio, suddenly signed on popular local host Marc Germain, a man so identified with his last employer that he was known as “Mr. KABC,” the call letters of a station from the opposite side of the political spectrum.

...

The implication was that the more radical voices on KTLK were being sidelined in favor of moderates who might bring in better ratings, thus undercutting the stated political mission of the station. To make room for the moderate Germain, who will now be known as “Mr. K” and who blew the schedule apart when he took the four-hour live drivetime slot from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., KTLK Program Director Don Martin shuffled most of the other hosts and dumped one of those most identified with activism in the L.A. community: live-and-local host Cary Harrison of Harrison on the Edge.

Germain, however, sees his arrival in a somewhat different light.

“A, I’m a progressive, and B, I’m going to save the format. Without sounding completely immodest,” Germain chuckles. “The station needs new listeners. They need to bring in some fresh blood, and hopefully my old listeners from the old station. And it has to happen for the station to succeed. If anything, it shows a commitment to the format, and to the political leanings.”

Martin echoes that assessment, saying, “Mr. KABC, when he was over there, they always bitched and moaned that he was the progressive one on an otherwise conservative station.”

...

Regarding his politics, Germain says he’s happy to be challenged. “Have I ever voted for a Republican? Have I ever supported a cause that was in opposition to traditional liberals? Yes. And I fully face those and talk about ’em. But on the big issues – abortion, gun control, affirmative action – I march in lockstep with liberals, and I always have.”

KTLK listeners will be forgiven for being suspicious, given the more ebullient and even outrageous in-your-face political activism of hosts like Harrison, who challenged his listeners with regular features like “Activism A-Go-Go” (which provided ways to plug into local issues), regularly interviewed leftist icons, used the Bush administration as a punching bag, and organized a huge peace march with the grandson of Mahatma Ghandi which was attended by 10,000 listeners. He was also one of the only openly gay hosts on a major commercial talk radio station.

Within two days of the announcement, Harrison’s fans organized a website, peaceteam.org, where listeners have now left more than 900 posts that will reportedly be delivered to Clear Channel. They have also received thousands of e-mails. A source close to the cancelled host says that this was not organized by Harrison, but by loyal fans.


While it's hard to know whether Germain can succeed at political talk, it's not difficult to understand why Clear Channel would look to a radio veteran to pump up KTLK's anemic ratings.

But has Germain failed some kind of "progressive" litmus test? That appears to be the case here.

On right- leaning talk radio, this ideological purity generally isn't required, given a number of "conservative" hosts whose views are actually all over the place (think Michael Savage, Neal Boortz and many others).

Given this active effort against Germain, which includes an advertiser pressure campaign, it's hard to say whether the former Mr KABC will remain on KTLK for long.

Do libtalk listeners really expect their hosts to march in lockstep on every issue?


Will you support the Radio Equalizer?

Your Amazon orders that begin with clicks here, regardless of what you ultimately purchase, greatly assist this site's efforts. Or, please consider making a contribution at the Honor System box. Thanks again!

Technorati tags:

16 Comments:

  • Anyone to the right of Chairman Mao would be considered not liberal enough for the air america groupies

    By Blogger Capitalist Infidel, at 08 March, 2007 14:53  

  • FYI: This site was deleted from Wikipedia: 14:53, 15 February 2007 Fightingirish

    I'm currently in the process of building a new site which will have an entry about WP's AAR page. If this site could post here about issues it's had with the facts and links in WP's AAR entry, I could link to that rather than having to compile the record myself.

    By Blogger LonewackoDotCom, at 08 March, 2007 15:12  

  • Marc will be a change of pace host for KTLK, something that is sorely needed.

    KFI and KABC have had hosts that weren't Conservative or Moderate. I don't recall a campaign to get openly gay Tammy Bruce off of KFI, or the whack, Stephanie Miller off KFI either.

    It is the intolerant left that can't tolerate anyone that at all not RED or believes in personal responsibility can't be on the air.

    I dealt with Marc back when he was Tom Leykis' producer. I congratulated him upon getting his gigs at KFI and at KABC, and I congratulate him now.

    Marc, there is to a music group called, "Steely Dan". (Only fans of Germain know what this referrs to.)

    By Blogger PCD, at 08 March, 2007 15:56  

  • Oh, Marc's brother Paul is one of the credited, creative people behind the animated series, "Rugrats".

    By Blogger PCD, at 08 March, 2007 15:58  

  • cap...go 'way, peckerwood

    fudgie....is that why lynn samuels was bounced off wabc

    because they had such an abundance of liberal hosts there

    it's not a question of liberals marching to lockstep

    liberals don't have to, diverse opinions are tolerated

    unlike the neocon world

    john gambling got a rude awakening to this phenomenon, when he dared to opine that schialvo was entitled to a dignified passing, and an end to torture

    it was as if his pockets were stuffed with hamburger, and he suddenly found himself in a lions' cage

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 08 March, 2007 20:41  

  • Again Baloney has no idea what he's talking about, just an article from second-tier weekly City Beat which was trying to explain why their recent cover boy Harrison had just been dumped from LA's KTLK.

    KTLK is a station on the rise. They are reorienting where the ratings are. Mr. K is a beloved radio personality in Los Angeles with a huge following probably in the millions. His "Ask Mr. K" format demonstrated for years that he is factually a genius, laying his credibility into bedrock for those occasions where he had to slap down the KABC rednecks' ignorant belching about found WMD's, Saddam=Al Quaeda, Hillary's murders, etc. ad nausem. It suddenly became a nightly fact check on the rightist lies that were spewed all day long on KABC, and have duped 20-50 million Americans nationwide since the right took over the AM radio dial for their disinformation operation which is 100% lies.

    Mr. K's first week on KTLK has been a masterful blending of his skilled presentation, just-the-facts credibility and even his old "Ask Mr. K" format which is an L.A. radio institution. And word that he will be bringing on April Winchell means that KTLK will have two of the fall-down-funniest women in the world making laughingstocks out of the pasty 700 pound draft dodging, anti-gay-closet-case, child molesting, tax cheating, waddling rednecks of the right.

    By Blogger gregrocker, at 08 March, 2007 23:53  

  • Bruce is an interesting case; have heard her fill in for Ingraham (have the same syndicator, TalkRadioNetwork). From her site:
    Tammy Bruce is "an openly gay, pro-choice, gun owning, pro-death penalty, voted-for-President Bush authentic feminist. A lifelong Democrat, in the 1990s she worked to help elect Senators Feinstein and Boxer, and aided the Clinton for President campaign. Before we knew he was a sexual compulsive and "did not have sexual relations with that woman."

    By Blogger raccoonradio, at 09 March, 2007 03:32  

  • "this ideological purity generally isn't required, given a number of "conservative" hosts whose views are actually all over the place (think Michael Savage, Neal Boortz and many others)..."

    Well, that's not really true...it's like saying there is Ronzoni pasta, there is Barilla pasta...but it's all still pasta!

    But when will neoconservative hosts, pundits, and operatives within the media actually begin to address the core issues that true conservatives are not hearing being substantivally addressed, rather than the world-stopping "outrage of the day" and whatever exotic foreign bogeyman is hiding in the sands?

    When a message is so totally repetive and requires no thought or analysis on the listener's part, sooner or later they realize they're just being spoon-fed propaganda and reach for the switch...

    There is such a thing as dumbing down a message to a point where even the most right-wing extremist realizes they're being played.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 09 March, 2007 21:43  

  • Marc Germain belongs on the radio, but at a generic talk station broadcasting the usual mindless drivel about celebrities getting into trouble and useless trivia like which generation classification applies to which age group of Americans. His statements today that he is not here to save the world or save America were revelatory. He was challenged by a thoughtful caller regarding his program lineup and the vapid content of most of his show when there are absolutely critical issues pressing daily in this country. His dismissal of this caller caused me to get on hold to his show. I couldn't stay on hold because after 20 minutes I had to feed my small kids.
    Germain doesn't realize that KTLK was created precisely to fill the vacuum that exists in the media. Refugees like me have found safe haven in Air America where it was sorely lacking in NPR and even Pacifica. No need to even mention the MSM. While I'm sure Germain has brought over some knuckleheads from ABC to circle jerk over some pointless popular scandalk, I know he is losing the ears of thousands of responsible, conscientious citizens who need a reason for maintaining hope for our dear nation. Thom Hartmann, Randi Rhodes, and Rachel Maddow do their part. The 4-7 drive time slot with Germain is a Black hole.

    By Blogger David, at 12 June, 2007 01:07  

  • Marc Germain belongs on the radio, but at a generic talk station broadcasting the usual mindless drivel about celebrities getting into trouble and useless trivia like which generation classification applies to which age group of Americans. His statements today that he is not here to save the world or save America were revelatory. He was challenged by a thoughtful caller regarding his program lineup and the vapid content of most of his show when there are absolutely critical issues pressing daily in this country. His dismissal of this caller caused me to get on hold to his show. I couldn't stay on hold because after 20 minutes I had to feed my small kids.
    Germain doesn't realize that KTLK was created precisely to fill the vacuum that exists in the media. Refugees like me have found safe haven in Air America where it was sorely lacking in NPR and even Pacifica. No need to even mention the MSM. While I'm sure Germain has brought over some knuckleheads from ABC to circle jerk over some pointless popular scandalk, I know he is losing the ears of thousands of responsible, conscientious citizens who need a reason for maintaining hope for our dear nation. Thom Hartmann, Randi Rhodes, and Rachel Maddow do their part. The 4-7 drive time slot with Germain is a Black hole.

    By Blogger David, at 12 June, 2007 01:08  

  • He is gone. I guess he make too much sense to be at the KTLK. He was the sole reason I would listen to that station.

    By Blogger Kidd, at 31 December, 2007 20:40  

  • sorry to see him lost from ktlk radio. he was the only reason I came to that station.

    He truly was a voice of reason.

    Drat!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 01 January, 2008 18:53  

  • Shocked...Marc was fresh air at KTLK he gave listeners a chance to breathe...I was a loyal KABC listener and found KTLK when he moved there...now I have to start looking for a new landing strip! I'm deleting the 1150 button on my car radio.

    By OpenID aldcp, at 10 January, 2008 21:44  

  • Thank god Mr. K is gone. I had written to the station a few times to complain about him and the mindless drivel he considered to be his “show.” I was told that he simply got the ratings and that was that. After Thom Hartmann and Randi Rhodes setting the table each day, the main course (4 hours!) of Mr. K was vastly disappointing. KTLK exists only because it fills a void for people who are informed enough to be aghast at what has been happening to our constitution and country under Dickhead Cheney. Anyone who feels that Randi Rhodes is too strident or Thom Hartmann is uninteresting should simply tune into any one of dozens of other sources. Air America was created for the rest of us. To cite a bumper sticker: IF YOU’RE NOT OUTRAGED, YOU’RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION. This station should programming hosts who are paying attention and trying to the best of their blessed hearts to tell the people. Mr. K dismissed and disrespected callers who asked real questions and routinely displayed the thinnest of knowledge about the critical issues. He was proud of his fluff show. I despised it and felt cheated. It made my drive home so much longer when he was on.

    By Blogger David, at 18 January, 2008 12:33  

  • Very sorry to find out that "Mr. K" has been let go. Now there's nobody to listen to during drive time in LA. A lot of choices, just nobody to listen to. . .

    By Anonymous Orphie, at 02 February, 2008 18:12  

  • I am so sorry David.. I do not think that u r serious of what u have left in this comments site of this blog... Marc Germain is Motor that was setting the fire KTLK.. Look what has happened Air America.. Marc is gone.. wegoted.com is gone.. Phil is in... David, r u now comparing to your afternoon drive now and then...? get real.... Marc is the best talk show host in the United States.. he does not take a crap like the politicians...

    By Anonymous Shibis, at 14 February, 2008 21:08  

Post a Comment

<< Home



 
Page Rank Checker

Powered by Blogger