The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

07 July 2006

KQKE San Francisco, WCKY Cincinnati, Willie Brown, Will Durst


Look Who's Bad-Mouthing Air America Now!

If you were under the impression that the harshest criticisms of Air America Radio and its liberal talk programming are found at the Radio Equalizer, you've obviously missed these items, right out of today's news:

In Cincinnati, today was the day for Air America's demotion to a much smaller station so that a sports outlet could take its place at 50,000 watt WCKY-AM.

According to the Cincinnati Post's Rick Bird, get a load of what a Clear Channel announcer had to say about lib talk's performance in Jerry Springer's hometown:

Frequency flip flop

Today is when Clear Channel swaps the frequencies on its liberal talk and sports stations. The progressive talk lineup, which includes Jerry Springer's locally based "Springer on the Radio" and other programming from progressive radio network Air America, moves from its current dial position at WCKY-AM (1530) to WSAI-AM (1360). The sports talk format, "Homer: The Sports Animal" goes from WSAI to the WCKY dial position.

WCKY is a significantly more powerful 50,000 watt signal heard on the East Coast and as far south as Florida, while WSAI has a 5,000 watt signal that barely gets out of the tri-state.

Cincinnati Clear Channel programmers are being brutally honest about the reason for the switch. In a tongue-cheek on-air announcement detailing the change, an announcer is heard saying, "I know this can be confusing," but sarcastically adds, "If all you diehard liberals who whined for Air American programming had bothered to listen to it, none of this would be necessary."

Since coming on the air here in January of 2005, the liberal talk format has barely cracked the top 20 out of some 30 stations rated in the Greater Cincinnati market. The sports talk station has also had meager ratings since coming on in 2000, but has shown growth in recent rating books. Programmers have said they feel the sports format is more marketable regionally than the liberal talk format.

Ouch! It doesn't get any more painful that that, does it?

Meanwhile, Radio Equalizer reader Marc McPeel reports that sports programming was carried on both stations today. Was it a temporary glitch?

And in San Francisco, of all places, Air America's KQKE-AM is having similar troubles, according to longtime radio columnist Bill Mann of the Contra Costa Times:

LOCAL LEFTY Air America network affiliate here, KQKE (960 AM) is still struggling in the ratings after two years on the air, although I do hear more and more people listening to it. In the latest ratings report, "The Quake" is down around 27th place, well behind established right-wing station KSFO.

Several East Bay readers, including Jay Gorud, agreed with my recent column that "The Quake's" mediocre morning show, "Keepin' It Real With Will and Willie," isn't helping things. Gorud sent station management a note a year ago asking for Jerry Springer's awful morning show to be yanked (it was), and he agrees with me that Stephanie Miller's syndicated show would be a big improvement over the feeble Willie Brown/Will Durst offering.

"I give it another three months before it gets yanked," writes Gorud, and I agree:

Morning-drive shows are too important for weak entries to survive long -- look how quickly KNBR fixed its new morning team. If any market is ripe for the Bush-bashing Air America, it's the liberal Bay Area.

Still, "The Quake," despite anemic ratings, may not make this important change soon. After all, "Quake" program manager Bob Agnew is the guy responsible for putting aged embarrassment Pete Franklin on the air for years when he ran KNBR ... Mickey Luckoff and Jack Swanson, the veteran execs who've run talk-station ratings powerhouses KGO and KSFO for years, are doubtless watching KQKE's programming faux pas with great delight ...

Some previous coverage of Willie Brown on Air America can be found here.

NEW: NBC's snooty Andrea Mitchell slams talk radio and bloggers!

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Al Goes Hunting: David A Lunde for the Radio Equalizer


  • Re: WCKY/WSAI: It wasn't a glitch. We reported earlier this week that the stations signaled the simulcast period by banners on their websites.

    More coverage of the situation on OMW...
    (Interesting quote here from Jerry Springer's co-host - seen on the "Springer on the Radio" blog)


    By Blogger Ohio Media Watch, at 07 July, 2006 19:51  

  • Good catch. Steph Miller is very funny and puts together a very good show along with her brilliant sidekick Jim Ward. She is opposite Springer in most markets and her numbers will go up if Springer goes down.

    By Blogger @whut, at 07 July, 2006 20:21  

  • Good post. Keep up the good work with this blog! Chris (TALK RADIO FAN)

    By Blogger Chris Francz, at 08 July, 2006 11:47  

  • Bob Agnew has had a bad year. He got fired last August from KNBR/San Francisco in the wake of the Larry Krueger "brain dead Caribbean" fiasco, and then ended up on KQKE, where his major contribution has been "Will and Willie."

    By Blogger SierraSpartan, at 08 July, 2006 13:18  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 08 July, 2006 14:47  

  • Hey Brian, Boston area listener, heard your excellent transmission this morning on the Times owned Boston Globe gay marriage policy change, and I had been working on a blog on that issue myself. Take a look, let me know what you think;

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 08 July, 2006 14:48  

  • Can I just say ROTFLOL!

    Air Deadbeat may not be going down faster then Dukakis did, but, their downward spiral is humorous.

    Heck, I could get 770-ABC out of NYC all the way down in Long Beach Island.

    I cannot even get Air Deadbeat 30 miles north of there up near Manasquan, NJ.

    By Blogger William Teach, at 08 July, 2006 16:20  

  • Didn't the author of this blog claim to have details of Randi Rhodes contract several weeks ago? If I am not mistaken, we are still waiting for his part two segment which is now two weeks overdue.

    By Blogger TED, at 09 July, 2006 01:38  

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