The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

06 August 2007

Greenstone Media Shutting Down, Rosie O'Donnell, Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinem


High Profile Women's Feminist Radio Network To Shut Down

In a major blow to its high profile backers, including Gloria Steinem, Rosie O'Donnell, Jane Fonda and others, feminist talk radio network Greenstone Media is about to shut down, according to several trade reports this morning.

Despite its famous investors, ready access to cash and relatively high profile in the industry, Greenstone struggled to gain affiliates. And those who did carry its lineup of "chick chat" shows tended to be tiny outlets in peculiar places.

Perhaps foreshadowing the network's failure, a number of executives had departed under mysterious circumstances in recent months.

In March 2006, your Radio Equalizer broke exclusive details of Greenstone's secret connections to Air America Radio and in September discussed a cocky interview Gloria Steinem gave to the New York Times on the network and its future. Also that month, Rush Limbaugh skewered Fonda and the network's backers over their plan to challenge his ratings supremacy.

Around that time, Fonda gave her own over- the- top performance on NBC's Today Show, asserting her view that it would succeed.

Not only was Greenstone partially tied to Air America, it shared the same peculiar habit of making arrogant assertions that its programming could overtake conservative talk radio. In this case, the company claimed there was a large group of female listeners that had been underserved by traditional talk formats.

Hey Jane, Rosie and Gloria: who did your market research? You should demand a refund.

Now, a few questions remain: how much did they lose and what will they say about fem- talk's spectacular failure? Who will Steinem blame?

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  • Speaking of "ratings supremacy":

    On 7/11, I relayed the MSNBC claim from 5/30 that "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" (8:00 – 9:00 pm ET) continues to rocket up the ratings charts…”.

    I got the response from MOP about good daily July numbers for KO. For the month: Slightly better numbers than May or June, but still within the 610,000 – 710,000 range he has been maintaining since October of last year, for all available months:

    Olbermann viewers aged 2+:

    314,000 May 2006

    286,000 June 2006

    324,000 July 2006

    426,000 Aug 2006

    616,000 Oct 2006

    689,000 Nov 2006

    673,000 Jan 2007

    677,000 Feb 2007

    708,000 Apr 2007

    598,000 May 2007

    597,000 June 2007

    672,000 July 2007

    Also, KO is no longer the top draw at MSNBC: He now gets the bronze. More like a satellite in geosynchronous orbit than a rocket ship.

    By Blogger Chromium, at 06 August, 2007 17:37  

  • Renting studio space from Air America does NOT equal "secret connections to Air America." First of all, I don't believe anyone tried to keep that a secret. Further, one of Greenstone's shows is produced at CBS's studios in NYC. So does Greenstone have a SECRET CONNECTION to CBS too? When will you blow the lid off of that story?

    Obviously Greenstone is a failure and they deserve to be ripped for their unrealistic predictions and business plan, but it is not necessary to hint at some sort of false conspiracy between them and AAR. The truth is both companies have been anxious to part ways since the relationship began. Providing tech support for Greenstone was a chore and a distraction for AAR's staff, and AAR's constant financial turmoil and inadequate facilities tied Greenstone's hands from the get-go.

    Just stick to the facts Brian. They should be more than enough to make your case.

    -former insider

    By Blogger trainwreck, at 07 August, 2007 09:07  

  • MmmmMissouri your wrong according to La times, he averaged over 700,000 in July,1,1038564.story?coll=la-headlines-entnews&ctrack=1&cset=true

    So your numbers are wrong Missouri,1,1038564.story?coll=la-headlines-entnews&ctrack=1&cset=true

    Good job Olberman! Speaking truth ion the air earned him over 700,000 viewers, good for him!

    and who cares about the feminist network, never knew it existed! sounds likean awful idea.

    Go Olberman! Numbers great in July, Missouri is using fudged numbers

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 07 August, 2007 10:27  

  • Interesting.. I've watched this story a bit and am wondering if Greenstone overly publicized itself and made too big a deal of how "everyone else is doing it wrong," way before they could have proven how it should be done. Marketing to women, esp. in the radio industry has to be nuanced and subtle, and definitely shouldn't flash the neon sign "For women, by women, because men do it wrong." If you serve women well, all men everywhere shouldn't be alienated by the approach. FM 107, a talk station in Minneapolis, is doing a better job of reaching women, I think (marketing to women is my expertise). Lots of women hosting shows and such, but you don't get the feeling they've got a collective chip on their shoulder. Rather, the station seems to know what their audience (mainly women, some men) wants and they simply deliver it, without talking about what a great job they do delivering it or how they are so much better than men at doing it. Greenstone will be a good case study for future reference...

    By Blogger Unknown, at 07 August, 2007 13:33  

  • MOP,

    I cannot use your link, since I do not subscribe to the LATimes. My numbers are from Nielsen, as usual. Since TV Newser did not print the P2+ numbers, I got them from another source, InsideCable

    So my numbers are right, but I do not know the LA Times source.

    By Blogger Chromium, at 07 August, 2007 13:47  

  • Clarification: I meant to say that TV Newser did not list P2+ for July. The data from the other months are from the equivalent chart in TV Newser.

    By Blogger Chromium, at 07 August, 2007 13:49  

  • from missouri show me's post

    324,000 July 2006

    672,000 July 2007

    So his audience has more than doubled over the last year. I expect it will continue to grow heading into the 'o8 elections, as he hit a temporary peak during november of '06, and it seems he has held on to those viewers.

    By Blogger Ezsuds, at 08 August, 2007 02:53  

  • EZ:

    In an earlier post I said that MSNBC claims about KO ratings roughly doubling are accurate. My objection has been to press releases in which they say that KO ratings CONTINUE TO INCREASE.

    You too use the phrase "continue to grow" in your prediction about 2008. To me it is clear his ratings have plateaued.

    By Blogger Chromium, at 08 August, 2007 09:22  

  • From today's Drudge Report:

    MSNBC's Olbermann-moderated debate Tues. night averages less than one million viewers! Only 914,000 tune-in... Lowest rated debate of the 2007 political season...

    Looks like Olby should start looking into returning to the sports talk circuit.

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 08 August, 2007 17:38  


    While looking for something else on the TV Newser today, I came across this chart, which shows nicely shows KO's ratings plateau. (Just ignore the Paula Zahn info)

    By Blogger Chromium, at 10 August, 2007 18:18  

  • Greenstone Media's demise came at the hand of its top tier executives. Included in this, particularly, Susan Ness. It was so badly managed that it was doomed from pretty early on. They had 3 million dollars and promised their employees 3 years of operation. Not possible while paying their cheif execs 6 figure salaries and painting themselves into a corner with their programming. People relocated for jobs, etc., and are now wondering what happend, while Ness, Fonda, O'Donnel and Steinem are kicking back. Good job ladies.

    By Blogger NYLOST, at 16 August, 2007 15:07  

  • Congrats for being so sympathetic to everyone who pumped their hearts and souls into this effort. Can't imagine why you're surprised by investors being overly optimistic about the position of their investment. Why not talk about Mr. "I Am the White Male Power Structure" Bill O'Reilly's constant inflation of his ratings? Or did I miss that post?

    The vast majority of radio stations in this country are owned by people with a conservative agenda, which is largely conveyed by white, male radio talk show hosts. BIG SURPRISE that Greenstone couldn't find affiliates.

    By Blogger LiberalSpirit, at 17 August, 2007 10:41  

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