Death Rattle

Liberal-talk radio outlets in major – liberal! – markets are flipping formats:

2014 will mark the beginning of a massive change for liberal talk radio across the country. In New York, WWRL 1600 AM will flip to Spanish-language music and talk, throwing Ed Schultz, Thom Hartmann, Randi Rhodes, and Alan Colmes off the air. In Los Angeles, KTLK 1150 will be dumping Stephanie Miller, Rhodes, Bill Press and David Cruz off the air in favor of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. In San Francisco, KNEW 960 will leave Miller, Hartmann, and Mike Malloy without a radio home in the market.

Liberals – among them the Daily Kos – are trying to portray the flip as a “demotion” for Limbaugh; he (and Beck and Hannity and the whole Premiere Radio rogues gallery) are moving from a 50,000 watt station to…another 50,000 watt station (albeit one with a little less range, but one which still amply covers all of Los Angeles with plenty of oomph to spare).

The real demotion?  In LA, liberal talk is moving from one station to…zero.

And New York.

And San Francisco.

Not Minneapolis, so far.  But how long can Janet Robert afford to keep her long-marginal station on the air with nothing but ads from community coffee-house collectives, unions and non-profits?

40 thoughts on “Death Rattle

  1. I don’t wish unemployment on anyone…even most stinking leftists. That being said, I will be doing an end zone happy dance when Matt McNeil get his pink slip. I hope it happens on a -30 F, bleak and overcast January day.

    It ain’t business; it’s personal.

  2. Maybe with a nice big government stimulus check NPR could spin off a subsidy that will pick up the contracts for these losers and create a network called National Talk Radio (NTR) to complement their programing much like MSNBC complements NBC programming.

  3. I’ve told this story here before and will again now.
    Back in the ’90’s I was talking with a friend of a friend who worked on the finance side of Clear Channel radio. At the time, there was government pressure being brought by the Left to mandate radio stations to carry Lefty’s to counter Limbaugh. I asked him if they (Clear Channel) had a bias (which, we have learned from the “Duck Dynasty” kerfuffle, is allowed when it is a private business) against Lefty’s. He told me that whatever managements political inclinations were, management was about one thing – hiring talent that could attract and hold an audience that they could sell ad time to advertisers to reach. It didn’t matter to them if the talent were way right Bircher types or Lefty crackpots or the bland ‘talent’ that exists on most radio today. They exist to sell ad time. And if a host can’t attract and hold an audience or they can get someone else who can get the numbers that costs them less, that host is out. Each time this Liberal radio thing comes up I think about that and wonder why no one ever talks about the lack of appeal the Liberal message has or that in effect, the Liberal side is presented on three major TV networks plus a TV & radio network partly underwritten by the government each and every newscast and ‘news related’ program.

  4. A liberal radio station dumping their liberal talkers for a Spanish-language music format? God definitely has a great sense of humor.

  5. Regarding NPR: Government HAS to fund it so republicans can keep an eye on it. Otherwise Soros WILL commandeer it.

    This is not debatable.

  6. And yet in the past year +, the right keeps on losing elections, losing on their culture war issues, losing losing losing.

    Guess those who lose love to listen to the factual misinformation and crazy conspiracy theories, in place of programming about reality.

    As distinct from so-called ‘reality programming’ about the pedophile advocating faux red neck duck dynasty crowd, LOL.

    If conservative talk radio is doing so well, they should be paying Mitch — which I sincerely think Salem SHOULD be doing.

    Apparently trickle down economics doesn’t work in talk radio any more than it works anywhere else.

  7. DG,

    What TFS said.

    But since it’s the holiday season, and I’m a nice guy, I’ll indulge the thread-jack. To a point, anyway.

    And yet in the past year +, the right keeps on losing elections, losing on their culture war issues, losing losing losing.

    Losing elections? We lost the presidential election very narrowly; 400K votes in four states would have flipped it.

    And how about those Colorado recalls?

  8. Guess those who lose love to listen to the factual misinformation and crazy conspiracy theories, in place of programming about reality.

    Your opinion is duly noted. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the subject at hand, but whatever.

  9. As distinct from so-called ‘reality programming’ about the pedophile advocating faux red neck duck dynasty crowd, LOL.


  10. If conservative talk radio is doing so well, they should be paying Mitch — which I sincerely think Salem SHOULD be doing.

    Apparently trickle down economics doesn’t work in talk radio any more than it works anywhere else

    Thanks for the vote of confidence. But the presence on the radio of many of our favorite programs is precisely because of the “trickle down” from the success of conservative talk!

    Do you like the smooth, measured tone of Mike Malloy or Ed Schultz or Stephanie “LIke Laura Ingraham, Only Dumb” Miller? Who do you suppose has been the main syndicator of liberal programming in the past decade? Clear Channel! And the broadcasting of those low-rated, money pit programs is underwritten by what? Yep – the long-term financial success of Limbaugh, Beck and Hannity!

    Did you love Tommy Mischke as much as I did? Happy he managed to do 20 years of pioneering, free-form fun radio? Then you need to thank Rush Limbaugh, Joe Soucheray and Jason Lewis for making the rafts of money that allowed the station to float his show all those years. Tommy sure does.

    And while I’m flattered by your suggestion Salem pay me (and I agree!), let’s be honest; Salem is able to afford to broadcast six hours of weekend programming – at a time when most talk stations run infomercials – because Salem’s conservative line-up makes money.

    So yes, DG – trickle-down economics does in fact work to all our benefits in talk radio.

    Or “worked”, if you’re a liberal listenener, since Clear Channel can only carry the liberal boat-anchors so far…

  11. Perhaps the continual promotion of the liberal ideal and agenda by the MSM and entertainment industry has caused those supporting the movement through other vehicles to save their cash; why buy the cow?

    The abysmal numbers alone justify the decision, but sensible spending, even with their own money, has never been the left’s strong suit. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the closure of their radio campaign might be viewed as a bit of the “peace dividend” they have achieved in winning the media war. At least that’s how I’d spin it …

    Locally, our main conservative outlet, 1130AM, seems much less enthusiastic about conservative programming than previously – unless you count the talk shows aired between sporting events. 1280AM, which seems to have a good line-up, can unfortunately measure it’s market share in acres.

    However, this being “big city” Minnesota, we should probably be happy for what we do have …

  12. Clear Channel was almost tangibly reticent about the “conservative” label in 2006 when they first flipped their jazz station to talk. They tried a liberal morning show, a media mid-morning show, Limbaugh, and a liberal/conservative afternoon drive show as their first line-up out of the gate – and it floundered. The station didn’t start making real money until they went full-on conservative around 2008.

  13. Dog has a point. Not too many low-information voters are going to tune in to Bill Bennett and Hugh Hewitt to get some info on what Obama appointments will do to the country, or how a rudderless foreign policy makes the world more dangerous. But at the same time, they aren’t going to listen to liberal talk radio to get information about how to make sure they keep getting their free birth control pills.

  14. pedophile advocating faux red neck duck dynasty crowd

    Mitch’s rule #7: Enjoying your bestiality, DG?

  15. There is probably a lesson liberals could learn from the failure of liberal talk radio to gain a popular audience even in liberal stronghold cities.
    But of course they’d rather pile the the hate on their fellow Americans.
    There isn’t even a hint of a desire to learn why liberal talk radio has failed in Dog Gone’s screed. Instead she and other Lefties will take the motto of the Ancient Regime to heart: “Learn nothing, forget nothing”.
    Get ready for a return of the fairness doctrine.

  16. The fairness doctrine may provide the time, but someone else would have to provide the dime to pay some lefty slob to man the mic.

  17. Remember what talk radio was like when the fairness doctrine was in place? Larry King? Robin Leech?
    They can’t win, so they want to upset the chessboard. They will simply eliminate political talk radio, Swiftee.

  18. AM 950 may be on death’s door, but I remember that when I used to ride by 2007-2008-ish that they at least were smart enough not to have a “no guns” sign prominently posted.

    And regarding Doggone’s comment about Duck Dynasty, it’s good to know that she’s coming out (?) against pedophilia. I’m guessing that she’s going to make sure that schools block “TeenWire” and reinstate instruction on the harms of statutory rape, then? She’s going to work to remove SIECUS-inspired sex ed programs from schools, then?

    Sounds good to me, but I of course will not be holding my breath.

  19. So conservative media outlets are essentially infomercials for conservative propagandists, err, think tanks? Who woulda thunk it?

    I wouldn’t have a problem with this if they didn’t straight–up lie the whole damn time. When you get an increasing proportion of the people listening to just one group of advocates who constantly lie to them, it’s not going to end well.

  20. As opposed to someone who thinks Politico is giving them the straight dope?
    Jim VandeHei is their executive director? Jesus Christ.

  21. Does the PM care to share any facts that would prove the politico article to be false?

    Come for the curmudgeonliness, stay for the dyspepsia.

  22. I think the big thing here is Heritage and Freedom Works are net-net political whores and damaging. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have any problem with it.

  23. Emery, you’re committing the basic fallacy of “post hoc, ergo propter hoc.” What your source has given is a correlation of the views of advertisers with those of the show–hardly a surprise in any area, really. You might as well be shocked that liberal leaning foundations advertised on Air America, or that beer and truck manufacturers advertise on football and hockey games.

    Criminy, Emery, with an earned doctorate, your thinking really ought to be clearer than this.

  24. I wouldn’t have a problem with this if they didn’t straight–up lie the whole damn time

    I run into that chanting point all the time.

    But when I press those doing the chanting to get specific, I get crickets.

    Care to elaborate? Because it’s really just not so.

  25. JMO, Heritage is unsophisticated about, and overdoing the social conservative thing. They are doing it for $. Same thing with the Cruz filibuster. Getting people worked up for $.

    Freedomworks is a joke. It’s just a money skimming machine for the executives. We are talking obscene money, here. I forget their names.

  26. Emery has an doctorate? In what? From where?

    Or is that like me being an ordained minister in the Universal Life Church?

  27. Joe, I think he mentioned chemistry or chemical engineering.

    That said, one of the scariest moments of my life was when I realized I’d come close to a Ph.D. without ever darkening the door of a logic class. Remember the old joke about the rabbit with his thesis about how rabbits were tougher than foxes, wolves, and hyenas–and the punch line that it doesn’t matter what your thesis is, but rather who your advisor is? It’s as if once prestigious universities have enshrined that into their academic curriculum.

  28. “Emery” has claimed all kinds of things in comments here including that he has a PhD, that he is a widower, that he has two children who are not only above average (like all of the children here in Lake Wobegon) but are 1st in their respective classes; and that he is an expert in designing automated systems.
    Is it true? Beyond him (or her?), who knows for certain. Like me, he is an anonymous commenter at this small yet regionally prominent blog.
    Based on his numerous cut & paste comments though, I have a hard time believing much of what he says is true or original. I hate to think anyone would make up the death of a spouse. But beyond that… the kid is using an extra large shovel most of the time.

  29. How very typical of a wise American. Seflores appreciates that he has gained wisdom, but because he has gained it through personal experience, views his wisdom as anecdotal and idiosyncratic. It is very likely that most of what he considers wisdom would apply to most people, but Americans are uncharacteristically modest with regards to sharing wisdom because … Americans, particularly younger Americans, will uniformly critique and dismiss that wisdom unless it comes from someone who is held in very high regard (most parents don’t qualify). Older Americans do not offer wisdom unless the audience is receptive, and those audiences are few and far between. The disrespect for tradition, history, and established wisdom is a two-edged sword which both makes America fresh and new, and leads it to make the same mistakes over and over again.

  30. You Americans and your crazy ideas about the dignity of the individual and God-given rights!

  31. Jesus, you guys are way overdoing it on Emery. He’s not that Left or off on this stuff. The average democrat isn’t even close to where he is.

  32. TFS,

    I like Emery. He’s a good sport, he’s been fighting what passes for “the fight” here for a while, and he’s a smart guy. Wrong on some things, but smart.

    He talks a bit of smack, so people talk it back. I *think* he takes it and dishes it back pretty well, all in all.

    There haven’t been many *better* liberals in this comment section.

  33. I turn my cannon to both the left and the right. It’s a target–rich environment out there..

  34. “I turn my cannon to both the left and the right.” Honestly, that is exactly what I see.

    The other thing is, Emery has a WAY more penetrating view of our regressive and cruel financial system. This is a very rare and good thing.

  35. My first full cup of Minnesota Passive-Aggressive of 2014; Happy New Year “Emery”, Love you Man!

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