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Old February 4th 05, 07:04 PM
 
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Default Progressive talk radio grows

February 04, 2005

Analysis: Progressive talk radio grows


By Pat Nason
UPI Hollywood Reporter


Los Angeles, CA, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- Talk radio, for years regarded as
something of a home field for conservative politics in America, is
making more room for liberal politics with a rapid expansion of the
progressive-talk format.


The talk-radio format has been around since at least the 1960s, but it
came into its own as a dominant cultural and political force during the
'90s, when Rush Limbaugh cultivated a nationwide audience in
syndication estimated at more than 20 million listeners each week.
Limbaugh was among the first talk-show hosts to rise to prominence
following the demise of the Fairness Doctrine in 1985.

The Federal Communications Commission had required broadcasters to
provide equal time for rival points of view on controversial issues of
public importance and to actively engage in coverage of such issues.
Unfettered by such requirements, talk radio turned into something of a
"rock 'em-sock 'em" free-for-all -- with the strongest personalities
reaching the higher rungs of commercial success.

Limbaugh's influence was such that after the Republicans won control of
Congress in 1994, party leaders named him an honorary member of
Congress.

With a few notable exceptions -- such as talk-show host Michael Jackson
in Los Angeles -- it seemed as though talk radio was thoroughly
conservative. But Michael Harrison, publisher of the industry magazine
Talkers, told United Press International that's a persistent myth about
liberal talk radio.

"It's always been around," he said. "Another myth is that liberal talk
radio doesn't work."

Harrison said the recent expansion of liberal talk radio -- which most
practitioners of the format prefer to call progressive talk -- provides
a good illustration of why talk radio in general is such a hardy
perennial among radio formats.

"Talk radio works best when it challenges authority," he said. "It
works best when people feel that no one else is talking to them quite
this way."

Companies such as Air America and Democracy Radio are enjoying market
success with such talk-show hosts as Al Franken, Ed Schultz, Randi
Rhodes and Janeane Garofalo. Clear Channel Radio has moved into the
progressive-talk arena, with three of its stations -- in Cincinnati,
Detroit and Washington -- switching formats in the past month.

Gabe Hobbs, Clear Channel Radio vice president of programming,
news/talk/sports, told United Press International progressive talk is
experiencing vigorous growth, largely because the recent round of the
format's expansion took place during the contentious election year of
2004.

"People had a heightened interest in electoral politics," he said, "and
we used that opportunity to fill a need and launch a new format."

Hobbs said talk stations typically take 18 months to two years to
become established, but progressive talk is connecting considerably
faster for Clear Channel.

"Our stations are getting there in 30 to 90 days," he said. "That's
remarkable considering most of the talent, no one knows who they are."

Franken -- the top star in Air America's lineup -- is probably the
closest thing to a household name among progressive-talk hosts
currently on the air. He is an Emmy-winning writer and comedian, and
his profile in the talk-radio world also benefits from his notoriety as
the author of the best-selling book "Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot."

After a shaky startup in 2004, when there were reports that the company
was having serious capitalization problems, Air America is now on 50
U.S. radio stations. Since most of its affiliates did not come on board
until the fall, Air America president Jon Sinton told UPI there isn't
much to report in the way of ratings history -- but he said several
stations have increased their audiences with the new format.

For example, he said KPOJ in Portland, Ore., is the No. 4 station
overall among listeners age 25-54.

"People will tell you it's the 'People's Republic of Portland,'" he
said -- referring to a perception that the area is a liberal
stronghold. "But then we signed on in San Diego, which has a reputation
of being the most conservative radio market in the country -- and I
think in the first or second month that we put the format on KLSD, the
station was No. 1 in the market among listeners age 25-54."

Sinton said the numbers have settled back somewhat since then, but he
said the station is still "a big hit."

Harrison said the ratings for progressive talk indicate that the format
is headed in a positive direction.

"This early in Limbaugh's career," said Harrison, "he was considered to
be not even a blip on the radar."

Harrison and Hobbs both pointed out that the current expansion of
liberal talk radio is most likely a product of the cyclical nature of
programming.

"Just like in music radio, we see certain types of music rise and fall
and rise and fall," said Hobbs. "I just hope this isn't the disco of
talk radio."

Will progressive talk grow to the point that it could rival
conservative talk's political and cultural influence?

"That would be nice -- I'd settle for leveling the playing field," said
Sinton. "If you get some staying power, we hope that over time we can
balance the discussion, and I think democracy requires that balance."

--

(Please send comments to .)



  #2   Report Post  
Old February 15th 05, 08:40 PM
[email protected]
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Thats an interesting take...
please dont reply to my email though... thanks.




wrote:
February 04, 2005

Analysis: Progressive talk radio grows


By Pat Nason
UPI Hollywood Reporter


Los Angeles, CA, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- Talk radio, for years regarded as
something of a home field for conservative politics in America, is
making more room for liberal politics with a rapid expansion of the
progressive-talk format.


The talk-radio format has been around since at least the 1960s, but

it
came into its own as a dominant cultural and political force during

the
'90s, when Rush Limbaugh cultivated a nationwide audience in
syndication estimated at more than 20 million listeners each week.
Limbaugh was among the first talk-show hosts to rise to prominence
following the demise of the Fairness Doctrine in 1985.

The Federal Communications Commission had required broadcasters to
provide equal time for rival points of view on controversial issues

of
public importance and to actively engage in coverage of such issues.
Unfettered by such requirements, talk radio turned into something of

a
"rock 'em-sock 'em" free-for-all -- with the strongest personalities
reaching the higher rungs of commercial success.

Limbaugh's influence was such that after the Republicans won control

of
Congress in 1994, party leaders named him an honorary member of
Congress.

With a few notable exceptions -- such as talk-show host Michael

Jackson
in Los Angeles -- it seemed as though talk radio was thoroughly
conservative. But Michael Harrison, publisher of the industry

magazine
Talkers, told United Press International that's a persistent myth

about
liberal talk radio.

"It's always been around," he said. "Another myth is that liberal

talk
radio doesn't work."

Harrison said the recent expansion of liberal talk radio -- which

most
practitioners of the format prefer to call progressive talk --

provides
a good illustration of why talk radio in general is such a hardy
perennial among radio formats.

"Talk radio works best when it challenges authority," he said. "It
works best when people feel that no one else is talking to them quite
this way."

Companies such as Air America and Democracy Radio are enjoying market
success with such talk-show hosts as Al Franken, Ed Schultz, Randi
Rhodes and Janeane Garofalo. Clear Channel Radio has moved into the
progressive-talk arena, with three of its stations -- in Cincinnati,
Detroit and Washington -- switching formats in the past month.

Gabe Hobbs, Clear Channel Radio vice president of programming,
news/talk/sports, told United Press International progressive talk is
experiencing vigorous growth, largely because the recent round of the
format's expansion took place during the contentious election year of
2004.

"People had a heightened interest in electoral politics," he said,

"and
we used that opportunity to fill a need and launch a new format."

Hobbs said talk stations typically take 18 months to two years to
become established, but progressive talk is connecting considerably
faster for Clear Channel.

"Our stations are getting there in 30 to 90 days," he said. "That's
remarkable considering most of the talent, no one knows who they

are."

Franken -- the top star in Air America's lineup -- is probably the
closest thing to a household name among progressive-talk hosts
currently on the air. He is an Emmy-winning writer and comedian, and
his profile in the talk-radio world also benefits from his notoriety

as
the author of the best-selling book "Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat

Idiot."

After a shaky startup in 2004, when there were reports that the

company
was having serious capitalization problems, Air America is now on 50
U.S. radio stations. Since most of its affiliates did not come on

board
until the fall, Air America president Jon Sinton told UPI there isn't
much to report in the way of ratings history -- but he said several
stations have increased their audiences with the new format.

For example, he said KPOJ in Portland, Ore., is the No. 4 station
overall among listeners age 25-54.

"People will tell you it's the 'People's Republic of Portland,'" he
said -- referring to a perception that the area is a liberal
stronghold. "But then we signed on in San Diego, which has a

reputation
of being the most conservative radio market in the country -- and I
think in the first or second month that we put the format on KLSD,

the
station was No. 1 in the market among listeners age 25-54."

Sinton said the numbers have settled back somewhat since then, but he
said the station is still "a big hit."

Harrison said the ratings for progressive talk indicate that the

format
is headed in a positive direction.

"This early in Limbaugh's career," said Harrison, "he was considered

to
be not even a blip on the radar."

Harrison and Hobbs both pointed out that the current expansion of
liberal talk radio is most likely a product of the cyclical nature of
programming.

"Just like in music radio, we see certain types of music rise and

fall
and rise and fall," said Hobbs. "I just hope this isn't the disco of
talk radio."

Will progressive talk grow to the point that it could rival
conservative talk's political and cultural influence?

"That would be nice -- I'd settle for leveling the playing field,"

said
Sinton. "If you get some staying power, we hope that over time we can
balance the discussion, and I think democracy requires that balance."

--

(Please send comments to
.)


  #3   Report Post  
Old February 21st 05, 07:38 PM
Hatfield
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Thank you Hollywood reporter Pat Nason for that Liberals On Parade
update!




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