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Clear Channel Debt To Blame For Liberal Radio Failing


Louis Errol is the political anchor of NY1 News in New York. He has an opinion piece in the New York Daily News about the format flip about to happen at WWRL-AM in New York (Errol was once the morning man at the station). WWRL is changing from "progressive" talk to Spanish. His reasoning for the flip is Clear Channel's debt, not the possibility that listeners do not find liberals entertaining on the radio.

Errol writes, "The biggest pressures squeezing liberal talk radio are commercial ones. Deregulation of the airwaves allowed conglomerates like Clear Channel to borrow billions from Wall Street and begin buying up stations by the hundreds. Saddled with debt, Clear Channel has ruthlessly standardized its 840 stations and squeezed each for maximum profit. That meant eliminating progressive talk from its stations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Portland."

Errol also writers, "Angry progressives claim such moves could also have a political motivation: Clear Channel is owned in part by Bain Capital, the private equity firm once run by Mitt Romney. That’s possible, but it wouldn’t explain the problems besetting stations like WWRL, which is owned by Access 1, a family-owned media company. Conservative radio hosts point to the struggles of their liberal rivals with great glee, but that is whistling past the graveyard. The reality is that conservative talkers are serving an aging, shrinking audience, while listeners who want a liberal take on the news can find it on hundreds of National Public Radio stations.

Read Errol's entire opinion piece HERE

(12/28/2013 3:12:40 PM)
Bite your tongues! The great Pittman and his henchman Hogan are radio 'visionaries' and their moves cannot and shall not be doubted or questioned. They know what they are doing and it is right because they do it! All hail these 'two wise men' for they are radio messiahs. Meanwhile, let's go to the French Riviera on the company dime and refinance our debt at an astonishingly high interest rate at a time when interest rates are at historic lows. Can you say Enron and criminal-Inquiry please!

- Sal Klein
(12/27/2013 4:35:07 PM)
Yup. Joe knows.
What's even weirder still is that there are many - maybe a substantial majority of radio executives - who would actually argue against this proposition.

Wack-a-roonies rule the airwaves because - if even intuitively - they have an understanding of how to manipulate... using radio as only one example.

- Ronald T. Robinson
(12/27/2013 3:39:44 PM)
The reason liberal talkers have failed is that they aren't fun to listen to. It just feels like one long lecture from a bitter, mean, know-it-all. Maddow, Olberman, etc., all sound the same- and they aren't people that I was to spend time with.

The much derided Glen Beck, even if he's wrong most of the time, is actually enjoyable to listen to. As soon as liberals figure this out, if they ever do, then they'll have an audience. Until then, no thanks.

- Joe Public
(12/27/2013 11:20:53 AM)
Not that everybody appreciates the ramblings of another smart-ass, weed-hoppin' "ferigner", but here is the reason anyway;

Broadcasters on the right of the spectrum have learned to be bombastic, excited, excitable and enthusiastic to the point of delerium. (Or maybe, that's just the way they are.)

Liberal broadcasters, however, tend to present as lower-key, reasonable and rational individuals.

Electronic media, which includes us, is the last place to deliver rationality and reason - in other words: pure content - with any expectations of impacting on or influencing a broadcast audience!

For a Liberal to be successful on the radio, somebody is going to have to light a fire under their arse, first.

It's true. It's in all the papers! :)

- Ronald T. Robinson
(12/26/2013 11:12:05 PM)
C'mon now, the move to squelch so called "Progressive" or Liberal talk radio is totally driven by politics of ownership (and banksters ownership is beholden to).
In the few markets where any other viewpoint than extreme right has been actually given a shot, it's done well. Seems KLSD did much better under Air America than it did when it became the 5th sports talker in San Diego. And what a shitty signal on that one!

- Panama Jack

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