If you care about Progressive voices in the media, you'll want to read this

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I am livid. But even worse, I'm very, very concerned about the slo-mo destruction of what was once a fantastic Progressive radio station here in the Los Angeles area, KTLK 1150. I've been a loyal listener, have even been invited on to some of the shows from time to time, and was beyond thrilled when they debuted a few years ago.

Their seven-day a week line-up in the early days was stellar, but before we could say, "librul media my ass," they scrubbed Progressive programming on weekends, losing wonderful hosts like Frangela.

Over the past year or so, they've replaced more liberal-leaning programs with "mainstream" consumer reporting shows, and soon the only shows that aired on Saturdays and Sundays were what amounted to hours-long infomercials.

Last week, Thom Hartmann was gone (he announced weeks earlier that his show was moving to the more preferable 3-6 pm ET) and his slot was temporarily filled by a self-described conservative.

The other day, I wrote to the station (in the good old days, I would correspond with the station manager, who is now also long gone, a guy who told me I was his "ears" and actually cared about broadcast quality and content) to protest the devolution, and here's the response I just got:

Thanks for the note. We are sorry to hear you are not enjoying the direction of KTLK AM - 1150. Thom Hartmann has made the decision to move the air time of his show to Noon - 3p, Pacific Time. This will put his show on the air in Afternoon Drive on the east coast, which is an important move for his show.

KTLK is excited for Thom that he is able to bring his show to a larger audience. However, because of our commitment to Randi Rhodes, and the rest of the KTLK shows, we are not be able to air his program after he changes times.

No changes are being made to Randi Rhodes' show. She is still airing every Monday through Friday, Noon - 3p. Our commitments to our other programs prevent us from running Thom's show on a delay in a later time-slot.

"Diverse LA" will air 9a – Noon through Friday, March 30. Starting Monday, April 2, we will air The Ray Lucia Show from 9a - 12p. Ray's show is a financial-based program.

Best,

Clear Channel Talk LA
DP

Yes, it's Clear Channel. But I do give them props for responding and for continuing to carry Stephanie Miller, Randi Rhodes, Bill Press, and Mike Malloy.

However, as I wrote back to them in response, they did not allay my concerns, they heightened them.

KTLK used to be my go-to station, I told them, but they've gradually replaced progressive hosts with ho-hum programming, including decidedly NOT-liberal hosts.

I reminded them that I will be turning my radio off during those hours.

I added that the one lone station that provided a badly needed voice for Progressives is morphing into bland, non-destination droning. I'm bitterly disappointed. Conservatives have shows airing all over the country, that of course, Clear Channel provides, but the single liberal station, in Los Angeles of all places, is not on their, er, agenda.

I also informed them that I'll be sharing their response all over social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook in hopes that they'll hear from more listeners, and even non-listeners. Clear Channel is intentionally silencing the one remaining avenue, the sole source of left-leaning talk available to a huge swath of the population.

But despite their efforts, we will not be silenced.

And I told them as much.

Here is their contact information:

Main Address:

KTLK AM 1150
3400 W Olive Ave Ste 550
Burbank CA 91505 

Main: (818) 559-2252
Programming: (818) 566-6476

Department Email Addresses:

Programming: Programming@KTLKAM1150.com

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  • http://www.whatnowtoons.com what0now0toons

    You can now add Portland, Oregon to the growing list of cities that are losing their progressive voices.  Our beloved KPOJ just switched over to all sports!  I drew a cartoon about their demise at the hands of the Bain Capital owned Clear Channel station, here it is 
    http://www.whatnowtoons.com/images/KPOJ-progressive-radio-dead-what-now-450.jpg

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    I'm leaving this comment on behalf of JonG40, who couldn't sign in:

    Message:

    Ray Lucia pays stations for time. He bought 3 hours per day on 1260 am

    in Wash DC in 2009 after the owner, Red Zebra Broadcasting, dropped

    progressive talk. Lucia resumed buying 3 hours of time in May 2010 on

    570 am when Red Zebra sold 1260 am to Salem Communications (owns KRLA

    in Los Angeles).

    In September 2010 Lucia started buying time on 730 am

    after Red Zebra sold that station to another owner who retained the

    conservative talk 570 dropped for ESPN sports talk. Clear Channel is

    probably trying to keep up the Bain Capital-imposed debt payments by

    only syndicating programs of Premiere Radio Networks (free because of

    Clear Channel ownership of syndicator) or selling time.

    I tried to post this as a comment but I couldn't log in.

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    Pigboy, as always, I love your comments. You always get it.

  • pigboy

    I drive truck for a living and listened to Ray Talifaro on Kgo since forever and I used to wonder who would retire first since Ray held the number one slot for his time period for years. Then one day I tuned in and there was some nationally syndicated conservative talk radio show on. There was no announcement of a line up change. They just fired everyone and let listeners figure that out for themselves. These mega media chains have no loyalty to anyone but themselves.

    The other thing about Ray was the only one I heard speaking out against Afghanistan, Iraq wars before they happened and the only one saying not to jump to any kind of conclusions after 9/11 tragedy.

    We need those kind of voices out there. Media consolidation is really trying to squash that voice now. It is coming down to reading forigen press to find out what is happening here.

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    Yes, I've known that for quite a while, it's been coming for a long time. I used to do Angie Coiro's radio show on 960, and we knew there was a change coming way back then. We now broadcast over WeActRadio, 1480 in DC.

  • pigboy

    "Clear Channel to Replace Green960, San Francisco's Only AM Progressive Talk Station, With Glenn Beck, Other RWers as Election Year Begins"
     
    "Adding insult to injury for progressives in the Bay Area, the 960 slot on the dial is being replaced by Clear Channel with the likes of Glenn Beck, Fox News Radio's John Gibson and other radical Rightwing talkers, according to a press release [PDF] issued by the media giant last week, touting, in somewhat Orwellian terms, their "goal of expanding talk radio in San Francisco."
     
    "He also notes that San Francisco's KGO, another staple AM talk station in the Bay Area, has similarly announced a major overhaul late last week that the trade industry publication Talkers Magazine described on its website Friday as a "San Francisco Earthquake!"
     
    "...The changes will leave Rhodes as the only progressive talker on AM radio during daylight hours in one of the nation's most liberal cities.
    "The combination of these moves by two different companies (KGO is owned by Cumulus) really eliminates what little diversity there was in AM talk in San Francisco," Collins told us over the weekend. "By taking off the progressives from 960 and eliminating the centrists, libertarian and liberal views heard on KGO, it means that AM talk in San Francisco is now 90% conservative...".
    http://www.bradblog.com/?p=8974

  • http://twitter.com/Balkingpoints Balkingpoints.com

    No doubt it takes the activism. I would say that the RWNJ's never appealed to more than a fractional audience segment, but they took over when radio stations started getting bought up by mega-corps like Clear Channel over the last 2 decades. No co-incidence.

    I believe Ed Schultz has been able to compete effectively with his content in the cities he's on. But he gets on positions that GOP'ers object to, and he's probably worried about corp America blacklisting his show also. I hate to see that, but keep in mind the value in getting their sponsorship off the Limbaugh's. 

    1st Amendment the Tea Party never heard of + free market boycott, finishes off RWNJ radio...   ;^)

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    Both of you: Well said.

  • http://twitter.com/Balkingpoints Balkingpoints.com

    But then the choice of who to fill the slot. As if they are saying "No new Progressives, so there". 

  • http://twitter.com/Aqua_Buddah Jason Rowe

    I have a theory as to why Progressive media may not appeal to some people: They think we don't need it. America is wide-open, free, diverse, the golden land of opportunity! Why all the bother over (fill-in-the-blank). Well, it is precisely BECAUSE issues of rights, freedom, safety, justice, equality, and opportunity have been FOUGHT FOR tooth-and-nail, that some may think our fuss over, for instance, the WAR ON WOMEN is too much.

    It is NOT too much. It is NOT ENOUGH. It will NEVER BE ENOUGH. Ignorance is hiding in the slimy underbelly of politics, just waiting for the right cesspool to form so it can fall in and thrive.

    Once upon a time, there MAY have been a Progressive bias to media, but that is LONG GONE. There is a decided Conservative bias now, and that has NO PLACE in media. We can debate how fast & how far we want to progress at a given time, but there is NO ROOM to debate WHETHER to progress.

    Don't rest on laurels of the past. There are NO SETTLED ISSUES, not with the GOP lurking in all levels of government, just waiting for a miscreant SCOTUS to hand them another election, give them another Citizens United.

    WE have to keep fighting for OUR VOICE. No one else is going
    to do ANYTHING to win the rights that have yet to be won, nor preserve the rights and freedoms we've already fought for. We MUST stand-up now! Stand up and
    be heard!

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    Thom's move was announced long before the Rush controversy, though.

  • http://twitter.com/Balkingpoints Balkingpoints.com

    Laffy, wonder if Clear Channel is in reality pissed about the Limbaugh boycott. As in "We have a RWNJ CEO", etc.

    I hear the point about the Progressives they also air. I do think knocking out the horrible garbage/vitriol of Limbaugh, Hannity, Levin, Savage et al, is top priority if it can happen. It appears Progressives have managed to drive much of corp America off of it because they realize they don't need social-media backlashes from any quarter, while they have umpteen other outlets to advertise on. 

    It's gonna mess up Malloy, maybe Rhodes, perhaps not Miller. Watered-down people will come in, but so will they on the vast RWNJ side of it.