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and Live From The Left Coast

The Death of Air America, Green960, and Progressive Talk

With rumors swirling around that San Francisco's Green960 is headed towards a format change and Air America is now defunct, is this proof that progressive talk radio is dead? In the conventional sense, it's been dead a long time. Progressive talk has never had the mass appeal in the same way that right wing talk has. Part of the problem that Air America had was that it wasn't home grown grass roots radio. It didn't grow out of demand, it grew out of a business-political venture/idea. Stations around the country like Green960 and Madison, Wisconsin's WXXM "The Mic" were both born out of Clear Channel's move to to capitalize on the early success of progressive talk (especially given the fact that their early experiment, KPOJ, went from the bottom of the Portland market to the close to the top in less than a year).

The anger that grew out of the President Bush's second term fueled progressive talk as a format. When that anger turned into a political campaign and elected a president, the usefulness of the format had run it's course. Clear Channel has no interest in progressive movements, they only care about their bottom line. They are the Wal-Mart of talk.

This morning a received an urgent plea, urging me to contact Clear Channel and show my support for Green960. I'm not going to be doing that. Besides the fact that it's a fruitless endeavor (take it from a long time listener/fan/supporter of Morning Sedition, Break Room Live, The Marc Maron Show, The Sam Seder Show, Lee Rayburn, Live From The Left Coast). Protests rarely work in radio. And really, I don't have the time, energy, or enthusiasm continue to support Wal-Mart radio. While I love Thom Hartmann and the like, I'm pretty much over hearing about ATM Gold trading or "right size smoothies".

I hope progressive talkers will follow the lead of Amanda Palmer and Leo Laporte. Both Laporte and Palmer have become pioneers in the use of social networking and the Internet to remove the need for corporate middleman. Progressive radio shows like Karel and Live From The Left Coast (and video shows like GritTV and Democracy Now!) can continue to grow and thrive, but they'll have to do it under this newly emerging direct access model. Liberal content creators have to take advantage of ALL social and online media tools to promote their shows. That means Twitter, iTunes, RSS, Facebook, YouTube, and any other place they can put their content and build audience (especially through blogging at places like Firedoglake or DailyKos and online forums). I hope they realize that Clear Channel is not their savior, but their slave master.

If listeners truly want to support progressive radio,  the should give Clear-Mart Channel a giant middle finger and start supporting progressive media DIRECTLY!:

Live From The Left Coast - here.

Karel Show here.

GritTV here.

Democracy Now! here


Cross posted from Marti


I agree, for the most part

I think Bill Clinton did an absolute sin when he did that communications act. But I also think the average American...scratch that, the average human is too thick in the skull to see what has happened to radio for the most part. Years ago the Alex Bennett show was on my all time favorite station to listen to. Live 105. Not only did they play cutting edge music, but they had smart and fun DJs that actually spun music. This was in a time when programmed music was becoming envouge. Alex Bennet's show was a Gem, he and Lori Thomson could put many people in stitches. Then Live 105 got bought out by some big conglomerate, I think it was clear channel. Soon after Alex Bennet, vanished, along with the djs that put a smile on my face daily, and the station went through a drastic format change, which resulted in the station we all knew and loved dissapearing into the past. Fast forward to now. I pretty much gave up on KGO especially when they released Karel, that whole deal was BS. The loss of Bernie Ward was the first. Green 960 and John Scott was a breath of fresh air. Stephanie Miller's show is priceless, and Thom Harthman is a history lesson. I went to a rally with Stepanie Miller put out by Green 960 after her triumphant return to the station, thanks to JS recieving tons of complaint letters. I met John, a very nice person, but I also saw a man there, in an oversized coat, that made my old trench coat I was in look positively trim. This man had a grey mustache, and grey hair, and a mean face. I did not like him. I learned he was the rep of Clear Channel....he really fit the part. This release of John Scott, I think was a result of some of the negative garbage on the Green 960 blog from some people that don't like Karel. Some of these people that don't like him, I think are homophobes, and don't like how open Karel is about his being gay. Others called him dumb and misinformed....which boggles my mind cause Karel is not dumb and is very informed. These people did not help JS at all, and I knew the names, they were the same people that said mean things to John anyway. The loss of green 960 will be really bad. I hope that guy I saw at that rally, if he is the one that is doing this, never has an easy night's sleep again. I hope his nights are filled with the worst nightmares. I am sick of what is happening to this once great nation, despite its warts. (I typed this when I was really tired:))
" Pre-conceptions are the biggest enemy of humans. they prevent us from moving forward. If you want to see "another reality" you must first throw out your pre-conceptions. Every thing starts from there." -Mana

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