Friday, January 26, 2007

Breaking News Archive

Following stories were included in the TR's Breaking News section. When a story stops breaking or continuing to develop it is move to the Archive. If it starts to break again, it will be covered as a new item in the Breaking News section.

KCTC to Flip from Lib Talk to Sports
Updated,February 15, 9:30 pm pst
The Sacramento Bee reports that KCTC AAR's in affiliate Sacramento will be switching from lib talk to Sports on February 25. According to Entercom GM, John Geary, the station will become an affiliate of ESPN. This will be the 19th lib talk station to drop the format in the past year. It is the fourth station to switch to ESPN Sports. While AAR will lose another affiliate, lib talk survives in Sacramento where KSAC offers a non AAR lib talk line-up anchored by local talker Christine Craft with syndicated talkers Ed Schultz, Stephanie Miller, Bill Press, Bev Smith, and Mike Malloy filling out the schedule.

Franken Makes it Official: He will Run for the Senate in Minnesota
Updated, February 14, 5:30 pst
As we reported yesterday, Al Franken completed his almost three year run as Air America Radio’s top talk host by announcing on his final show today that he will run for the US Senate in his home state of Minnesota. Franken, who made the announcement in the final minutes of his last show, will likely be running against incumbent Norm Coleman (R-MN) in 2008. "I've decided to move on to another challenge," Franken told listeners. The now ex-AAR host, did not respond to attacks made against him yesterday by Ed Schultz, (reported by TR) who accused Franken of dragging the liberal talk network down by expressing his interest in running for the Senate. Meanwhile, life goes on AAR. On Thursday and Friday, former AAR host Marc Maron will fill Franken’s vacated spot. Starting Monday that slot will be filled by Thom Hartmann. Whether Hartmann will be Franken’s permanent replacement remains to be seen. He will be the only daytime AAR host, who will not originate his show from the company’s headquarters in New York City.

New Lib Talker Debuts in Beantown

February 12, 2007

In what has been a bad start to year of 2007, liberal talk radio can claim one small step forward today as Tom Finnernan started his daily talk show on WRKO in Boston on Monday.

Finnernan, former leader of the Massachusetts House, replaces right wing talker John DePetro, who was fired when he called a gubernatorial candidate a “fat lesbian.” While Finnernan is not expected to be a liberal talker in the AAR mold. (He’s a politician not a comedian) he is guaranteed to level the playing field a bit in the bluest city of the bluest state in Country. According to an AP article on Monday, one of Finnernan’s first guests was Terry McAuliffe, former Democratic National Committee Chairman. Finneran also promised Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, the former Democratic presidential nominee, would join him on the air later this week.

Updated February 3, 2007, 12:15 pm Air America Radio has lost another affiliate, as KQDS in Duluth dropped the lib talk format unexpectedly on Thursday. Without any advance notice the station flipped formats from lib talk to oldies. According to the Liberal Talk Radio blog, the station might even make another flip to conservative talk in the near future. This is the 18th station to drop lib talk in the past year and the 12th in the past two months. The station is owned by Red Rock Radio, a division of Red Rock Broadcasting in Fargo. Red Rock also owns three FMs and the Fox Affiliate in Duluth. Not only did they pull off a stealth flip, but they made this move after the station recorded its best ratings in years, scoring a 2.1 share in the Fall, which was more than double what the station earned over the summer. One begins to suspect that the tide of flips effecting lib talk stations might have something to do with the AAR bankruptcy. Hopefully, this tide will be reversed when the new owners of AAR take charge.


Updated, Jan. 29, 10 am PST--Air America Radio has found a buyer -- over two months after filing for bankruptcy, Stephen L. Green, of SLG Radio LLC, has come up with the successful bid and now awaits the decision of a bankruptcy court judge to complete the takeover. Green is successful real estate investor in New York City and the brother of Mark Green, who is active in the city's Democratic Party and barely lost a race for Mayor four year's ago. As we await more news on the AAR, we have to ask ourselves, how did we miss this one. Rumors about many potential suitors for AAR have popped up over the past weeks -- most recently, the French family form Westchester County. The Green bid never showed up on anyone's radar. For more on this story go to the Huffington Post .


Updated, Jan. 29, 10 am PST--With the announcement, just a few hours ago, that Stephen L. Green will be buying AAR we have also learned that, to nobody's surprise, Al Franken will be leaving the lib talk network, after his Feb. 14th show, to likely pursue a run for U.S. Senate in Minnesota. (Sources close to Franken would not confirm that the soon to former AAR host was going to run.) What was a bit of surprise is the simultaneous annoucement that his successor for coveted morning drive segment will be Thom Hartmann. One has to wonder if the Green takeover will include a role on AAR for his brother Mark Green (see above) who has substituted for David Bender, host of Politically Direct, on occassion and been a frequent guest on the network.
KOMY-AM in Santa Cruz Drops AAR
Last update, January 27, 3 pm PST--Although it took them more than three months to do it, Zwerling Broadcasting in Santa Cruz has flipped lib talk, mostly AAR programming, for an oldies format. Owner Michael Zwerling, made the move today to no one's surprise. Zwerling's claim is that he was unable to get even one advertiser since flipping KOMY to lib talk a year and half ago. That's funny because because the markets other lib talk station KXRA has dozens of local advertisers. This is the 17th station to drop lib talk in the past year, 11th in past two months. Click here and here for more on this story.

Ed Schultz Accuses Hillary of Snubbing Him Hillary

Update, January 23...Clinton may be ahead in the polls, but she is not doing very well with lib talk’s top yakker Ed Schultz. In an message on his web site, Schultz accuses Hillary of avoiding his show. He says that Clinton is making herself available to TV news but not to liberal talk radio." Quite frankly, I'm sick of it," Schultz complains. "This morning I watched Hillary Clinton tell CNN she is accessible. What? To the TV cameras yes, to the base of loyal listeners on progressive talk radio, absolutely not! Click here to read Big Eddie’s entire letter.

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