Thursday, March 15, 2007

Lib Talk Hits Unlucky "21"

The on again off again status of liberal talk radio in El Paso seems to be off again. The Newspaper Tree in El Paso reports today that KHRO-AM 1650 will flip from Air America programming to oldies some time in April.

This represents the 21st station to drop the format in a little more than a year. (See "Impact of Flips on Lib Talk Coverage" in the "Right Column") for more details.

According to the report KHRO general manager David Candeleria will retain local talk in the morning and switch to oldies in afternoon and evening.

Currently the station carries a morning three hour talk show called "El Paso on the Move"—co hosted by Paul Strelzin, a liberal and David Karlruher, a conservative.

When the programming format is changed in April, both Strelzin and Karlruher will be given morning shows. Candeleria is negotiating with a moderate talker for a third show. The morning talk block will run from 7am to 12 noon.

Candelaria calls the new format "Radio Free El Paso," adding that "El Paso is behind the eight ball when it comes to local talk."

Apparently, some radio listeners think that El Paso is also behind the eight ball when it comes to lib talk. The Newspaper Tree reports that many fans of "On the Move" have expressed disappointment that the Entravision owned station is dropping AAR.

After a two week lull, stations appear to be dropping lib talk once again. Yesterday we reported that KXDE-AM in Little Rock was flipping from lib talk to sports. (See Breaking News.)

The new management of AAR would be better advised to spend their time trying to reverse the trend of lib talk flips than to battle with Fox and the Republican Party over presidential debate coverage.

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