Monday, March 12, 2007

"Who's Right, Who's Far Right and Who Cares"

We spend a lot time covering news about the emerging liberal talk radio scene. However, the fact is that over 90% of political talk radio is conservative. Furthermore, a survey conducted by Democracy Radio in 2004 found that for every one hour of lib talk programming there are 13 hours of conservative talk.

One was reminded of the second class citizen status of lib talk at the recent Talk Radio Seminar in Los Angeles sponsored by Radio and Records Magazine. Conservative talk signage dominated the exhibitor space in the lobby of Marina del Rey Marriott hotel, conservative talkers and station managers were featured as speakers and panelists. In fact, the two keynote speakers were conservatives -- comedian Dennis Miller and former US Senator, Fred Thompson.

It was a humbling experience for a reporter covering the fledgling lib talk genre. Now this observation it is not meant to be critical of Radio & Records or their editorial staff. They put on an excellent event. I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to network with many talk radio industry professionals and to participate in several stimulating panel sessions.

And I did get to meet several syndicated lib talk hosts including Stephanie Miller, Thom Hartmann, Bill Press, Cenk Uygur of the Young Turks, and Peter B. Collins. In addition, there was KTLK, Los Angeles' Mario Solis-Marich, late night AAR host Jon Elliott, and former WWKB, Buffalo host Leslie Marshall -- who will soon be syndicated. (more on these developments later.)
Finally, there were recently unemployed lib talkers Enid Goldstein, formerly with KCTC in Sacramento, and Cary Harrison, who got canned two weeks ago by KTLK.

I also got some valuable face time with several people who have been instrumental in the development of the lib talk format over the past three years.

For example Stephanie Miller producer, Ron Hartenbaum, creator of the Ed Schultz Show and former head of Democracy Radio, Tom Athans, Jones Radio vp and general manager Amy Bolton, Tamara Karcev, the lone representative from Air America Radio, and Paul "Woody" Woodhull, part owner of the Ed Schultz and Bill Press Shows.

We all attended the panel session on political talk radio. It was called "Who's Left, Who's Right, Who Cares." It should have been called "Who Right, Who's Far Right, and Who Cares?"

The panelists included two talk radio hosts, right of center and immigrant basher Bill Handel --the morning talk host on KFI in Los Angeles, and syndicated conservative talker, Jerry Doyle.

The moderator was another right of center talker, Jim Bohannon, who referred to Stephanie Miller as the "top midget in the room" when one of panelists had something nice to say about Mama.

Also participating on the panel was Bill Hampton, former member of the college Young Republicans and producer of the Dave Ramsey Show, Phil Boyce, ABC vp for news/talk programming, Gabe Hobbs Clear Channel Radio vp for news/talk/sports, and Jones' Amy Bolton.

Boyce’s claim to fame was having the prescience to launch the Sean Hannity Show on Sept. 11, 2001 and getting about a dozen local talkers canned, including Mr. KABC when he introduced the Mark Levin Show

Handel, who recently threatened to kick the ass of female dj on KYSR, warned that the current overuse of labels such as "conservative host" and "liberal host" could cost talk radio some listeners because the focus is wrong. "Hosts, he stressed, "have to be personalities first, interesting and entertaining. He complained that too much of talk radio has fallen into a pattern of politics all day, morning to night, with just another host saying the same thing as the program before him."

But the best member of the panel was Clear Channel’s Hobbs, who candidly reminded everyone that talk radio was a business and that following a political agenda is "best way to insure failure."

"Politics suck," Hobbs said. "It’s our job to make it suck less."

When Boyce claimed that he took five years to recover after firing local conservative host Bob Grant, Hobbs shot back that now a gm has to fix such a problem by the next quarter.

There were no surprises at the awards luncheon. After sixty something Art Bell accepted his lifetime achievement award while his 20 something pregnant wife looked on, Rush Limbaugh was recognized as the best syndicated talk host of year despite another year of declining ratings and the other major talk radio awards were divvied up between number one talk station KFI in LA and number two talk station KGO in San Francisco.

The next right wing love fest will take place in early June, when Talkers Magazine hosts the New Media Seminar in New York.


Anonymous said...

It's BOB GRANT, not Bill

raccoonradio said...

Sean Hannity's show was launched on
Monday Sept 10, 2001 not 9/11.

AAR celebrates its 3rd anniversary
on March 31. We'll see if the new owners can lead to more affiliates,
poss. shows being carried on stations that carry mostly conservative talk,
who knows...

raccoonradio said...

from WABC site:
>>a year later, in January 1998, Sean took over afternoon drive on WABC. He did so well there that WABC syndicated the show nationwide on September 10th, 2001.

Anonymous said...

"...a survey conducted by Democracy Radio in 2004 found that for every one hour of lib talk programming there are 13 hours of conservative talk...."


Here is another statistic:

For every recumbent bicycle being ridden on campus, there are 20 mountain bikes. Who is going to stop this mountain bike juggernaut? gregrocker??? Maybe most people like mountain bikes better than recumbent bikes. Maybe more merchants carry mountain bikes than recumbent bikes because they are easier to sell and more profitable.

Emacee said...

Of course there are 13 hours of right wing talk for every hour of liberal talk. Authoritarian Kool-Aid drinkers need a lot more repetition to get something.
Remember how your teacher had to go over some basic point time and again before the class dummies got it (if they ever did)?
Besides, RW zealots are only capable of repetition, not originality. They need to have administration talking points repeated by the various water carriers so they can memorize them.

Anonymous said...

Yeah…. Repetition for the idiots….:

“What do we want? PEACE.. When do we want it? NOW.. What do we want? PEACE.. When do we want it? NOW.. What do we want? PEACE.. When do we want it? NOW.. What do we want? PEACE.. When do we want it? NOW.. What do we want? PEACE.. When do we want it? NOW..

Give me a break