Since Citadel took over ABC Radio Networks earlier this year, the once dominant syndication operation has cancelled about half of their news/talk radio shows and now it appears they have bailed out of the satellite radio business.
XM announced today that they are closing down their ABC News and Talk Channel and are folding three surviving ABC properties – The Sean Hannity Show, The Mark Levin Show and Money Talk with Bob Brinker – into their America Right Channel. (Tom from Albuquerque will not be happy with this move since he considers Brinker to be a liberal.)
In a separate announcement, the radio syndicator announced that they were dropping the Satellite Sisters -- probably the second most successful women’s talk show. (Dr. Laura’s daily "guilt fest" is the number one show directed to women.)
Also, within the last month ABC Radio has pulled talk shows hosted by Larry Elder and Mark Davis from their syndication line-up. Those two shows continue on their flagship stations – Elder on KABC/790 in Los Angeles and Davis WBAP/820 in Dallas.
While ABC is still a force in the radio syndication and still offers over two dozen spoken word shows (mostly sports and Spanish language programs) it is rather curious that they are cutting back in the news/talk format.
Citadel, which also acquired a few dozen stations owned by ABC when they purchased the alphabet network's radio assets, is the only station owner in the top five that does not own a liberal talk radio station. ABC Radio Networks syndicated news/talkers include four conservative talkers from the right to the far right -- Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Paul Harvey and Dr. James Dobson, three financial talker, and America's Most Wanted hosted by John Walsh.
According to an article in Media Week, ABC has left its initiative in women’s programming (The Satellite Sisters) "to wane" now that they are under new management.
"You didn’t have to be a weather girl to see which way the wind was blowing," said Liz Dolan, one of "Sisters." Dolan noted that ABC, under Citadel, recently signed Bob Grant and is reportedly wooing Don Imus.
According to Dolan, "The Sisters" are not going away and will be "pursuing other syndication and distribution options, including satellite radio."