Updated: Saturday, February 3, at 12:15 pm pst: Its's official. The Clear Channel station, WAVZ-AM in New Haven will be dropping lib talk on Monday and flipping to ESPN Sports. This makes WAVZ the 19th station to drop lib talk in the past year – the 13th in the past two months.
It also represents a new "stealth strategy" by station owners to flip lib talk stations without notifying anyone -- e.g. listeners, the press, or the FCC. The "owners" seem to be taking the position that it is their station and they can do whatever they want in whatever manner they choose. Some of us were under the impression that station's are licensed by the Federal government to use the public airwaves in the public's interest. In any case, that's a blog for another time.
Another station WQDS-AM in Duluth (see Breaking News) flipped from lib talk to oldies on Thursday. This was also a "stealth flip," by an owner, who does not appear to very popular in the local market.
It appears that Clear Channel does not want to make the same mistake it made in Madison with its flip of WAVZ in New Haven from liberal talk to sports.
Thanks to each and every one of you for being such loyal on-air/on-line listeners to the VOICE Progressive Talk Radio 1300 (theVOICE1300.com).
Effective Monday, February 5th, 2007, WAVZ-AM's program format will switch to sports as ESPN Radio 1300 (espnradio1300.com).
You're also invited to tune in to News/Talk960WELI (960WELI.com) [CC's Conservative Talk Station in New Haven] for Local New Haven News, Traffic, Weather, & Sports... plus local information & coverage of events in your community on the News/Talk960WELI Morning Show with Jerry Kristafer, weekdays from 5:30-9 a.m.
Again thank you for your support of the VOICE Progressive Talk Radio 1300."
Now I am not comparing WAVZ in New Haven to WXXM in Madison. WAVZ has operated pretty much on auto-pilot since switching to lib talk in November, 2004. (Ironically, the station’s previous format was sports) while WXXM has maintained a staff and does local programming. WAVZ never received an Arbitron share higher than 1, while WXXM has been getting shares in the low 3’s for months. Most importantly, I doubt there is activist group in New Haven that can match the one that was assembled Madison. Potential activists at nearby Yale University seem to more interested in showers than liberal talk radio.