Sunday, November 25, 2007

"Balanced Talk" Doubles Down in Southern California

The newest "balanced" talk radio station KGIL/1260, which features Michael Jackson, the highest rated liberal talk show host in the 1990s, will make a significant move to increase it’s coverage and hopefully its ratings when XESURF/540 flips from country to talk on Tuesday.

Combined the two stations offer reasonably good daytime coverage in the two largest radio markets in the Southern California region – Los Angeles and San Diego. KGIL puts a good signal over the northern two thirds of the L.A. market. 540 AM, as it is known, which broadcasts out of Tijuana, provides decent coverage in the San Diego market. We can even hear it here in the world headquarters of Talking Radio in Orange County (which constitutes the other third of the L.A. market.)

Unfortunately, the newly merged stations will be beefing up their conservative talk line up when they launch 540 AM. Lars Larsen (3-5 pm) will join Neal Boortz (7-9am) to bolster the right-side of spectrum. Jackson holds up the liberal side, with a two hour show (7-9am) that will be repeated (5-7pm).

However, the big news it that sex and relationship guru Drew Pinksy will be launching a daily talk show, targetted for syndication, calling it the "Dr. Drew Show." Pinksy is one of the country’s longest surviving talk hosts. For the past 22 years he has participated on "Loveline" which is syndicated, Sunday-Thursday nights, on over a 100 stations – mostly FM rockers. Pinksy currently co-hosts Loveline with Ted Stryker.

It’s hard to believe that Pinsky will continue to do both shows. That would be 20 hours a week of radio for a guy that also is practicing physician and the father of triplets!

Pinsky joins Dr. Joy Brown (1-3pm) on the non-political side of the new twin talker. The line-up is completed with a one hour show by Larry King (yes he still does a radio talk show) from 7-8pm. No attempt will made to continue talk in late evening and early morning when the two stations reduce power. Listeners who find either station at these times will hear standards music.

Saul Levine, owner of KGIL and operator of Mexican owned 540 AM said he was making move because he felt that the demise of KLSD/1360 created an opportunity. As we know, KLSD in San Diego dropped liberal talk two weeks ago, after a three year run, and is now offering a sports format.

"We felt the need to access an audience in San Diego as well as provide an alternative frequency for Orange County," Levine said.

It is strange that Levine has not chosen to offer other liberal hosts. There are several nationally syndicated lib talkers that are not offered in Los Angeles, including Lionel, The Young Turks, Jon Elliott and Peter B. Collins. Also, Levine must be aware that Stacy Taylor, the only local weekday talker on the now defunct KLSD, is looking for a job. We got an email from Taylor on Friday stating that he was mulling over an offer from Clear Channel to host an early evening show on their conservative San Diego station KOGO/600.

Go ahead Saul... make Stacy an offer that he can’t refuse.

KGIL/540-AM is the latest of several balanced talk stations to launch in the past two months. Others include 3WT/1500 in Washington and WTAN/1340 in Tampa.

In fact, according to our records there are at least three dozen balanced talk stations on the air right now. These stations include KGO/810 in San Francisco, WRJN/1400 in Milwaukee, WJNO/1290 in West Palm Beach, and WTDY/1670 in Madison.

We define a "balanced talk station" as a stations that offers at least two liberal talkers and at least one conservative talker on weekdays. We have identified about a 100 talk stations that carry one syndicated liberal talk host. About half of these stations offer Alan Colmes, about 25 offer Ed Schultz, and the balance contain other syndicated lib talkers. We call these stations "marginals."

Are we going to see more balanced and marginal talk stations launch in the future? It’s hard to say.

The fact is, that you count the full time liberal stations that have launched this year on the fingers of one hand and they have all shown up in small or unmeasured markets.


Anonymous said...

> We define a "balanced talk station"
> as a stations that offers at least
> two liberal talkers and at least
> one conservative talker on
> weekdays.

2:1 = "balanced?"
Maybe your own lack of balance is showing.
Wait for the wing nuts to show up and claim this proves a lib-talk host is only half as effective as a right wing host.
Boortz is a libertarian; not a neo-con or GOP water carrier. Libertarians agree with liberals on a lot of issues; they just trust the government to make any problem worse. Like progressives in the Democratic Party, they get no respect. Unlike progressives, they had the cajoles to start their own party.

Anonymous said..., the best radio news site IMHO, has picked up this story. Congratulations, Baroosk!

Wyatt Cox said...

Ummm...WTAN is totally brokered radio with MOYL in between.

barooosk said...

WTAN is totally brokered radio with MOYL in between.

WTAN carries Lionel 9pm-12am and will be adding Imus in the mornings when he launches next week.

Anonymous said...

I've been listening to Michael Jackson and he is getting calls from San Diego, often (it seems) from KLSD refugees.
What's ironic is these lib-talk groupies, in contrast to Michael's class and civility, seem angry, nasty true-believers; ditto-heads of the left.
Maybe, except for Michael Jackson listeners, real, thinking progressives listen to public radio (and read).

cole said...

John Zigler -ex of KFI is on KGIL this week, would be great to have an alternative to John and Ken. They "kgil" should give him a two hour gig on KGIL.

Anonymous said...

Is 540 AM an english speaking station?

Robert Smith said...

I have been a fan of Talk Shows at the KGIL radio station in San Diego. The formats of all the talk shows match perfectly with the spirit of San Diego.