Tag: talk radio


Why Isn’t There More Progressive Talk Radio?

It's not about having a voice, it's about being heard. This is the fundamental truth being lost on the tribe of progressive activists in Milwaukee who bemoan the lack of opinions from other-than-conservative voices on the local airwaves. As anyone familiar with the dynamics of radio (not to mention the history of progressive radio network Air America) knows, there is a strong symbiosis between the slant of political talk and the available audience for political talk. Both lean older, whiter, and conservative. And it's not just radio. After all, cable TV has a progressive alternative … [Read more...]


Did News/Talk Radio Bungle “The Interview”?

Where was News/Talk radio when hackers reportedly representing the North Korean government nuked Sony Pictures and scared major theater owners into locking out the latest movie from Seth Rogen and James Franco, The Interview? With stations labeled "Freedom" and "The Flag" and "The Truth," News/Talk crows daily about the dangers faced by "free" Americans from their own government, so what did N/T broadcasters do when those same freedoms were abjectly denied to Americans due to the vandalism (or terrorism) of a foreign government? For most stations in the format, the answer appears to be: … [Read more...]


A Remarkable Conversation with Glenn Beck

If you are a regular watcher of CNN's Reliable Sources, then last weekend you saw the first part of a remarkable interview with the equally remarkable Glenn Beck. Always a great talent and once a polarizing lightning rod for controversy, Glenn reveals new layers of thoughtful complexity and a humanity that will surprise those who know him best from his Fox News days. I thought it was quite striking. Watch for yourself and see if you don't agree. One of the great challenges of commercial spoken word radio is that audiences and broadcasters alike are pigeonholing the format as the home of … [Read more...]


Why Nothing Changes in Talk Radio

Today, I'm taking a back seat to the inimitable Darryl Parks, a legend in the world of commercial radio spoken word. Darryl has an extraordinarily blunt and insightful perspective on what ails Talk Radio, and you can read it here. A few highlights: I guess I hit close to home with my prior blog post on the Ratings Disaster that is today’s talk radio. The June PPM’s suck for talk radio. Hell. The diary markets coming in are bringing little joy. And many in the talk radio industry just sit back and continue on autopilot with the same hard line conservative narrative hour after hour, ignoring … [Read more...]


Why Talk Radio is “Mad as Hell”

Why is Talk Radio so angry? And does it remind you of anything? Particularly a certain classic film, released in 1976 and called Network? You know the one. With the scene featuring a waterlogged anchorman played by Peter Finch, desperately imploring his frustrated viewers to go to their windows, throw them open, and shout at the top of their lungs: "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!" How is it that the satirical vision of screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky has so effectively "meddled with the primal forces of nature" not only in the TV and cable news business, but … [Read more...]


News/Talking about the Wrong Things

Republican soul-searching followed the demographic slam to the gut from younger voters, African Americans, and Hispanics in the election earlier this month. And the reverberations from that punch have resonated through the ranks of News/Talk programmers and talent nationwide. While I can’t be specific about the research I have done in that area (it’s both extensive and proprietary), I can tell you this much: It should come as no great surprise. Interest in Talk per se – as expressed in the form of Conservative Political Talk – is only a small fraction of the overall interest in the … [Read more...]


Maybe News doesn’t work on FM?

So another News option vanishes from the dial in NY and Chicago. Does this mean "News doesn't work on FM?" Of course not. It just means these stations in these specific formats executing what they did didn't work well enough in these markets at this time. Perhaps these markets are just too news-soaked to reward new entrants without enough meaningful and palpable differences, I don't know. Maybe the existing options were simply good enough. Maybe all the news bellies were already full.  Maybe news consumers who have not already chosen a radio news option have chosen other news … [Read more...]


Show Me the New Talent

A friend in Public Radio reached out to me the other day. He was looking for talent. Fresh talent. For a major broadcast client who wanted some original voices that speak to a younger demographic than the one Public Radio (and News/Talk) is most famous for. And I got to thinking.... How many times have I been asked for new "spoken word" talent by commercial broadcasters? Zero. This fellow realizes what most of my commercial peers do not:  The new talent is all around us but rarely do we seek it out.  It's on the podcasts and in the spaces between media forms.  It's on … [Read more...]

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