7 March 2004
On the left side of your dial
The Air America liberal radio network now has affiliates in the top three markets: WLIB New York, KBLA Los Angeles, and WNTD Chicago.
Generally, the stations will be competing with, shall we say, separate but unequal facilities: WLIB, while no 50-kw powerhouse, puts out a decent 10-kw signal in the Apple, but WNTD, which maxes out at 5 kw, is nestled between two 50-kw blowtorches, which may make finding it tricky. KBLA pumps out 50 kw, but it's down in that no-man's-land at the far end of the dial (1580) where supposedly hardly anyone goes.
Were I the local Clear Channel manager, I'd be tempted to work up a sub-Machiavellian scheme to land the Air America programs here in Oklahoma City and then run them, not on KTOK, their local flagship, but on KEBC, their 1-kw daytimer at 1340. (The station does have a nighttime schedule, but it's leased to another operator.) This would make Clear Channel's claim that "We are so not in Bush's pocket" less implausible, and there's always the chance that Air America's talk shows will draw better ratings than the how-to-save-for-your-retirement stuff that airs there now.
Of course, if the FCC finally gets around to approving KGYN's move-in from Guymon to Oklahoma City, all bets are off.