The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

26 April 2005

Maybe it can't happen here

During the winter I speculated as to the possibility of some of the excess talk-radio hours in this market being given over to Air America Radio. At the time, I said I thought it was a "definite maybe"; now I'm not so sure.

Radio Equalizer Brian Maloney has the numbers for the Winter '05 books in two markets where you'd expect a leftish station to do well — New York and Los Angeles — and those numbers are not encouraging. WLIB is pulling a mediocre 1.2 share in the Apple; KTLK is struggling with an almost-invisible 0.3 in the Orange. (I suspect that the National Weather Service's VHF radio service at around 162 MHz might pull that much.) No station in the Oklahoma City market is suffering so badly that numbers like these would look like a major improvement.

(A doffing of the sombrero to Michelle Malkin.)

Posted at 8:02 AM to Overmodulation

I can't speak for LA, but here in the NYC metro area, WLIB can barely be pulled in west of the Hudson, effectively cutting their potential market share in half.

Posted by: The Prop at 9:00 AM on 26 April 2005

KTLK is struggling with an almost-invisible 0.3 in the Orange. (I suspect that the National Weather Service's VHF radio service at around 162 MHz might pull that much.)

In L.A.?

Okay, maybe after the tornadoes last year people might have inexplicably discovered weather radio in the land of golden sun and bronze sky, but these days unless the NWS is forecasting earthquakes...

Posted by: McGehee at 9:04 AM on 26 April 2005

They prerecord the weather report two weeks in advance. :)

Posted by: CGHill at 9:38 AM on 26 April 2005

The difference is that our market already has a glut of rightward-leaning talk radio, and no liberal or even moderate talk radio. New York City and LA already have a greater variety of views to choose from.

I never thought I would ever find anything to respect about Jerry Springer, but he does a really great job on Air America. He comes on at 8 AM and is far more likeable than Al Frankin.

People can listen to Air America over the internet at

Posted by: OKPartisan at 9:38 AM on 26 April 2005

Which is another issue: how do you count Internet listeners? If you're a bit west of the Hudson and listen to AAR's Web site because you can't pick up WLIB, WLIB doesn't get credit for you in determining the ratings.

Posted by: CGHill at 9:49 AM on 26 April 2005

The source you quote, CG, is himself a talk radio host "who has been compared to Rush Limbaugh," who insists that what he says is "factual" before he even says any "facts," and who dismisses any dissension in advance as "excuses" and "assorted conspiracies."

You'll forgive me if I try to get some more objective analysis of Air America's condition before accepting this wingnut's pronouncements.

Posted by: Matt at 11:55 AM on 26 April 2005

Well, it doesn't mean he was compared favorably.

I have no doubt that AAR is doing better in some markets than it is in New York or L.A. Ratings numbers are obtainable from a number of sources and are easily verifiable; they don't, however, come out on the same date, which means that some others of interest may be a few days away. Still, when you're not doing well in market #1 or #2, doing well in, say, #30 won't buy you much.

Posted by: CGHill at 12:26 PM on 26 April 2005

I wish Air America would succeed. Diversity of opinion is good for America, and its success would put another nail in the coffin of the "Fairness Doctrine" which ultralibs periodically attempt to resurrect.

Posted by: Dan at 4:53 PM on 26 April 2005

Oh, the more voices, the better. I've always said that. (I even said that on that ridiculous TV interview I did.) I just happen to have my doubts about the long-term survival of this one.

Posted by: CGHill at 5:57 PM on 26 April 2005