Monday, April 02, 2007


Progressive Talk Still Off Air in Hub

When Clear Channel changed WKOX 1200 Framingham and WXKS 1430 Everett to "rumba" from progressive talk on Dec. 21st of last year, fans of the format had to find other alternatives. So far they haven't had success in bringing it back though some smaller stations may wind up airing some programs if efforts by the Save Progressive Radio Boston group are successful.

The Air America network celebrated its third birthday on March 31, but lately it has taken its
lumps with recent defections from the prog-talk format, most recently in Akron, OH. Efforts
by listeners in Madison, WI to keep their prog-talker from changing to sports have been
successful but so far efforts in other cities have fallen flat. Station owners have said that
formats like sports may not necessarily get higher ratings, but they're easier to "sell" to

Which leads Boston in the curious position of being "the blue-est state in the Union" but
with no home on the radio for Stephanie Miller, Thom Hartmann, Ed Schultz, or Randi
Rhodes from the Air America and Jones networks. Fans of the format could try to get
stations like WRKO, WTTT, WTKK, or WBZ to run some of these shows, though time
may not be available and program directors may not feel they shows would get ratings or
ad dollars.

Weak signals, hardly any promotion, and the lack of a daily locally originated talk show
have doomed many "progressive talk" stations. While there are affiliates in Portland, ME
and Western MA, these signals can't quite reach the metro Boston area. Will a local
station take a chance on "talk radio for the rest of us"?

I would think that 740 - WJIB would be a good place to land Air America. (No music licensing fees, Bob )

What about 1090 - WILD? I would think that listeners who have a history with 1090AM would welcome progressive talk.

1060- WBIX would be a good place too.

While these are all small/poor signals, putting Air America on any of them would probably be an improvment over whatever they are airing now.

And it better than nothing!

Now that Air America has a new owner....and a new PD, I'm curious to see if they get their act together.
Bob Bittner likes his music format too much to change though I have suggested WJIB could be the perfect home for prog. talk.

Maybe someone could buy WILD though they're daytime only of course.
Not sure if Alex Langer would want to shift WBIX to prog talk from biz news/talk...

....ooking forward to more of your boston radio observations!

No problem...I have mentioned before that prog talk would be a good fit for WJIB in Cambridge but Bob Bittner (owner) likes running his music format (even though these days he has to rely on "listener support").

I was talking to a friend in Calif. who pointed out that the prog talk stations in L.A. and San Diego run lots of ads cards (and
credit repayment services).

He told me if that is any indication as to the type of advertiser for that format, then
credit-card-hating-Bob would probably want no part of it! (He'd be forced to run the ads to take
the programming...)
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