Tuesday, March 03, 2009

What's up with radio today?

As much as I enjoy the flexibility of doing the Radio or Not podcast, there is something about live radio that sets it apart. So, of course, when WFTL called last week to ask if I'd be available to fill in for Stacy Ritter on Saturday, there was no hesitation. (Saturday's show is online now as today's Radio or Not podcast... hear it by clicking here -runtime is 43:05)

My favorite part of the live show is taking phone calls, as you never know who will be on the other end of the line! And now that it's been six months since my morning show on that other station ended, I do miss talking to you.

Radio has certainly been a hot topic of conversation of late. First, the nonsense with Rush Limbaugh is unavoidable, and almost funny. It would really be funny if it weren't so pathetic. The Republican party seems to take its walking (and talking) orders from this grossly-overpaid, drug-addled windbag. Don't the "regular people" who are too stupid to realize that Rush is only out to protect his $400 million paycheck and doesn't give a rats ass about the working poor and middle class? I guess not...but, again, I digress.

Yesterday, I thought that RNC Chairman Michael Steele might be the only one among the GOP Power brokers who didn't cower in Rush's wake! Steele actually called it right, saying Rush is an entertainer, and then added a few choice words on top of that disclaimer. Unfortunately, the balls were cut off by last night when Steele went crawling on all fours to kiss the Rush ring and beg forgiveness.

As I said, it'd be funny if it weren't so sad!

When it comes to "progressive talk radio," there has also been some shaking up. Randi Rhodes, once again, had some sort of contractual falling out with her syndicator. First it was Air America, from which she departed last year. This time, her problems with Nova M have not only taken her off the air, they've also caused Nova M to be no longer! I hope Randi is ok... Unfortunately, she seems to have imploded!

Thom Hartmann has departed the Air America fold, but most listeners will not even notice a difference in his show. He didn't lose any of his affiliates and, according to his people, has gained a few better time slots in the transition.

I've gotten so many emails in the past few days from alarmed listeners who thought that with this change, they'd lose Hartmann. The truth is that Air America did a much better job of branding itself than they did of running a syndication company or network!

With Randi off the air, the "progressive talk" station here in Miami has been running Doing Time with Ron Kuby, a show I've been fortunate to guest host from time to time. I've really been enjoying listening to it. But it looks like I'll have to enjoy it while I can, as the rumor mill has been working overtime, churning out the tidbits of the impending change to sports.

Yes, it looks as if WINZ will soon become the 5th all-sports station to grace the AM radio dial in South Florida! According to some very reliable sources, though not confirmed by anyone within the Miramar Clear Channel compound, WINZ will pick of Fox Sports programming sometime this month.

When I was let go in August (the Friday just before the Democratic convention), I was replaced with Imus. That show was canceled this past Friday. They gave him six months and he's gone.

Many people just assumed that the switch to sports would have happened yesterday.. Monday. But I guess they're operating on a different timetable... I've long since stopped trying to figure out the way they do things over there!

Anyway, I awoke yesterday to hear what they'd do yesterday, knowing that Imus was history. They picked up Rachel Maddow's show from Air America. The problem is that Rachel's new Air America show is one hour of sound re-packaged from her MSNBC TV show from the night before. Air America feeds this hour over and over again during morning drive, figuring that stations would run it once, and probably use it to supplement a local morning show.

But my former station is just running that same hour of programming over and over again, from 5am until 9! If you think this is just filling space until they do flip to sports, I'd have to agree with you!

There's another shake-up in radioland happening now too. Bill O'Reilly announced a few months ago that he'd stop doing his daily radio show, ostensibly to concentrate on his TV empire. That leaves the noon-2pm slot on 850 WFTL here in Ft. Lauderdale up for grabs. Yes, the station at which I guest-hosted an hour on Saturday!

Now, unfortunately, WFTL is one of the majority of AM talk stations... very conservative in ideology. They carry Dr. Laura, Michael Savage and Dennis Miller along with some local (conservative) programming as well. According to their website, they're conducting a nationwide search to determine what to put in that slot. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't interested.

So, all I can say now is stay tuned....

Saturday morning, while filling in on WFTL, I spoke with Broward County Democratic Party Chairman Mitch Cesar about that night's Jefferson Jackson dinner, and later in the hour with Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz about the bill designed to help us save our homes.

That show is today's Radio or Not podcast, which you can hear by clicking here (runtime 43:05). If you feel compelled to do so, you can head over to http://www.850wftl.com/ and click on comments, and let them know you'd like to hear me as their replacement in the noon-2pm slot. I certainly wouldn't complain!


Not4Nothing said...

I am really upset about what is happening on progressive radio here in South Florida. Nicole, I think you were just a casualty in what was probably a broader plan. I can't help but connect the dots between Clearchannel management, how Obama won Florida (winning South Florida big), the open Senate seat (with Mel Martinez not seeking reelection), and the business stupidity of what is going on at WINZ. I think it is a pretty interesting story. It seems obvious that larger forces are at play. I just don't know who will notice, or who cares.

Lil said...

E-mail sent telling them to hire you already! (Well, I was a little more tactful than that but you get the idea...) :-)

Ozy said...

Hartmann, Rhodes & Malloy cover the day with every emotion you can have.

Thom Hartmann and Randi Rhodes have some of the best political intellect and foresight of anyone out there. They do impeccable research and prepare for their shows better than the best.

Mike Malloy and his Wife Kathy (Producer) nail the heart and soul of the politically engaged listeners with passion and what we wish we could say sometimes.

The Stephanie Miller show gives a great start to the day with comedic satire which is politically accurate and gets the listeners ready for a day of information and entertainment all in one.

Others in the Market like Werbe, Collins, Shultz round out the tastes on any progressive listener. Local Progressive Talkers are the icing on the cake. These are solid no bull news and entertainment with the people not corporations in mind.

I have been listening to progressive talk since it slowly became available.

The Airwaves have been saturated by corporate propaganda BS which uses liars and con-artists of all types who can stick to the twisted ideology of so-call Republican conservatism.

They are the money people and have been solidifying their slimy grip on the AM radio waves for 30 years.
It makes no difference weather these corporate sponsors make money as much as its goal to brain washes the listener into this sick “group think”, which has brought us to where we are today.

This is priceless to corporations and the Republicon Ideology. This is why progressive talk is having such a hard time getting in the markets. The corporations own most of them. They will subsidize any other venue to make sure progressive talk keeps getting locked out as much as possible.

Rhodes, Hartmann and so many others are dangerous to these corporate goons! They know that if progressive talk gets a fraction of the markets they will overtake the Lying garbage peddlers like Hannity , Limbaugh and other crazy opportunists like Crowley and Ingram who will say anything to strengthen their agenda of pro-corporate propaganda and bags of money in their coffers. Limbaugh makes about 50 million a year Hannity makes around 10 million,. For pedaling garbage which is mostly lies spun to strengthen the corporate grip with forty thousand lobbyists in Washington DC to bribe your Congressional lackeys.

It’s unfortunate that Newcomb considers himself such a big talent. Nancy Skinner is a thoughtful mild talker who wants to be everyone’s friend.
Sorry Kids That doesn’t cut it in today’s market.
Malloy is the only real talent that ex-NovaM has and will land somewhere else soon I hope. Malloy deserves better but his style is harsh and nail biting not for the faint of heart but needs to be out there as well.

I would like to see Manzo get the chance to start his own Network and get the kind of support to bring in Hartmann, Rhodes, Malloy, Werbe, Collins , Sam Sedar, Miller, Regan and shows like Laura Flanders and Ring of Fire
This is a winning line up and if they get the chance and not shoved out by corporate manipulation they will literally take over the am air waves for good!



elkojohn said...

declare yourself a bank,
get some bailout $$
and open your own radio station

John said...

Why did WFTL give a the Survivor Doc a show. That's all we need here is a show where the old call in and talk about there medical problems. Neil Rodgers exposed this format years ago as bad radio. Shame on WFTL for not putting Nicole on in the afternoon. Oh wait this guy was on Survivor that makes it okay.