Wednesday, April 01, 2009

It's the end of an era

Today's Radio or Not podcast is my goodbye to a friend, 940 WINZ, which will become "The Sports Animal" this Friday evening. Hear today's podcast by clicking here (runtime 19:26)

I've been waiting for the news for over a month now. We'd been hearing the rumors that the death of the only voice of reason on South Florida's airwaves was imminent, and the rumors had been confirmed to me by a number of people who would know. We were just waiting for the word that the cancer had metastasized.

Today, I heard the word in the most insensitive way possible. Click here to hear what came out of my speakers this morning instead of the local news, which appears to have disappeared entirely. Talk about adding insult to injury!

Of course, your first thought might be "April Fools!" Unfortunately, it's not a trick, but it is a bad, sad joke.

Come Friday evening, WINZ will be the 5th all-sports station in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale radio market, joining WQAM, 790 The Ticket, 640WFTL and 1400WFTL. In case you were wondering, WINZ out-performs all four of those stations in the ratings.

The parent company of the two WFTL stations also owns 850 WFTL. With a powerhouse signal, they show up in the ratings behind not only WINZ and WIOD, but behind WQAM and The Ticket as well. Perhaps one of those stations could be persuaded to give South Florida's progressive community a new home.

Just an idea.

Hear today's Radio or Not podcast by clicking here (runtime 19:26)


kaylum said...

This is really depressing :(

RadioOrNot said...

Sorry... I didn't meant to depress you, but wanted to say what I was feeling today. It is sad!

kaylum said...

Well, I'm glad that there are people like you who care enough to say something! What really makes me mad is when people who support conservative talk radio say the only reason there are so many more conservative talk shows and stations is because they do so much better in the ratings, which is blatantly untrue. I just hope progressive talk finds another home here soon!

360Sound said...

Thanks for the show today, Nicole. I was infuriated when I heard the shockingly condescending format-change promo on the air. This would appear to be a further cost-cutting move on Clear Channel's part - I guess the in-house sports feed is cheaper than syndicating Air America or another network's programming. The most frustrating part is that it appears that the station was systematically starved from the inside. With even a little promotion budget, a progressive station in a progressive market should thrive. I do hope that one of the other AM stations in the market considers picking up the format, and, speaking for many of your listeners, it would be great to hear you involved in a new progressive endeavor..

Melvina said...

I've sent emails to the FDP and to Ken Charles, Gen Mgr of 940WINZ at: as follows:

Changing Progressive Talk to all sports is a terrible idea and a huge disservice to our community.

How many sports channels does our area need? We only had the one Progressive Talk channel, while there are a few conservative talk stations.

During the past year, you seem to have done everything possible to drive away listeners from 940WINZ. I've been a loyal listener for years, but have noticed the following in recent months:
Shows on the afternoon drive home would just be cut off and replaced with sports shows at varying times. Don't you think that people tuned in to Progressive Talk want to hear Progressive Talk and not sports?
You fired the only local host we had, Nicole Sandler, who was doing a great service for south Florida.
You scheduled rebroadcasts of shows that were live at other times, so that we didn't have as many live shows to call in to.
Replaced weekend shows with religious shows and infomercials
There were prolonged periods of dead air (I've timed it a few times - 15-30 minutes)
Occasionally, there would be repeating messages that the problem is due to sun spots, but then why can the messages get broadcasted, and how come none of their other local stations were affected?
Often there would be 2 broadcasts going on at once (ie: local news and national news talking over each other), or some other show would pop in for 10-15 minutes (right-wing talk show, foreign language show, or music).
Change the weekend line up so you never know when your favorite shows would be on the air
I sincerely hope you will reconsider this strategy/change.

Maybe if enough of us contact him to show there is a big audience in south Florida, they will reconsider. Can someone fashion an on-line petition? I don't know how to do that.

RadioOrNot said...


Unfortunately, WINZ will not reconsider. I'm sure their decision came from Clear Channel corporate... they own the Fox Sports network, which will make up the majority of the programming on the new station.

Our best hope is for some other station to pick up the format...

bitchinkitchen said...

Wow! I really, REALLY thought those promos for the "Sports Animal" were a joke. "Obama won, what else do you want?" Sounds like a joke, right?

940 WINZ has opened up a huge hole in our community that another station would be wise to quickly fill. (You said it best, progressive talk gets the ratings...) We should say it again, and again and again.

Melvina said...

Did you hear 940WINZ Friday at 6:00PM when they made the switch to all sports? They had someone trying to sound like Rush saying I'm King of radio and had them get rid of Progressive Talk and switch to sports. It was totally meant to mock the listeners of Progressive Talk. It made me want to puke. There must be SOMETHING we can do about this.

RadioOrNot said...


I'll be on Air America in about 10 mintues, and will spend the first 1/2 hour talking about this. I hope you'll call in to 866-303-2270.


vivian said...

I stopped listening 940 right after Nicole left, so it's not such a loss for me, but for the community at large it is. But I admit, I saw it coming.

John said...

WINZ is using their power locally? By only airing syndicated programing? QAM is the voice of the Dolphins so how are they going to get them to the Super Bowl? They air The Heat. I did hear that they may hire Sid Rosenberg (released from WAXY for poor ratings) You might know Sid from his days with Imus where he was fired for making a joke about Kylie Minogue's breast cancer and also being an alcoholic, cokehead with a gambling problem. This and the fact that he sounds like Elmer Fudd with a Brooklyn accent. Really if you ever heard the guy he lisp's his W's. Not to make fun of a lisp but the guy is in radio, one would think he would get speech lessons. My guess is by the end of the year WINZ will sell to some church and we will get bible radio 24/7, hallelujah. This was so wrong and I like sports talk but there is more to life than sports. BAD WINZ....BTW aren't they a Clear Channel Station? Well that explains everything. IF you check out the new site it does not hold the high morals of there basic right winged programing. So I ask this questions who is more evil Fox/New Corp or Clear Channel?