The Death of Air America, Green960, and Progressive Talk
With rumors swirling around that San Francisco's Green960 is headed towards a format change and Air America is now defunct, is this proof that progressive talk radio is dead? In the conventional sense, it's been dead a long time. Progressive talk has never had the mass appeal in the same way that right wing talk has. Part of the problem that Air America had was that it wasn't home grown grass roots radio. It didn't grow out of demand, it grew out of a business-political venture/idea. Stations around the country like Green960 and Madison, Wisconsin's WXXM "The Mic" were both born out of Clear Channel's move to to capitalize on the early success of progressive talk (especially given the fact that their early experiment, KPOJ, went from the bottom of the Portland market to the close to the top in less than a year).
The anger that grew out of the President Bush's second term fueled progressive talk as a format. When that anger turned into a political campaign and elected a president, the usefulness of the format had run it's course. Clear Channel has no interest in progressive movements, they only care about their bottom line. They are the Wal-Mart of talk.
This morning a received an urgent plea, urging me to contact Clear Channel and show my support for Green960. I'm not going to be doing that. Besides the fact that it's a fruitless endeavor (take it from a long time listener/fan/supporter of Morning Sedition, Break Room Live, The Marc Maron Show, The Sam Seder Show, Lee Rayburn, Live From The Left Coast). Protests rarely work in radio. And really, I don't have the time, energy, or enthusiasm continue to support Wal-Mart radio. While I love Thom Hartmann and the like, I'm pretty much over hearing about ATM Gold trading or "right size smoothies".
I hope progressive talkers will follow the lead of Amanda Palmer and Leo Laporte. Both Laporte and Palmer have become pioneers in the use of social networking and the Internet to remove the need for corporate middleman. Progressive radio shows like Karel and Live From The Left Coast (and video shows like GritTV and Democracy Now!) can continue to grow and thrive, but they'll have to do it under this newly emerging direct access model. Liberal content creators have to take advantage of ALL social and online media tools to promote their shows. That means Twitter, iTunes, RSS, Facebook, YouTube, and any other place they can put their content and build audience (especially through blogging at places like Firedoglake or DailyKos and online forums). I hope they realize that Clear Channel is not their savior, but their slave master.
If listeners truly want to support progressive radio, the should give Clear-Mart Channel a giant middle finger and start supporting progressive media DIRECTLY!:
Live From The Left Coast - here.
Karel Show here.
Democracy Now! here
Cross posted from Marti Abernathey.com