Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Progressive Radio is Dead

No choices for you! 
KJFK was the only progressive radio station in Northern Nevada. Las Vegas has none.

KJFK had quality programming that included nationally syndicated shows like Randi Rhodes, Ed Schultz, Thom Hartman, Mike Papantonio, and the indomitable Stephanie Miller.

We listened live connecting with other progressives across the Nation and knew we were not alone. It felt good to have like-minded companions across state lines.

At the local level, we missed Cory Farley. A reasonable voice who had the pulse of our city and could talk about almost any subject under sun.  Thanks to Cory, we had a clearer picture of what our local elected officials were up to and how it would affect us personally. He regaled us with personal stories and experiences that were both entertaining and interesting in terms of travel, home repairs, and national news. In short, Cory kept us informed on topics ranging from soup to nuts and we were better for it.

Once KJFK went exclusively to national syndicated programs we lost the local flavor and connection provided by our hometown news.

Reno's Spaghetti Bowl
For example, we knew right away when Evelyn Mount needed more turkeys and where the farmer's market was located that week. Book sales and activities at our local libraries were helpful. Commuters chimed in on road closure constructions and the mess in the Spaghetti Bowl.

During the holidays, information on new drop off locations for Toys for Tots or where to donate to help a local family whose house burnt down mattered to us. We learned the latest news on our beloved Wolf Pack and how to help our local high schools fund their music program, or basketball uniforms.

These types of connections are not specific to Reno, NV. We are just the latest casualty in the privatization of our public airwaves. The absence of local radio leaves behind a void that national broadcasts can't fill.

On March 18, 2013 KJFK radio died.

Part of the obituary:

Given the volume of rhetoric dispensed on-air from “the other side”, we felt it vital to remain on-the-air through the 2012 General Election, despite the fact that KJFK has operated at a loss of thousands of dollars a month. Since we launched the station with an appearance by Al Franken in 2005, when nearly 500 people joined us at the Atlantis for now Senator Franken's appearance just days after we hit the air, we’ve known a passionate audience has been with us all along. Unfortunately, this station was never able to generate the revenue necessary to sustain, and we simply cannot absorb the financial loss any longer.

For the entire letter contents click here.

Compliance and homogeneous radio programming is the name of the game. Raging Limbaugh or Glenn Beck provide "news" and "information" as liberal voices are silenced across the nation.

So far progressive radio has met its demise in typically democratic strongholds: Seattle's KPTK, Detroit's WDTW, and Portland's KPOJ. KJFK served Northern Nevada and could be heard on a clear day in parts of San Francisco.

How It all started

In many parts of the country, progressive radio ceased to exist when the monopoly that is Clear Channel took over local radio stations. Bain Capital gutted the industry and conservative talk radio became syndicated and saturated every market.

They killed community broadcasting first and went back to administer the final blow to the few stations that still served a grateful population.

Where and How can You Listen to Progressive Voices

While the overlords of our public airwaves have determined that conservative talk and sports will be the only thing on the menu and you must submit to their will, there are ways of ignoring them. However this comes to a cost to you in terms of financial cost and inconvenience.

PURCHASE the right to free speech through satellite radio. Sirius is popular and even though XM radio and Sirius merged a few years back, the subscriptions to their line ups are separate. You need to purchase the right satellite radio.

Con: The required satellite radio and monthly/yearly subscription can become an obstacle for those on a fixed budget.

Pros: You will never have to listen to commercials or be offended by the lies and misinformation of talking heads without credibility. Many people don't have to change the channel going across state lines or lose satellite signal even in the worst weather.

Other Options Available

1. Invest in a smart phone and download podcasts (also at a premium)
2. Glue yourself to your computer and hope to find a website that is broadcasting progressive radio live.

The problem with the second option is that you may not find the website when they broadcast live or even find a website that still does. More and more of those websites are no longer carrying a live broadcast because the stations are not there or because they only offer a pay-to-listen service.

We will miss the Progressive voices of  Thom Hartman and the passionate voices of Randi Rhodes and Ed Schultz. We will miss the morning laughter brought on by Stephanie Miller that eased us into our daily commute. These voices have always been an Oasis in the midst of conservative screeching.

While Progressive voices are alive and well, the medium that brought them to us is now dead. Our public airwaves are privately controlling the message the  populace hears while being held hostage on their daily commute.

Clear Channel wins. Progressives lose.

Leave us a comment:

Do you have a station in your city that still provides you with progressive voices? or do you miss what you used to have? Have you ever had anything more than conservative radio in your town?

Listen live on their websites if you can:

Ed Schultz: the Ed Schultz Show
Stephanie Miller: The Stephanie Miller Show (Listing of radio stations is not accurate)
Thom Hartman: Thom Hartman Show (Radio listings not updated)
Ring of Fire Radio: Listen Live  Mike Papantonio Robert Kennedy Jr. (limited options)
Free Speech TV on line, or you can purchase a Roku player to watch at home.  


Willamette Week: KPOJ Cancelling Political Talk Radio by Aaron Mesh
An Insider's View of the Progressive Talk Radio Devolution, by Peter B. Collins
Cory Farley: 2012 Should be the End of these 13 Annoyances
Evelyn Mount Community Outreach
Daily Kos: RIP: Seattle Progressive Talk

On Air Image Photo Credit: Salvatore Vuono / 


Vickie Rock said...

I don't even have a radio anymore other than the one in my car ... and I pay for SiriusXM on that one ... so I can listen to all the progressive channels when I'm not at home. It is sad tho that the only talk stations left on the air now are the blowhard haters on the extreme right!

Olivia Emisar said...

I am on the same boat. I don't like the idea that public airwaves are manipulated to suppress freedom of speech.

Traveling through Arizona I felt so fortunate we had a progressive station back home.

It is a sad day when our car radios go silent because listening to 2 hours of hate radio will give us ulcers.

Thank you for your comment, I appreciate it.

sandinbrick said...

Thanks Olivia, we have no progressive radio in NJ, maybe College, Brookdale College is fairly liberal, you know, no real commercials. I have no money for XM serious. All I have is this PC and lucky I have that. You are lucky you had Progressive Radio. I don't listen to any radio. Sometimes Miller and Tim Corriall (not sure of the spelling on podcast. Thanks for sending this to me. You know what I need? Some easy recipes for one person. Richard is dying and I am very lonely. He's in a nursing home. I talk to every Saturday, it's sooo draining. I'll talk to you. Give me your home number, I have a Comcast plan so I can call long distance. I don't know if you can call me, but, if you can, my number is 732-920-0227. Thanks sweetie, hugs.

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