EXCLUSIVE: Key analyst says talk radio’s biggest companies close to pulling the plug

It was a move that sent shudders through an already-nervous radio industry: Pittsburgh’s WPGB-FM suddenly dumped its talk format, switching to country music. The early August change meant America’s biggest hosts would have to relocate to a small, 7000-watt AM station.

Because it conflicted directly with the expected trend of moving talk AWAY from AM in favor of FM, many took it as a sign industry giant Clear Channel had made a U-turn. With digital streaming services and other emerging technologies stealing music fans from radio by the millions, talk was seen as the one format that could keep traditional broadcasting alive.

Local media speculated the real problem was excess clutter which keeps the average hour clogged up with extremely long commercial sets, news and weather breaks, plus recorded mini-features. Whatever the case, the medium that has done so much to change the national political landscape and inspired others around the world to do the same suddenly seemed more endangered. Read all »

Now, even Al Franken ‘troubled by’ Obama’s inaction

Is  a pattern forming here?

In the past 24 hours, not one but two former Air America Radio liberal talk hosts have aired public concerns over Obama’s ISIS / terror inaction. Earlier, we wrote about Montel Williams suddenly taking issue with the president. Are the rats jumping off the ship?

Now, it has emerged that Senator Al Franken has written a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder expressing his seeming astonishment: “I was troubled by the President’s recent suggestion that the Administration has not yet developed a comprehensive strategy to address the growing threat of ISIL’s activities in Syria.”

Has Franken joined the “lying liars” he once lambasted in his anti-Limbaugh/Fox/conservative screeds? Read all »

Even Montel Williams is pleading with Obama for leadership

In the face of public indecision while the world falls apart, just how badly has Obama’s image been damaged?

Even the guy who formerly peddled “presidential coins” bearing his likeness is now demanding leadership. Onetime Air America Radio liberal talker Montel Williams used his Twitter account Tuesday to request “a strategy for pursuing ISIS in Syria”: Read all »

Back in jail: radio creep who allegedly shot wife

You’d think a bald guy with a double chin might thank his lucky stars for somehow being able to marry a beautiful blonde woman. But a Cincinnati talk host allegedly showed his appreciation by shooting his wife in the back. Not much self-awareness, buddy?

Though he swears it was an accident, 55KRC talker Blake Seylhouwer hasn’t convinced authorities of that. After pleading not guilty to the shooting (which Misty Seylhouwer luckily survived), he’s facing new charges related to violating a protective order. Read all »

Rush: Republican leadership prefers Hillary over Cruz!

Clearly frustrated over what he sees as a self-defeating Republican leadership, Rush Limbaugh took to Facebook today for an unusual mid-program update.

Slamming the party for its seeming hostility toward at least one of its contenders for the presidential nomination, he wrote, “I have the idea the Republican leadership would be happier with Hillary Clinton as president than Ted Cruz, and that’s not just a feeling. I know that almost for a fact.” Read all »

Did the left write off Hannity too soon?

Bigger than ever, Sean Hannity is back. The only problem: he was never gone.

When the Fox News Channel moved his show from 9pm to 10pm, the left wrote him off. It was said that the later timeslot was broadcast Siberia.

Even though he made it clear on numerous occasions he was happy with the change, the left did not want to believe him. The Daily Beast even asked whether Megyn Kelly was “pushing Hannity out of Fox News Primetime.” There, Lloyd Grove wrote that “Hannity’s niceness won’t help the fading anchor’s case.” Read all »

Glenn Beck: ditching conservatism

That he was even willing to do an interview with a “progressive” publication like the Huffington Post was the first clue. But whatever his motives, Glenn Beck is making his gradual shift away from conservatism apparent for all to see.

And it has some now-former fans hopping mad, especially at sites such as Free Republic and Breitbart, where he’s being blasted as opportunistic and shifting with the winds for the sake of gaining Blaze TV carriage on major cable systems, among other allegations. Others focus on his (not as right-wing as some believe) Mormon faith as the driving force.

In the interview with HuffPo’s Howard Fineman, Beck targets conservatives “who cannot see the plight of children” after many questioned the motives behind his border charity efforts: Read all »

FM station drops experiment to reduce song lengths by 50%

During a news cycle as ugly as it is right now, perhaps we’re all in need of a good laugh. Try this:

A Calgary FM station has abruptly abandoned a radio format featuring hit singles edited for length by 50%. AMP-FM’s idea was to pack twice as many songs into each hour by cutting out all of those extra little bits like melody, lyrics, instrumentation, etc.

What remained was compressed together into one longer montage. Think musical Pink Slime.

Lest you think this was the product of some rogue Canadian programmer’s twisted mind, consider that this idea has been hotly debated in America as well. Why? Because commercial radio is in deep doo-doo, with many younger listeners ditching it for various digital alternatives. Read all »

Buddy Cianci: cooking up fraud

Once a crook, always a crook.

In Democrat Buddy Cianci’s case, however, the latest scandal couldn’t have emerged at a more unpleasant time. Though the former Providence mayor-turned-felon is looking reclaim that position this November, the AP has uncovered more shenanigans, this time involving a “charity” pasta sauce that bears his name and likeness.

Apparently, not a dime has been turned over for needy causes.

Until recently a talk host on WPRO radio in Rhode Island (and perhaps better known nationally for the junior high school bearing his name on TV’s “Family Guy”), Cianci is feigning ignorance about the sauce flap: Read all »

Media hit by Trump-related prank, fake radio interview

Are reporters and media personalities under intense pressure to catch the latest Trump-related scoop before anyone else?

The answer seems to be yes and it’s causing problems today for both a radio host in Atlanta and a well-known national political reporter. Read all »

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