Paul Allen is selling off a couple of radio stations in Portland. From The Oregonian:
Paul Allen is selling his two Portland radio stations to a group led by former radio mogul Larry Wilson, who aims to make a fresh start in the business he left eight years ago.
The stations are talk-radio’s KXL (AM 750) and all-sports KXTG (“The Game,” 95.5 FM). They are among Oregon’s best-known broadcasters by virtue of their association with outspoken radio personalities and popular sports teams, including the Portland Trail Blazers. Wilson said Monday that he plans to maintain the format of each, and in conjunction with the sale signed an agreement to carry Blazers games for eight more years.
So just for the record, according to KXL’s web site, their “outspoken radio personalities” include Lars Larson, Glenn Beck and Michael Savage. There’s an ad for a t-shirt on Savage’s site that says “I’d rather be water-boarding.” Cute.
Larson is headlining an event called “Talkfest 5: Censorship,” which is billed as a discussion of “government censorship on the radio airwaves.” According to the KXL site, it’s sponsored by George Morlan Plumbing, IRA Advantage, Office Furniture Direct, Coors Light, Pilsner Urquell, Broadway Cigars, & Americans For Prosperity. That last one is yet another front group in the stink-tank pantheon, big surprise. I suppose they’ll get together and scream about how the Obama administration is going to shut them down, when declining ad revenues and a changing zeitgeist are their real enemy.
So hey, Paul Allen can buy and sell most things on the planet, that’s nothing new, and it’s not clear what his motivation is for selling the stations. Maybe he had a fit of conscience, or maybe it’s just routine business, as Allen’s spokesman David Postman implies in the Oregonian article.
What is clear is that Allen has had ownership of a station that disseminates the worst kind of paranoid right wing balderdash, which is his Constitutional right. But it sure doesn’t make me inclined to buy Blazers tickets, that’s for sure. The always fascinating and aggravating part of hate radio was that eventually some guy in a suit would say something like “It’s just a business,” as if the only possible niche market is conservative wingnuttery, and as if “business concerns” trump all moral and ethical responsibility for the product one puts out.
So thanks, Paul Allen, for all the years of Lars Larson and his brain-damaging stunts about Christmas trees and the “War on Christmas,” and especially thanks for mega-nuts Glenn Beck and Michael Savage. Rich folks don’t have to endure living in the regular world where actual morons believe the things they are told on stations like KXL, but the rest of us do. Instead of making the world a tiny bit better, you’ve made it just a little meaner and uglier.