Tune in to AM-1090 this morning between 9am and noon, to listen to me on the Al Franken Show. (I’ll be the guy in the audience laughing and applauding.) Yup, I’m off to Town Hall for the live recording, so if there’s any breaking news today, look for it elsewhere.
I’ll post later today with a report on the show. Also coming up… my analysis of the transcript of Judge Bridges’ rulings from last week’s hearing. (Hint: it don’t look so good for Dino.)
I’m not gonna provide a play-by-play of the Al Franken Show today, because if you really cared you would have actually listened to it. Besides, Andrew over at NW Progressive Blog does a pretty good job of covering the day’s events; he even got a one-on-one interview with Al, as did Michael Hood of the excellent blog blatherWatch.
The show, as always, was funny and informative… and all three local guests, Rep. Jay Inslee, KC Executive Ron Sims, and Stranger Editor-in-Chief Dan Savage gave wonderful performances, each playing well off of Al and Katherine in their own distinct way. Perhaps the best line of the day was when Al asked Ron “Which is harder… being black or being gay?” Ron wouldn’t bite, and Al provided the punchline: “Being gay… because you don’t have to tell your parents that you are black.”
(By the way, at times like this, when you see what a great speaker Ron Sims is — passionate, comfortable, articulate, even funny — it makes it hard to believe that the Republicans can challenge him with such a dour, stick-in-the-mud like David Irons.)
I have one observation. Sitting in that sold-out auditorium, watching the enthusiasm of the audience, it’s hard to believe that anyone doubted there was a market for liberal talk radio. Sure, NPR draws away a large portion of our listening time, because… well… we just enjoy the kind of in-depth news coverage and intelligent conversation you can only get on NPR. (Plus, we hate commercials.) But there was definitely pent up demand for something like Air America to battle the entrenched right-wing talkers.
The righties have been predicting Air America’s imminent demise since the day it was launched a little more than a year ago, with only four stations. Today it added its 57th station. It is now broadcasting in all of the top ten media markets, and reaches nearly 60% of American households. And if anybody doubts this is a bankable format, tell that to media giant Clear Channel Communications, which now accounts for nearly half of Air America’s affiliates.
In Seattle, KPTK-1090 made respectable gains in the last ratings period, and is now planning local programming in the mornings and on the weekends. (Hmmm… I wouldn’t mind one of those gigs.) While its future is far from certain, and subject to the whims of owner Infinity, KPTK could very well become a permanent fixture on the local radio dial, finally putting liberals on an equal media footing with the propagandists at KVI.
There has been some discussion in the thread concerning Air America’s ratings. While the righties are free to soothe themselves with misleading analysis and reporting from right-wing blogs, as Clear Channel is demonstrating, the market believes the format is a success. KPTK-1090 Program Director Jim Trapp P-I some hard numbers:
Trapp says the station’s audience is around 85,900 and has almost doubled since it switched from country music to liberal talk radio. The bulk of its daytime listeners spend seven hours per week listening to KPTK, making it one of the top stations in the area by that measure.