[UPDATE 12/21/11: Confirmation that Clear Channel will keep most of its progressive programming on the AM airwaves in San Francisco --- though with some bizarre changes --- is now detailed here...]
The only progressive AM talk radio station, Green960, in one of the nation's most progressive cities, San Francisco, may be allowed to stay on the public airwaves after all in the 2012 Presidential Election year!
Last week we detailed corporate radio giant Clear Channel's plans to remove Green960 (call letters KKGN) from the AM dial and send it to the radio ghetto otherwise known as "HD2," a band that requires a special receiver that very few people actually own. Adding insult to injury, the 960 spot on the AM dial would be replaced with Glenn Beck and other Rightwing talkers from Clear Channel's "conservative" talk station "Fox News Radio KNEW" which is currently on 910, but would move to the 960 frequency.
In the 910 slot, Clear Channel had planned to launch a new talk station, which would also include some Fox talkers, branded as "San Francisco's Talk 910 KKSF."
If plans move ahead as previously announced, the end result would be that --- except for progressive talker Randi Rhodes, who is syndicated by Clear Channel's syndication arm Premier Broadcasting and who would be allowed to keep her live Noon-3p PT slot on both the new KNEW 960, as well as the "HD2" schedule where the current Green960 line-up would be sent to --- there would be no progressive AM talk station on the air in San Francisco.
The entire shuffle was set to occur at the beginning of the 2012 Presidential Election year on January 3rd, a move that had raised at least a few eyebrows, as Clear Channel is now owned by the Mitt Romney-founded venture capital firm, Bain Capital LLC.
Well, now that entire plan, according to one industry website and several insider sources I've spoken to today, may be on hold and Green960's popular line-up of progressive talkers like Rhodes, Stephanie Miller, Thom Hartmann, Norman Goldman, Mike Malloy (for whom I am a regular guest-host, including on tonight's show), and others may be allowed to stay on the AM air after all!...
Radio industry website All Access is reporting today that they've learned that "several of the shows scheduled to be dropped" from 960 have now been "uncanceled."
They go on to report that "several sources" tell them that "Clear Channel has changed its mind and will keep KKGN (Green960) intact."
They cite the major shake-up at San Francisco's long-time local talk station KGO, announced just days after Clear Channel's announcement last week, as the likely reason for the reported change of plans at Green960. We detailed some of KGO's plans for a new format --- a move described by radio news outlet Talkers Magazine as a "San Francisco Earthquake!" --- in our article last week as well. The changes at KGO entailed laying off the bulk of the station's stable of long-time talk show hosts --- several of whom were much beloved regulars on the station for decades --- to replace the bulk of the schedule with a less expensive all-news format. Those changes have already occurred at KGO as of this week.
While I've yet to get get a hard confirm of Clear Channel's reported plan to "uncancel" Green960 in San Francisco, insider sources I've spoken to indicate that All Access' report may, in fact, be correct and commercial progressive talk radio may stay on the air in the Bay Area after all.
Apologies for not being able to offer more specific details on those conversations with insiders at this time. While I can't confirm that Clear Channel has changed it's plans, I can confirm that some of the changes, previously in the works for the Jan 3 format change, are, for the moment, at least in a temporary holding pattern.
As mentioned above, I'll be guest hosting for Mike Malloy, live from 6p-9p PT/9p-Mid ET tonight, and if I'm able to learn anything more by showtime, I'll be happy to both share what I know there, as well as update this item with more information.
Please tune in tonight if you can! The Mike Malloy Show is heard live on air affiliates around the nation as well as SiriusXM ch. 127. As usual, we will have links to live Internet streams right here (including Green960's!) at The BRAD BLOG this evening, in the event that you're not lucky enough to have a progressive station in your town, much less one that carries Malloy live.
As usual, we'll also have a live Chat Room right here during tonight's "BradCast"!
UPDATE 12/21/11: Clear Channel confirmed their new plan to reverse their previous one, with some odd changes --- including the addition of Glenn Beck(!) --- to the Green960 line-up at the same time. Full details now here...