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[cross-posted at Calitics -- any suggestions regarding other CA/San Diego blogs would be welcome]

I've been posting on progressive talk radio a fair amount this year, focusing on the efforts of our Boston group to buy a station as a solid home for progressive talk. Relying on the kindness of Clear Channel and similar media behemoths, as we have discovered, doesn't work.

While we're making good progress (hey, we're progressives, after all), many stations across the country are still dependent on the whims of these media giants.

Now San Diego's KLSD (yup, that's the real name) is in trouble. This is a call to action, not an extensive analysis, so much of the content comes from the website. If I have a chance, I'll update it later. Thanks to and user rougegorge for alerting me.

See also the Yahoo! group:

The key information:

Gather at 7:30 a.m. Monday, August 27th outside of Clear Channel's San Diego’s headquarters: 9660 Granite Ridge Dr., San Diego, CA 92123

The only liberal/progressive broadcast media outlet in San Diego County is about to be shut down.

Clear Channel, who owns KLSD 1360 AM, is in the process of switching the liberal talk format to yet another Sports Talk station. We need our voice in media – and you can help. ...

There will be two gatherings, both outside of Clear Channel’s offices at 9660 Granite Ridge Drive, San Diego, CA 92123 .

The first meeting will be to help organize the big rally. All interested individuals and groups, who are willing to work on this issue, should meet on Saturday, August 25th at 9:00am. At 10:00am we will announce the specific plans for the big rally on Monday.

Will be updated later.

San Diegans, please come to the rescue, and let those of us around the country know how we can help!

UPDATE 1: One thing I wanted to mention is that Madison, WI was able to stave off a threat to its station by rallying behind progressive talk. But no groups have been able to change a station back once it's been flipped. Clear Channel has been very careful to keep news about impending flips secret since the Madison episode. They even flipped the Columbus, OH station a day early because there was a rally scheduled for the day of the flip. Hence the need for quick action.

UPDATE 2: Thanks to William Domingo, here's the website information:

It mentions the "rumor" front and center.

UPDATE 3: Thanks to tface1000 over at, here's a petition:

Tface also has a bunch of posts on his/her blog:

UPDATE 4: Just heard back from the lone San Diegan whom I was able to find on the Daily Kos Frappr map. He said he'd been to the planning meeting.

UPDATE 5: Here's his report on the planning meeting.

I don't know good metrics for this kind of thing, but I was quite impressed with how much has come together in such a short time.  I counted 28 people at one point, and I would say another dozen or so showed up late.  Everyone was on message, everyone eager to help.  A lot of people I recognized from Vets for Peace, DFA, PDA, MoveOn, and other such groups - a lot of regulars.  I'm hoping we see many more, and more than just regulars, at the Monday event, and I'm optimistic on that front.  Everyone's getting out and spreading the word this weekend.

Scott "Scooter" Tempesta stopped by on his way in to his broadcast (The Rant with Scooter) and expressed support - and said we've got support within local management, also that the push for the switch comes from local Sales.  Kate, a researcher (I think) from Jon Elliot's show, also came by with support and literature.

Beyond "Show Up!", I don't think there's much to post about - certainly no secrets to keep or reveal.  I think your diary is all we need; anything I could post would just be Me, Too.  As I'm spreading the word, I'm also pointing to your diary - chiefly the Calitics incarnation, because it's a local issue.

UPDATE 6: Please visit my new diary, with first part of interview with Jon Elliott: Jon Elliott Wants You to Save KLSD. Please leave new comments there rather than here.

Originally posted to AlanF on Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 08:43 AM PDT.


Had you heard of the threat to progressive talk in San Diego?

72%49 votes
27%19 votes

| 68 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Have you spoken to.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cmanaster, AlanF, kestrel9000

    Sheldon & Anita Drobney?  They are the Progressives who originally started AAR, then moved on to start NovaM radio in Phoenix, AZ.  Perhaps they can lend a helping hand in the venue of negotiating w/ the corporate-types to keep it as a liberal station.
    Just a thought.  Good luck in your endeavor and I think that you can change minds towards keeping KLSD as a liberal format if there are enough people and negotiations are done w/ execs.  As with both NovaM and the station in Madison, WI a key effort is proving to execs. that advertising can be found for this type of format.

  •  OK, these are 12+ numbers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AlanF, rougegorge

    which don't mean a whole lot, but you can see the hit:

    KLSD-AM Clear Channel Talk 1.5 - 1.9 - 2.2 - 0.9 - 1.0

    These are the last five books, most recent last.
    Again: 12+ numbers. I'd have to see the actual book to tell you if there's any saving it, but....why the hit? From a 2.2 to a 0.9. , then a gainback of only .1.
    Nevertheless, continue with your effort. It could well be worth it.
    It could cause the format to move to another outlet, much as happened with KPHX/Phoenix. Of course, that wasn't a ratings issue; that was a hostile buyout by a Christian radio group - one of the tactics the right uses to silence progressive talk sticks.
    Didn't work; they moved to another station.

  •  An interesting parallel just occured to me. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AlanF, rougegorge

    I try not to put too much into 12+ numbers, but it's all I could get for free.
    Anyway, the last 5 books.
    Summer 06: Midterm election season.
    Fall 06: We kick ass and take back the Congress.
    Winter 06: The new Democratic Congress is seated. Confidence is high.
    Spring 06: Many if not most of us are beginning to be disappointed in what we're seeing. Cave on the supplemental.
    Summer 06: The angst and "wtf did we elect you for?" thing is really taking hold with a lot of us.
    Look at those numbers again. A gain of .1 is a flatline, for all practical purposes.
    Food for thought.

  •  It's bigger than one station. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AlanF, tface1000, rougegorge

    It doesn't matter how well they do, Clearchannel is going to pull the plug on progressive talk. When progressive talk got going, Clearchannel (and others) started flipping stations because they did better in many markets than even Rush and Billo. Then we kicked butt in the mid-terms. Suddenly stations were being flipped back to other formats. It's all about controlling the message. And the right won't stand for anything that contradicts the BushCo playbook. We lost in Boston, San Diego may also lose. It's happening everywhere.

    "Keep raisin' hell!" - Molly Ivins

    by MA Liberal on Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 09:52:46 AM PDT

  •  I also wanted to say that their web site sucks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It'ss design is horrible. It looks like some right wing web site - too busy, too much going on. Progressives are, pretty much, a more intelligent group. Good design and ability to interact would have gone far. As it is, the web site is a cheap schlock version of what it could be.

    "Keep raisin' hell!" - Molly Ivins

    by MA Liberal on Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 09:55:31 AM PDT

    •  It's also a browser focus hog. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MA Liberal

      When I had it open in a Firefox browser tab, I couldn't select another tab -- I had to close the KLSD tab altogether.

    •  All of the Clear Channel websites (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AlanF, tface1000

      are like this one in San Diego. They are not user friendly, they are not interactive and they are counter intuitive. One has to search for ways to find information.

      As we have learned in Boston, CC puts as little as possible into each station in all ways including internet presence. They put the progressive stations on all of their weakest signals. In most cases, these stations hardly ever have shown up in the ratings until they were progressive talk. Because the audience is so loyal, much of the audience has been willing to battle the weak (almost non-existant) signals.  San Diego has been lucky to have 2 local hosts.

      San Diego has a much better shot at keeping their progressive station on the air than other stations that have flipped (as Alan alluded to earlier) for several reasons...

      First, it has not yet gone off the air. In addition, the new personnel @ AAR is
      much more industry savvy and connected than when our Boston station got cancelled (in Dec 06). They are in a better position to negotiate with Clear Channel.

      Plus there are strong local hosts with national followings willing to speak out on the air. (Elliot, Taylor, Scooter)

      We faced many drawbacks. No one knew about the cancellation of our station until a couple of days before it went off the air, and it was never confirmed (it was all rumors). It was over the xmas holidays (Dec 21) so many listeners had no idea it was happening and it was impossible to get the word out. Most of the national hosts were out for theholidays and the programming was all "best ofs" and most of the audience was away.

      One of the other problems we have faced is that most of the national hosts like Randi Rhodes, Thom Hartmann, Ed Schultz & Stephanie Miller were given orders from above (from both CC & AAR who have a tenuous dependent relationship w/CC, as well as Jones Network) not to talk about stations going off the air while they were on theair. Reasons given were that it was too damaging and would further the idea that progressive talk was
      failing, alienating their advertisers. I was told as much by various personnel at their stations.  

      Each station's personnel were/are direct CC employees so
      feared for their jobs. And even though the hosts might not be CC employees directly, they rely on CC for  dyndication on other stations. None of the hosts except Sam Seder would let anyone from our group get on the air (I feel that his willingness to be vocal has unfairly, unfortuantely cost him).

      The folks in Columbus faced the same problem. They had a rally that was going to be broadcast out over the air on Stephanie's show and instead, CC pulled the plug on the station a day early right before the rally so it couldn't be aired nationally.

      This same fight is one that is happening all over the country. One of the hopes of our group is that at some point we can form a national group to address these issues. For the time being, we need to concentrate on our local situations first.

      Ultimately, though, progressives are going to need to INVEST IN OUR OWN INFRASTRUCTURE. We cannot depend on the kindness of Clear Channel and their ilk forever!

  •  Surely There Must Be A Progressive Investor (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    willing to establish a progressive radio station.  Why are there no entreprenuers that are progressives when it come to radio stations?  There is something wrong.

  •  Why Do Progressives Have To Beg For A Radio (0+ / 0-)

    station? In particular begging Clear Channel.  You know Clear Channel censoring The Dixie Chicks because they are a monopoly.

    •  Briefly (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cmanaster, diana04, rougegorge

      (1) Due to media consolidation following the 1996 Telecommunications Act, most stations are in the hands of very few companies.
      (2) Due in large part to (1), all stations are expensive, especially in major markets. So even the ones that don't belong to big companies are hard to buy.
      (3) Before 2003, progressives didn't think they could break into talk radio.
      (4) In 2003 and 2004, Air America Radio had to act very fast in order to get people (e.g., Al Franken) on board. As a result, they had to be beggars, not choosers, when it came to the stations they got to carry their lineup.
      (5) It's human nature for people not to want to support a cause unless they see other people supporting it first.

      •  if anyone heard George Soros on Ring of Fire last (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        weekend, you will see what progressives are up against. Bobby Kennedy, Jr. tried to talk to Soros about the media issue somewhat unsuccessfully. Although Soros was willing to concede that there is too much conglomeration, he sees radio and media as a business first. I got the idea that he is too busy protecting his own "freedom" to make money, ie: his corporate bias.

        Soros feels that progressives will use the internet and search for the information they need. He doesn't understand that it is the rest of the country that we need to reach, and that the media and especially the message is being manipulated by a few large conglomerated protecting their own interests. Other investors don't understand lack of access either. Most of them have no trouble with access to media, politicians, etc.

        It is truly disappointing, but it is why we all must work hard to convince people like Soros that they are wrong!

        •  Good analysis. (0+ / 0-)

          I didn't hear the interview, but Soros's unwillingness to support progressive talk has always puzzled me. But you're right -- the wealthy, no matter whether they consider themselves progressives, live in a world that's different from everyone else's. They need someone to gently bring them back to reality.

  •  KLSD (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AlanF, rougegorge

    It's always good to put the station's website up.

    And you can download podcasts from the "features" menu.

    Bush's post-9/11 counter-terrorism defense policy -- strike hard where they aren't and go easy where they are.

    by William Domingo on Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 10:37:53 AM PDT

  •  Time is short! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If any of you folks have contact with any university or college activists, to  Dems or Greens or Independents in the San Diego area, please send them the information about the Monday rally.

    We need as many folks as we can get to show up Monday and express their concern!

    Thank you much.

  •  My email to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AlanF, rougegorge

    After signing the Petition, I sent an email to the station, at the address I found here:
    ( ).

    Here's the text of the email:

    I live in Columbus Ohio, but I stream KLSD online.  

    We lost the Progressive Talk format in Columbus and in Cincinnati and Akron, all Clear Channel stations, over the course of the past year.  The formats that replaced Progressive Talk have placed all three of these stations (WYTS, WARF, and WSAI) at the bottom of the Arbitron rankings.  But the Station Managers have not flipped the formats back to the more popular Progressive format.

    Station Management's reluctance to return to Progressive Talk, and the lack of Marketing and Sales efforts while the Progressive Talk format was being aired, leads intelligent observers to conclude that Management is using a political reason - not a business reason - to drop the format.

    Please keep in mind that appealing to the failed NeoCon pro-business politicians will soon be pointless, because Democrats will have full control of the Congress and the Presidency.  The people that politically-minded Station Managers should be appealing to - at this time - are the Democrats.  Taking the only voice of the Democrats off the air in San Diego is not, in my opinion, a smart political move.

    Best regards,
    Russ Childers
    Chairman, Ohio Majority Radio

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