I don't know about you but the news of Current TVs sale to Al-Jazeera has knocked me for a loop and I've been trying to get information about it.
It's not that I don't like Al-Jazeera, I do, so very much so that I was working on a proposal for legislation to send to my senators. While this news doesn't do anything to that except knock Current out of the mix, it looks like it's taking out a progressive voice.
Since the 2012 elections we are, once again, losing progressive talk radio stations around the country (funny how that happens. Just like in 2008, we win and then lose talk radio stations). While that may not seem like such a big deal it means that we are losing our footprint in a media form not only rife with conservative talkers but accessible to everyone for only the price of a radio.
Yes, you could use the iheartradio app on your cellphone (essentially making it an old time transistor radio) and I do use it. But it means that to access it, not only does one have to pay a higher price, than just a radio, for a smart phone, but also a monthly fee to the cell company. Like wise. streaming through the computer or satellite. Progressive thinking and perspective is losing access to the masses.
Okay so what does that have to do with Current which for most is a premium channel and hard fought by viewers for access? Because many were just discovering progressive talk media (ie. the Bill Press Show and the Stephanie Miller Show) on Current's morning line up.
And their numbers were increasing.
Al-Jazeera, owned by the government of Qatar, plans to gradually transform Current into a new channel called Al-Jazeera America by adding five to 10 new U.S. bureaus beyond the five it has now and hiring more journalists.Okay what the hell does that mean? Does a "mensa meeting with fart jokes" fit into the transformation? Does Joy Behar?
- USA Today
Then came this from Rocky Mountain Mike (he does the wonderful parody songs on the Stephanie Miller Show)
When the news broke, I jumped into my typical mode of making jokes, not realizing how this sale was going to affect Stephanie, Jim, Chris and Travis. I especially didn't think about how it would affect Jacki [Schechner]and John [Fugelsang], since they have the most to lose in this deal. In my haste to make light of the news (and in my ignorance that John would be losing his TV show), I made comments that were grossly insensitive.John just got his show "So That Happened" October 5, 2012.
And just who is Jacki?
In June 2008, she [Jacki Schechner] became the National Communications Director for Health Care for America Now – the nation’s largest health care reform campaign. In that capacity, Jacki spearheaded communications for a coalition of more than 1100 organizations with field operations in 46 states.She's also the "go to" person on the Stephanie Miller Show for any news. clarifications. and questions about health care, health insurance and the ACA.
Jacki’s now back on TV doing live political news updates for Talking Liberally with Stephanie Miller on Current weekday mornings from 9am to 1pm ET and contributing to political coverage elsewhere on the Current network.
And she, with this news, will clearly be out of a job.
For me all this news does is change my morning routine. I will no longer have Current on for 3+ hours in the morning. I can get my much needed Stephanie Miller fix in other ways (needed because I need the laughter she, Chris and Jim provide during the winter months to help keep me from falling into depression).
But I watch the other shows too. When Jennifer Granholm was on opposite Rachel Maddow it was a constant flip back and forth. Joy, I tivo.
Our footprint in audio media is already getting smaller... this makes it smaller in the audio/visual media. And now, even before the changes take place Time Warner Cable is already blacking out Current TV. This is not a good thing in the whole.
I can do nothing but wait for more information on how this will shake out. But right now, I'm not liking it one bit.
(Stephanie Miller and Bill Press still have their shows on radio. The Stephanie Miller Show never gave up it's Ustream account and will probably go back there. Though my opinion of Ustream for this is not high.)