Q: So I turned on my radio, which is tuned to KPOJ, and instead of Carl in the Morning I have this Fox Sports bullshit. What the fuck?
A: Yes, I thought you might wonder about that. What happened is that KPOJ changed its format from Liberal Talk to Sport Talk at about 6PM Friday night (Nov. 9th). No more Carl Wolfson, no more Ed Schultz, no more Thom Hartmann, no more Randi Rhodes, and so on.
More Q&A over the fold!
Q: This must be some kind of outlandish conspiracy to silence liberal voices!!!
A: So, to my mind, the answer to this is "it wouldn't surprise me." KPOJ management claims that the station had bad ratings, but that's hardly surprising considering the lack of promotional effort in recent years. And, the conventional wisdom in the radio world is that political talk is a toxic format and that conservative or progressive listeners aren't as valuable as alumni or sports fan listeners....but you can still get Glenn Beck in this town.
Nonetheless, an equally likely hypothesis is that they really wanted to turn KPOJ into the voice of Oregon State University football. OSU isn't the powerhouse that Oregon is, but they have a lot of rabid alums, and those rabid alums are a prime target for advertising dollars. They're also not likely to abide political talk of any stripe.
My best guess? They wanted Oregon State fans AND to kill off the progressive talk experiment, and decided to kill two birds with one stone. They timed it to occur after the election thinking it would add insult to injury, and after Romney lost they shrugged and went ahead anyway.
Q: So what can we do about it?
A: There's a petition drive to restore the progressive format and give Carl his job back; it has a few hundred signatures. I've signed it myself. Nonetheless, my best guess is that the petition will be ignored by Clear Channel.
A better move might be to lobby the owners of AM 910 to change their format to liberal talk. Right now that station is just a feed of KNRK. That station's been flailing around for the better part of a decade, and it's possible that the owners might consider a move to progressive talk as a step up from the current format for 910. There's no organized lobbying effort underway yet, as far as I know.
Q: What do I listen to in the meantime?
A: Whatever the hell you want. Clear Channel's decision indubitably leaves Portland worse off, but there's still conservative talk, sports talk, and boring music. Personally I've changed my preset to AM 750 because they carry Ducks football. Randi Rhodes and Ed Schultz are available via podcast. Pandora offers streaming music so that you can get hard rock in a town with no hard rock station. There's still public broadcasting.
Last and IMO least, you can keep listening to KPOJ - you know, Fox Sports. Yeah, right.