5 ways to rescue liberal talk radio (but it won’t be easy) [View all]
By MACKENZIE WEINGER | 11/28/13 6:04 AM EST
Progressive talk radio needs a savior.
Just a few dozen stations now carry liberal talkers, as key affiliates in cities with active left-wing politics are falling like dominoes, going dark or switching formats. Detroit’s progressive outlet shut down in January, along with Seattle’s liberal talk station, which changed to sports. And after last year’s election, Portland’s progressive talk station ended its political programming.
With the political battlegrounds of 2014 and 2016 on the horizon, reducing the whopping imbalance between conservative radio, with its huge fan base, and the left has become more important than ever, according to those in the progressive media world.
POLITICO spoke with a dozen radio talkers, media observers and industry insiders to get their take on how the troubled medium of progressive political talk can be saved — but it’s not going to be easy.
1. Don’t be a shill for the Democratic Party
If progressive radio really wants to get on the map, its hosts would do well to remember that one of the reasons the liberal talk radio network Air America flopped was that they “forgot they were in the radio business, not in the get my candidate elected business,” said Al Peterson, publisher and editor of talk radio trade NTS MediaOnline Today.