Friday, November 25, 2005

Talk Radio Wars



Yesterday, while I was getting ready for the festivities, I watched the HBO documentary Left of the Dial (See what I endure for research!)

It's about the start up of Air America and the first couple of months they were on the air. Each of the new hosts (Al Franken, Janeane Garofalo, and specifically Randi Rhodes) made huge claims of how they would immediately dominate talk radio because there was such a void for what they were about to do. They referred to conservative talk radio as "Satanic" at fundraisers. They got perks conservative talk never got...front page on New York Magazine, tons of write ups in the NYT and the Washington Post and tons of press on TV news. Their major targets were Rush, Sean and Savage.

The documentary can actually be enjoyed by those on the "right of the dial" as the AA journey takes you right through the November '04 election. You get to witness the elation that morning -the smug confidence that it was going to be President elect Kerry....then the shock, the deflation and the depression. It's quite rewarding after having sat through all the delusions of grandeur in the beginning.

Anyway, I decided to look at the numbers. To see if Air America is ahead in any markets. They aren't even in Philly (which is a pretty big market). I began with all the big, strongly Democratic cities using the information on Arbitron's rating web site:

____________Air America_____________________Conservative Talk

Boston, MA..........0.2.................................................3.9
Detroit, MI (was 0.4 during summer now too small to register)...........5.2
Miami, FL...........1.5.................................................2.8
NY, NY..............1.2.................................................9.6
San Fran, CA........1.2.................................................3.0
Seattle, WA.........2.0.................................................2.3
Los Angeles, CA.....0.9.................................................4.0

Wow. Looking pretty bad for AA, but then i thought maybe I was doing this the wrong way. Maybe Air America would be more popular in the really RED states/cities because those Dems would be isolated and looking for an outlet.

Rochester, NY.......1.4.................................................9.6
Memphis, TN.........0.5.................................................3.7
San Antonio, TX..(was 0.7 now too small to register)....................4.6

Ok, so I was wrong. They are just completely bombing everywhere.

There was one thing that I noticed while going through the websites of all the various hosts though...the leftwing talk hosts all have TONS of blogs linked on their sites. The right wing sites don't. Well, except for Michael Smerconish who has a few and Hugh Hewitt (but he's a Blogger himself). What's up with that?

p.s. Speaking of Hugh Hewitt...he has a Straw Poll for the '08 Presidential race up on his site. Fred Thompson is a fantasy candidate.

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