The first success in the fight to keep progressive talk radio was the saving of 92.1 (“The Mic”) in Madison, WI. Fearless, organized effort on the part of listeners and advertisers saved a station that, though it was number two in its market, had been placed on the chopping block for alleged “business reasons.” (For more details, see the diary by MikeB or the documentary film.) Elsewhere in the country, listeners have not had the same immediate success. If you look at the dKosopedia [[Progressive radio stations]] page (which is updated periodically by myself and others), you’ll see the words “threatened” and “flipped” far too often. But you’ll also see websites and listservs of organizations that are fighting to take back the airwaves.
In Boston, tireless (and sleepless) Daily Kos member rougegorge founded a group in the wee hours just before the lights went out in Boston. Within hours, the Yahoo! listserv had 50 members. A website appeared in short order. Since then, we’ve been meeting, negotiating, writing letters, and otherwise working our way back onto the air. Our efforts are paying off. Sheldon and Anita Drobny, the founders of the network that became Air America Radio, are considering acquiring a Boston-area station as part of their Nova M Network, which is celebrating its first birthday in Phoenix as we speak. We will be holding an event from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, April 26 to welcome them to Boston and overwhelm them with our enthusiasm. The venue will be Jimmy Tingle’s Off-Broadway Theater. Progressive comedian Jimmy Tingle’s brief routines and advertisements, delivered in a thick and chewy Boston accent, were among the highlights of the old station. For more information, or to RSVP (and space IS limited!) see http://www.bostonprogressivetalk.net.
We’re also working to address the big-picture problem of media consolidation. How did we get into the sorry mess where listeners in true-blue Democratic Boston starve for a single progressive station while ten stations fight over the audience for Rush Limbaugh? Well, the FCC, which is supposed to be guarding the public interest, has been asleep on the job. See David Brock’s The Republican Noise Machine: Right-Wing Media and How It Corrupts Democracy. Or visit StopBigMedia.com, a project of FreePress.net. See also NonStopRadio.com, home central for the organizations fighting to bring back progressive radio.
Well, that’s the broadcast for today. Hope you can join us in 11 days in Boston! I’ll be back tomorrow with my editorial, so please tune in!