Here’s an interestin…
Here’s an interesting take on the Fairness Doctrine; having two sister radio stations split, with one station continuing the conservative talk (including Rush Limbaugh) while the other picks up the Air America slate of programs. In “nuclear-free” Santa Cruz, CA, that’s what happened on July 18th. Since then…well, I’ll let station owner Michael Zwerling lay it on the line.

Since programming content for local AM sister stations 1080 KSCO and 1430 KOMY made the great political split July 18, the liberal arm has been slow to hook advertisers.

It’s so slow, station owner Michael Zwerling went on the air recently with an ad of his own threatening the future of progressive shows on KOMY.

“For liberal programming to continue … you need to support it,” his ad said.

Zwerling said his ad was designed to “get in people’s face” and remind listeners that radio is a commercial business, and if ad space is available, they need to know about it.

“You can’t be coy in this business,” said Zwerling, who shifted his personal politics right of center in the 1970s when faced with the burdens of government bureaucracy while building a house in Santa Cruz. “You have to spell it out, especially in Santa Cruz where everybody thinks they deserve everything.”

KOMY, the new home to the Air America network featuring Al Franken and Randi Rhodes, lags in advertising appeal, Zwerling said, especially compared with Rush Limbaugh, who has ruled the KSCO airwaves for more than a decade blasting conservative tirades.

Air America execs, by the way, refused to share a station with Michael Savage, which is why Zwerling split the sister stations. So since that time, how has the advertising been coming in?

Since Air America debuted on KOMY, the station has been praised by listeners writing and calling with appreciation, but not a single business has stepped up to buy air time specifically during Air America’s slot.

On the other hand, Limbaugh’s show — with an estimated 5,000 local listeners per quarter hour — is mostly sold out, station General Manager Michael Olson said.

To be fair, AA’s short time on the air may be part of the problem; businesses often plan ad campaigns months in advance. Nonetheless, the plan for bringing in AA has no doubt been in the works longer than that, and no doubt the station had been trying to line up advertisers long before throwing the switch; that’s just good business preparation.

And still they can hardly give away ad time on a liberal radio station in a liberal city. Amazing

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