Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Left Talk Radio

(Woodstock, IL)- Being on the road today throughout the Chicagoland area, I've had the radio pegged to 820-AM, WCPT. It bills itself as Chicago's "progressive talk station". It's kind of novel to hear, what with the general absence of liberal talk radio in Central Indiana. A few observations:

It sounds just like conservative talk radio. Being at the Democratic convention yields a cast of hundreds to interview, from Dennis Kucinich onward. The hosts are utterly non-critical of their guests.

The hosts are full of rah-rah for the speakers thus far, but the callers haven't been. They wanted Hilary Clinton to attack John McCain and throw herself at the feet of Obama.

There are some of the same ads ("Facing foreclosure?" and "Credit card debt out of control?") but many others that are rather tailored for a liberal audience. The Teamsters had an ad, and there were ads from left interest non-profits. Conservative radio seems to lack this.

Same general result, though. I can listen for ten minutes before it gets tiresome, and the music is turned on. I repeated the process about 10 times throughout the day. All the same, I wish there was a liberal talk station in Indy. When it comes to dialogue, the more the merrier.
Update: So, I was driving home from Woodstock, and I turned to WCPT again for their coverage. Bill Clinton was giving his speech, when suddenly, at 8:15 local time, the station cut the former President off and announced that their broadcast day was over! With no further ado, they played the national anthem, gave the station's legal ID, and then there was static. I couldn't believe it.


varangianguard said...

You know, from experience I think< that a little pandering is necessary to keep one from talking to one's self, instead of interacting with a variety of potential guests.

For my part, the problems with local "liberal" radio are that there is no one who has the temperament, the connections, or the personality around here to pull it off. That, funding for such an endeavor would be problematic, at best. And, that too many "liberals" have a real problem with, ummm, defensive partisanship.

That combination would be boring, blinkered, and produced on a shoe string.

Chris Hedges said...

Chicago's liberal talk radio has had some troubles with finances in the past.

I find that I am happier if I don't listen to too much talk radio from either side -- it has gotten to be less informative over the years.

Having said that, I do always enjoy listening to Roe Conn on WLS 890 AM. He combines entertainment with some politics and news. It's a lighter touch than most of the political talk shows out there.

Jeffrey Quick said...

Well, that's why it's a liberal talk station. Since radio waves propagate better at night, certain stations must shut down to avoid interfering with others, and those licenses aren't worth as much. Still, having to cut during Clinton is pretty amusing.

Roberta X said...

Indeed. The little AM "coffeepots" run 250 to 1000W and shut down every month at the mdeian sunset time for that month. Some have fleapower "post sunset" and "pre-sunrise" allocations and can stay on, but their coverage is much-reduced.

It's telling that the liberal talk-radio station was one of them -- they are usually very low-cost operations.