Comment in a radio-trade message board: KIRO has one thing in common with their older audience. Both could scream "Help, I've fallen and I can't get back up."
We get lots of letters from radio-folk who'd rather remain
nameless...Is it retaliation they fear, or just that broadcasting is
so secretive and allergic to scrutiny and criticism, that, like wombats
and philanderers, they best function in the dark?
(Having functioned as both wombats and philanders, we'll be leading a panel on this topic at the 1st Annual BlatherWatch Talk Radio Critics Convention in Orlando next year).
Monday's post on Seattle talk radio Spring ratings generated more than usual of these whisperings, con-knivings, and stack-babbings.
Many of our readers suspected something was going on over at KIRO and KTTH since so many regular jocks have been out this week--like Dave Ross, Dori Monson, Lou Pate, Tony Ventrella, Mike Siegel.
We doubt this is anything more than vacation time, although we're beginning to worry about Siegel, there are rumors that he's eloped while in France, and may never come back to face the music and will spend the rest of his life drinking Perrier and eating French fries out of French envelopes. The rumorists insist that the phone calls Siegel makes to the show are actually pieced together from old nose-job commercials he made years ago.
Several people think Michael Medved's dithering explains Rush Limbaugh's drop from 3rd place to 18th in the 10a-3p slot they share on KTTH.
We'd really love to see Butter Barn fall on his pasty, drug-mottled face, but we're realistic enough to suspect that it's The Cultural Crusader who's not performing.
We reported a few months ago that the articulate neocon might go to Salem's KKOL (Medved's a Salem talent) when it goes to 50k watts. We were lectured by his snappish producer about rumor-mongering, though we were pretty sure from sources that there had been serious discussion. KKOL (1300 KHz) might look pretty good to Medved now that KTTH is in the toilet, but with these numbers, will they want him?
This is academic, anyway--Salem's Dennis Siopora told us last week they probably wouldn't be ready to pump it up on KKOL until the 1st or 2nd quarter of next year.
(Is it just us, or does anyone else think KKOL has rather unfortunate k-k-kall letters for a right wing station?)
Despite how smart his show is, Medved has never become a big player in national syndication. The talk radio audience seems to prefer a smarmy liar like Hannity--(who had a knee-up--ABC bought his way onto talk radio) or a raffish bomb-thrower like Savage--both of whom entered the biz later than Medved and passed him by.
Another reader says KVI's high evening ratings are due to Coast To Coast AM with George Noory, the Art Bell surrogate, not Bryan Suits. "Noory," he says, "gets huge ratings every time."
Everybody has an idea for what to do with the husks of KIRO/KTTH which now lie moldering in the ratings swamps collecting rainwater and breeding mosquitoes. The most interesting one is this, from "Old Radio Guy."
When I first heard about this plan B a year ago, I laughed, thinking they would never do it. Now I think they have no choice: that is, abandon KTTH, move Rush to KIRO and leave Dori and Dave where they are now.
Why? Simple--they would have one stronger station rather than two dead ones. In terms of revenues, having Rush's ratings in there gives it a major boost. They would still need to blow up nights and weekends on KIRO, but that's not a big deal.
(Maybe not to you, there ORG--you still have a job, but night and weekend folks have to eat, too--and crow or humble pie doesn't stick to the ribs. And these egos would turn up their noses at such entrees as those. Besides, Webb has Lexus payments, Erin Hart has a new baby, and Frank Shiers needs to retire).
ORG says: "It's no longer absurd to think this will happen, I'd put the odds at 50%."
Got any dish from the white underbelly of talk radio? You're not alone--drop us a line at blatherWatchemail@example.com. Discretion, of course.
COMING SOON: the sad, infuriating state of liberal talk's KPTK.