“People ask me, ‘What happens when Rush says something very controversial about Obama?’ They say, ‘Well, people are going to tune out,’ [but] no, they’re not. Because he’s talking to his people; they’re not going to tune out at all.”
Premiere, a gold-plated subsidiary of Clear Channel, syndicator Rush, Hannity, and Glenn Beck. And a sterling bevy of others including Randi Rhodes. (Premiere reportedly has first right of refusal on Jesus Christ should He become contractually available as soon as some of their talk hosts claim).
Real ratings and ad revenue info (as so much in radio) are "proprietary," but Premiere allowed that their "... top three talk-radio shows — hosted by Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck — are on pace to see advertising sales increase for those programs by 10% to 40% from last year."
Whither progressive talk? Consultant Holland Cooke adds another piece:
While [Ed] Schultz, [Thom] Hartmann and other liberals are talented and engaging hosts, they face an uphill climb. “The biggest problem is that they’re not on the biggest stations. [Clear Channel] also owns the biggest stations in the most markets,” he said. “So the station where you tend to hear Stephanie Miller and Thom Hartmann tends to be a less-traveled place on the radio dial, 1400 AM as opposed to 600 AM. That hurts.”
(You wouldn't know it from talk radio in Seattle - which is in the ditch - especially KVI and KTTH, who broadcast the aforementioned national talents. Seattle talk programmers are scrambling to change the format to "lifestyle," and sensational crimes, pet atrocities, celebrity dish, sports gossip and whatever YouTube audio that interns can scrounge).
If all that CC says true, (and we've no reason not to believe it about their top three) it shows how thin and shallow this wave of "populism," led by these talented hucksters who are working for these megolithic, profit-harvesting organizations. They have no interest in the well-being of the country.
They actually lose money, if people aren't pissed off.
We shudder at the last year or so as these entertainers took over as mouthpieces of the Republican Party who let them lead them into these nasty, high-decibel, negative, obstructionist stances. These harsh lines will be hard to back away from -- and back away they inevitably must -- if ever they intend to govern or legislate.
(While Clear Channel, may be doing OK - at present - buying up little stations and installing automation and their ownnational syndicated talkers, cookie cutter-style. But local radio has been trashed and the industry is being been starved at the roots. There are few green shoots. The whole damn thing might well tip over when Rush retires, the politics change again, etc. Their business plan is not sustainable).
No matter the deep and abiding problems of the nation, the talking dogs and their corporate masters are vested in things going bad, of government not working, stirring up shit, and keeping it stirred.
Klatt says: “With the tea-party movement and the way those hosts are talking about it,” he elaborated, “I think you’re going to see 85% of the presidential levels.”
“There is a baked-in negativity with the messages of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, which has a fatigue factor.” said Holland Cooke, a consultant to talk stations based in Block Island, R.I. “These people are angry about the status quo, and there’s a relentlessness to it.”
“It’s only negative if you disagree with it,” Klatt answered.