take your answer off the air...

  • HorsesAss.Org: the straight poop on WA politics & the press
    progressive brilliance from the guy who pointed out Tim Eyman's nascent horse's-assedness
  • Talker's Magazine
    The quirky talk radio trade mag. Check the Talk Radio Research Project- it's not very scientific, but places on the top 15 talkers list (scroll down to Talk Radio Audiences By Size)) are as hotly contested as Emmys (and mean just about as much).
  • The Advocate
    No, not THAT Advocate... it's the Northwest Progressive Institute's Official Blog.
  • Media Matters
    Documentation of right-wing media in video, audio and text.
  • Orcinus
    home of David Neiwert, freelance investigative journalist and author who writes extensively about far-right hate groups
  • Hominid Views
    "People, politics, science, and whatnot" Darryl is a statistician who fights imperialism with empiricism, gives good links and wry commentary.
  • Jesus' General
    An 11 on the Manly Scale of Absolute Gender, a 12 on the Heavenly Scale of the 10 Commandments and a 6 on the earthly scale of the Immaculately Groomed.
  • Howie in Seattle
    Howie Martin is the Abe Linkin' of progressive Seattle.
  • Streaming Radio Guide
    Hellishly long (5795!) list of radio streaming, steaming on the Internets.
  • The Naked Loon
    News satire -- The Onion in the Seattle petunia patch.
  • Irrational Public Radio
    "informs, challenges, soothes and/or berates, and does so with a pleasing vocal cadence and unmatched enunciation. When you listen to IPR, integrity washes over you like lava, with the pleasing familiarity of a medium-roast coffee and a sensible muffin."
  • The Maddow Blog
    Here's the hyper-interactive La Raych of MSNBC. daily show-vids, freakishly geeky research, and classy graphics.
  • Northwest Broadcasters
    The AM, FM, TV and digital broadcasters of Northwest Washington, USA and Southwest British Columbia, Canada. From Kelso, WA to the northern tip of Vancouver Island, BC - call letters, formats, slogans, networks, technical data, and transmitter maps. Plus "recent" news.
  • News Corpse
    The Internet's chronicle of media decay.
  • The Moderate Voice
    The voice of reason in the age of Obama, and the politics of the far-middle.
  • News Hounds
    Dogged dogging of Fox News by a team who seems to watch every minute of the cable channel so you don't have to.
  • HistoryLink
    Fun to read and free encyclopedia of Washington State history. Founded by the late Walt Crowley, it's an indispensable tool and entertainment source for history wonks and surfers alike.

right-wing blogs we like

  • The Reagan Wing
    Hearin lies the real heart of Washington State Republicans. Doug Parris runs this red-meat social conservative group site which bars no holds when it comes to saying who they are and who they're not; what they believe and what they don't; who their friends are and where the rest of the Republicans can go. Well-written, and flaming.
  • Orbusmax
    inexhaustible Drudgery of NW conservative news
  • The Radio Equalizer
    prolific former Seattle KVI, KIRO talk host speaks authoritatively about radio.
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July 12, 2010



I've seen some other ventures beg customers for money after their product was originally intended to be free, and fail, but LB is pretty smooth about it. I wonder if he didn't learn the tricks of the trade during his time with NPR. Having said that, if he ever becomes "successful", it will be a lot harder to ask for money. The tens will be like "uh, why don't you give us money?" I've learned in business that customers are forgiving of small, struggling businesses, and openly hostile towards big established ones. In order for his "pay what you can" business model to work, he has to always play the underdog and never let on that he's succeeding. I respect that he puts limits on what listeners can give, for fear that a super 10 might really buy into it and give their whole paycheck. That's ethical. Makes me wonder what NPR's policy on absurdly large contributions is.


Good post Andrew!


No traffic checks or news spots means Luke is talking for three hours straight. He's earning his money! This is one I wouldn't have predicted - that he could earn a living on it.

Podcasts are great except who's got time to listen? That's the obstacle for me. And I've tried to return to KUOW for less ranting but it's boring. I keep hearing SNL's NPR parody.


I can listen because I work at a computer, but yeah, even if I have to drive somewhere I can't be bothered to transfer his show to my iphone. To be honest I don't even really know how you're supposed to go about doing that.

Also his show is between 60 and 90 minutes per day. It's no three hours, and it would where pretty thin if it was.

Aldrin B

we’d judge the crowd might have had any average age of 35-40

That sounds right. The show never quite had the youthful sound everyone claimed it was intended to have. Burbank is an older fellow and, when he tries to sound "hip", it comes out as a little tortured. If he's playing to a more middle-aged audience now, though, I can imagine he's finding greater success.

When TBTL was cancelled on KIRO, the podcast was getting 100-200,000 downloads a month. Luke says, “We’ve had a tenfold increase in listenership since we started just doing the podcast.”

This is not true.

I don't mean that I "think" it's not true, I'm stating that - objectively - it is false.

Two million downloads per month means 90,000 or so listeners (2M divided by number of shows).

That would make him, for all intents, one of the singularly most successful podcasts in history. It would mean he was getting 1/3 the numbers of Adam Carolla, who is a celebrity and established national figure, or about 1/3 the number of Rocketboom, which is charging $15K for ads.

The fact is independent auditing of podcast numbers is not really available. He could say he was having 1,000 or a billion downloads and it would be just as realistic in the absence of an audit.

He probably has a nice little audience of loyal listeners and has sketched out a nice little corner niche for himself in the vastness of the web. But let's not do crazy-talk just because he happens to live out here in the provinces with the rest of us ...


Sixty to ninety minutes a day? That's a pretty good gig if you can get it.


TBTL is going to be the subject of a Harvard Business School study before the decade is out. Its relationship to traditional radio is analogous to iTunes :: Tower Records.

The cynics who didn't like the show when it was on KIRO and made fun of Luke for retreating to his basement in his shorts kind of remind me of GM and Ford execs circa 1974, making fun of Toyota and Datsun and dismissing their rivals' customers as eccentric fringe dwellers. Then one day you wake up and the whole dominant paradigm has left you behind. Radio is doing a pretty good job of committing suicide, especially in Seattle, but as more and more content delivery models migrate away from broadcast and cars start coming with those little Sprint USB wifi sticks as standard equipment, it's difficult to see how to resist the shift. The first casualty will be satellite radio, but broadcast is next in the hospice.

In this regard Luke Burbank may be remembered as the Neil Armstrong of this exploratory wave.


While I utilize ITunes, I have to admit, I really miss going to Tower Records near Seattle Center and spending a couple of hours browsing..ITunes is faster, but the atmosphere in that record store was great.


"Listening to Luke Burbank makes me happy." ~~ Bill Radke


joanie, you have to account for the show prep and that fact that he's producing and engineering his show. I don't know how much time he's puting into it, but production values have been better as of late.

TomF, you can't compare a podcast to a radio station. KIRO is a full service radio station operating 24/7. LB has a hard time showing up to work on time and chooses on a whim when to end his show. Not knocking it, just point at that it's apples and oranges.

The best way to envision TBTL scaling to the size of KIRO is imaging a KUOW-like station with nothing but TBTL style shows all day long. Do you think that would work? The correct answer is "no".


" the atmosphere in that record store was great"

I really miss finding bootlegs. You could go to a place like Easy Street Records and find unoffical live DC's of popular bands, demo tracks and other gems. I used to drive all over the region hunting for them and I met lots of independent proprietors in the process. Now you can find all of it on bittorrent. I'm grateful for the access but I miss the hunt.


Wish they'd podcast the news in the morning so I wouldn't have to sit through endless home improvement and Shick Shadel commercials. Any one know what they're doing with the morning news anyway? Is Tony Minor in there for good now?


sparky, go to silver platters, it's in the new old tower space. I find it better than tower was.


Thanks! next time Im up in Seattle, I will try to do that.


I lived on Queen Anne and loved Tower Records but I liked Tower Books better which replaced Tower Records if I recall correctly.

New technology may be efficient but it sure ain't as much fun.

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    pacific nw talk stations

    • KIRO 710ESPN Seattle 710 KHz
      Games and sports-blabber
    • KIROFM 97.3
      Multi-format: news and nearly all local talk. This is where classic KIRO AM news talk radio went... hopefully, not to die. The home of Dave Ross & Luke Burbank, Dori Monson, Ron & Don, Frank Shiers, Bill Radke, Linda Thomas, Tony Miner and George Noory.
    • KUOW FM 94.9
      Seattle's foremost public radio news and talk.
    • KVI am 570 KHz
      Visit the burnt-out husk of one of the seminal right-wing talkers in all the land. Here's where once trilled the reactionary tones of Rush Limbaugh, John Carlson, Kirby Wilbur, Mike Siegel, Peter Weissbach, Floyd Brown, Dinky Donkey, and Bryan Suits. Now it's Top 40 hits from the '60's & '70's aimed at that diminishing crowd who still remembers them and can still hear.
    • KTTH am 770 KHz
      Right wing home of local, and a whole bunch of syndicated righties such as Glennn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Medved, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Lars Larsony, and for an hour a day: live & local David Boze.
    • KPTK am 1090 KHz
      Syndicated liberal talk. Stephanie Miller, Thom Hartmann, Ed Schultz, Randi Rhodes, Norman Goldman fill in the large hole to the left on Northwest radio dial.
    • KLFE AM 1590 kHz
      Syndicated right-wing 2nd stringers like Mark Levin, Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Dennis Miller and Hugh Hewitt inhabit this timid-voiced neighbor honker for your radio enjoyment (unless you're behind something large like Costco).
    • KOMOAM
      News, traffic, Ken Schram and John Carlson.
    • Washington State Radio Stations
      Comprehensive list of every danged AM & FM station on the dial.
    • KKOL am 1300 KHz
      Once a rabid right-wing talker, except for Lou Dobbs, it's all business....