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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October 13, 2010



I've decided that I prefer commercial radio. Commercial radio is true to the free market. Commercial radio doesn't put a guilt trip on me, or give me a show, then rip it from my hands, and say they'll give it back just as soon as they reach their goal, just as soon as I pay up.

Commercial radio feels free to express any and every opinion. It prmotes confrontation. It's dynamic, ever changing, interesting. It cares about what I want.

Beg-for-funding radio pretends it's impartial while maintaining a strong liberal bias. It goes out of it's way to avoid offending anyone, even when covering the least controversial subject of the day. They always speak in hushed tones, muting human emotion and white-washing our colorful flaws in favor of a sanitized, pseudo progressive, sterile chronicling of the liberal zeitgeist. It's not for me.


Victory for the KRKO towers http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20101013/NEWS01/710139804


I'm as capable of ridiculing KUOW as anyone (check out Irrational Public Radio in the BW links - it's hilarious). But Andrew - seriously - if six minute commercial stop sets doesn't constitute "give me a show, then rip it from my hands, and say they'll give it back just as soon as they reach their goal," I don't know what does. And that's 24/7/365. At least with KUOW you can just go away for a week or so until it's over. On KIRO, a week never passes by where I'm not reminded every few minutes that mortgage rates have never been lower.

Pledge drives suck, but given a choice between that or Dori selling Gutter Helmets, I...um...well...

iPod. Yep.


The thing about commercial radio spots is that they are evenly spaced and consistant, and you get so used to hearing the same ads that they become white noise very quickly. Pledge drives are abrupt, jarring and completely depriving. During that pledge week, you get virtualy no real radio at all.

And you didn't address the freedom of expression angle. When I listen to commercial talk radio there's a sense that you don't know what they're going to say next, it could be something wild and controversial. Granted, they want to get people worked up so they'll stay tuned in, but when you listen to NPR you can be assured that everyone will sound like they're shot full of ritalin, nobody's toes will be stepped on, and if anything exciting happens, it will most assuredly be of an acedemic nature.

Same situation with the news. Commercial radio news will report all sorts of things, celebrities, freakshows, rubbernecky sort of stuff. NPR will also report things that are of little relevance to my life, but it will be happenings in the Congo, or Hungary, or Kosovo. As long as I'm forced to listen to something that matters little to me, I might as well get a good laugh out of it.

Also some unsolicted free advice about your website http://www.irrationalpublicradio.com/episodeguide.html should be the first page anyone sees, and order it newest to oldest. Your navigation links are images, everyone assumes they are banner ads nowadays. Also stick with one font throughout.


xm maybe the best way to provide interesting content


XM is a dying proposition, overtaken by ubiquitous web-streamed content. A fate that may also sink terrestrial radio BTW.

KUOW is the raw vegetable platter of our information menu. We know we're supposed to like it, it's good for us, and a lot of us claim to consume it. But in fact it's not very appetizing, relentlessly bland, and a chore to eat.

I hate the imputation of guilt for listeners who don't send checks -- I wish they would just play some damn commercials instead. I really don't like that KUOW assumes its audience is of a lockstep progressive mindset - it's exclusionary. And it's aggressively, proactively boring, as if being interesting, funny or provocative is against their charter.

In the end, Seattle progressivism is brittle, intolerant, hypersensitive, and dull, and KUOW reflects its mien perfectly.


Don't write off XM/Sirius. Unlike commercial radio, or NPR, or free podcasts, it's listeners provide the companies with a constant stream of revenue, revenue which can fund a level of quality and access the others can't match. XM/Sirus subscribers currently enjoy Howard Stern, audio streams of CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, the Fox News channels, and uncensored comedy among other things. That might not knock your socks off, but you have to appreciate what can potentialy be offerred to listeners of subscription radio. And at the moment podcasts are low revenue operations and frequently lack professionalism that listeners of traditional radio have come to expect.


XM/Sirius needs to adjust their billing structure. One can actually negotiate with them on the monthly charge and many are not paying full price. I suspect they may be hurting?


Yeah, they're hurting for money, but even successful companies will negotiate on price if they believe a customer is on the verge of cancelling a service. I've had this happen with cellphone providers and similar services. They're counting on the fact that most customers have the moral character to not fein financial distress or disinterest in the product to provoke them into offerring lower rates.

Thanks to the Internet, users of such services are getting together and discussing their experiences to figure out how to game companies that have those policies. I frequented a car forum whose members traded instructions on how to manipulate XM trial offers and then negotiate lower rates. Myself, I'd rather pay the extra few bucks rather than have to call someone up and lie to them. I'm not even religious and even I think that's pretty low.


you can dicker with comcast from what I hear.


I'm just hearing the Jazz right now, but last week KPLU was whining, sniveling, begging and groveling for the cash.


Andrew, you really think I run the IPR site? That's flattering, but I'm not that talented.

Don't disagree with your characterization of public radio programming; they literally train people to enunciate in the NPR style, which is one reason it's so easy to parody. But given a choice between NPR gardening tips and Dori or Ron & Don or any of the national lowest common denominator voices being outraged - OUTRAGED - yet again, I tend to listen to sports talk. It's harmless, and people actually seem to have fun.

As for pledge vs. commercials, same thing. With rare exceptions, I tune them both out. I suspect a lot of other people do, too.

you really think I run the IPR site?

Actually, looking back at my previous post, I can see how you got that impression - I didn't word it clearly. But IPR is a bunch of LA voice actors and parodists, as their site explains.

Dori Sanchez

Used to like listening to Weekend America ages ago. I always thought Dave Beck was extremely boring so I'd tune the radio to something else during the week. To my horror, after WA went off the air, I hear, "This is Weekday and I'm Dave Beck.
Holy crap. It's freaking Saturday, not a weekday. So they're pretty much unlistenable. PHC is getting pretty played so, time to shake it up over there.

The Anti-Dori

Commercials do not become white noise. They are mindless, repetitive, mind-grinding brain-damaging insanity-inducing propaganda pieces.


PHC has a gajillion fans.. My friend Fred Newman is the voice deity for sound effects on their "away" shows. He makes a healthy living working just part time for them.


I'd rather hear "Jorve Roofing Jorve Roofing Jorve Roofing Roof Roof Roof" than "It takes money to keep the lights on and bring you such wonderful content week after week so even if you've never pledged before it's never too late to start, and if you've contributed in the past then maybe its time to think about renewing your membership any amount you can spare gets us closer to our micro-goal, even a pledge of as little as $100 goes a long way towards bringing you the kind of content you won't find anywhere else on the dial... that's right Jim... Nancy from Nantucket just pawned her dentures to place a pledge for $2,300, thank you Nancy!"

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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....