So, I go to turn on Air America a couple of days ago, and what do I hear? Sports talk. Freakin' sports talk, which you can hear on every other station on the AM dial. What the fuck is going on? So, I flip the dial trying to find the station, and come up with...nothing. Then I find out this:
Portland station drops Air America
Portland (ME) Press-Herald 6/1/07 | Ray Routhier
PORTLAND — Air America Radio, the liberal talk network, has gone off the air in Portland.
WLVP (870 AM) dropped Air America at 6 a.m. Friday and replaced it with the national sports network ESPN Radio.
Nassau Broadcasting, owners of WLVP, decided to drop Air America because of significant changes at the network recently, said Patrick Collins, senior vice president for Nassau Broadcasting in Maine.
Collins said the changes, included the departure of Air America’s star personality, Al Franken. By Friday afternoon, Collins said he had gotten a couple dozen phone calls from people protesting the change.
Besides the national programming of ESPN Radio, Collins said 870 AM will also broadcast local high school sports, beginning with football in the fall.
Oh, for Christ's sake. The company tried to do the same thing a few years ago, but made it's intentions known a few weeks before the change, and people howled in protest. This time, in an attempt to end-around that type of bad press, Nassau Broadcasting decided to pull a Robert Irsay on us and sneak it off in the wee hours, before anyone figured out what was going on. What chickenshits. How does this change serve the listening audience in any way, or contribute to the public discourse? There must be fifteen sports talk channels anyone in Portland with decent reception can get on their AM dial, including WEEI out of Boston. Not to mention those with satellite radio...not to mention that as I was flipping channels frantically trying to figure out what happened to Thom and Randi, I was treated to brief moments of the following conversations (I have no idea what the shows were or who the host was, it was heard in passing but it makes my point):
"Yes, America is a land of immigrants, but back then there was no talk of the multi-cultural garbage that we hear now. Those people coming in then assimilated..."
"What people just don't understand is that this war is not just a war in Iraq, but part of the much larger terror war, and Al-Qaeda is just waiting to see how long we'll hang in there before making another move. What we really need to do is bring all our military force to bear if we are interested in preserving our way of life."
Just in randomly flipping the dial, I was treated to not one but two ignorant right-wing rants, with nothing now to balance it. Portland is one of the most pathetic media markets in the country, what with "Radio for Men" 970 AM and all. For years, there was nothing to listen to in this town except NPR, and I guess that's the way it is again.
Fuck it. I'm going to XM.