Posts Tagged ‘radio’

It is with great sadness that I post a link to this Op-Ed at Truthout by Peter B. Collins…

“As an independent progressive and 40-year radio veteran, I’m sorry to report that heroic efforts over the past ten years to build a national radio presence for progressives and Democrats seem to have reached a critical turning point. With the recent loss of key AM outlets in Portland, Seattle and Detroit, the progressive talk format no longer enjoys national coverage, which in turn threatens the financial viability of the syndicated programs hosted by Stephanie MillerThom HartmannEd SchultzRandi RhodesMike MalloyBill Press and Norman Goldman.”

I started this blog originally to document my work fighting for a progressive station here in greater Boston and was thrilled when we were able to pull it off in 2008 after 2 1/2 years of work. Sadly, between the political insanity and the economy, most of the funding and support for this format has dried up and only a small presence of our endeavors remains and is severely challenged to stay alive.

“Ratings range from flat to flat-lined: in 2012, Clear Channel-owned KPOJ in Portland and CBS-owned KPTK in Seattle showed audience numbers so low that they were not listed by Arbitron; Clear Channel’s WDTW in Detroit barely showed a pulse at .1 percent, and the once-powerhouse, now-struggling media conglomerate recently agreed to donate WDTW to a local community group. In his second attempt at WVKO in Columbus, Ohio, Gary Richards was forced to sign off just before Christmas 2012. Progressive talker Jeff Santos waged a valiant four-year struggle in Boston, and I was a consultant in his effort last year to add eight new markets in battleground states; we had no choice but to lease air time, and once again the Democrats who had the most to gain failed to support the effort.”


The so-called “left” has failed to create it’s own infrastructure and the country’s drift to the right is the outcome. Repeatedly, support for this infrastructure has fallen on deaf ears, even when shown it’s benefits. We MUST all support what remains of progressive talk radio and tv. Before it is too late. Maybe it is already, but I’d like to think we still have a small chance…






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There are quite a few progressive talk stations still on the air and being run successfullyThe important thing is to support them, especially now that AAR is gone and now that the corporations can pour unlimited funds into politics.

Progressive stations exist in Portland, ORSeattle, WAMadison, WISan Francisco, CAAnchora, AKLos Angeles, CAMonterey, CAChicago, IL,MinnesotaNorthampton, MABoston, MA (it took us 2 1/2 years to get a new independent progressive station back on the air after our Clear Channel affiliate was canceled back in 2006 after the election. And btw, the existence of AAR and progressive talk radio in general had a huge role in activating progressives and taking the Congress blue which is why Clear Channel started canceling stations all over in late 2006 & early 2007), there’s even a new channel in Maine supported by Stephen King, XM/Sirius Channel 167 (and Randi Rhodes on 165 3-6pm), and Marc Maron has his own  “WTF” podcasts now. Ring of Fire will get syndication and continue as well.

Now you can even stream some of these stations from your i-phone and blackberry as well as from your computer.

If you hear loads of advertising, that is a GOOD thing as it pays the bills!

I miss some of the great shows and talent from AAR, particularly Morning Seditionand Sam Seder
Al Franken’s in the Senate and Rachel Maddow’s show – not to be missed- is on MSNBC!

So, RIP Air America! But let us all continue to support the progressive media still out there!

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I’m proud & thrilled to announce that starting Monday May 4th,
we are expanding our Boston Progressive Talk Radio 
Programming on WWZN 1510AM from 6 am through 7 pm daily,
Monday through Friday.

The new lineup will include Jeff Santos, Stephanie Miller,
Ed Schultz. Thom Hartmann.

Look for more details at http://www.revolutionboston.com.
It’s been a long road to get here, but vision, hard work and
committment pays off!
Thanks to everyone who made this possible, including of course,
Jeff Santos, Alan Frankel, Samantha Clemens, Nancy Weinberg,
George Barrett, Jim Amatucci, and so many others!
Now everyone, support the station, call in to the programs
(617-237-1234 & 617-237-1230), and especially – support the sponsors!  
Let’s make our station the #1 Progressive Talk Station in the country!

Thursday May 7th 6-9 pm
Revolution Rock Bar
200 High St
Boston, MA 02110

(617) 261-4200
(across from Rowes Wharf, just off Atlantic Ave.
& the Greenway.) All Welcome!

Come Celebrate!!! This is for all of you!

Jeff Santos & Yours Truly broadcast live: Kick-off celebration, Revolution Boston 5/7/09

Jeff Santos & Yours Truly broadcast live: Kick-off celebration, Revolution Boston 5/7/09




Thanks to Matt Shear, posting in this weeks Democratic Dispatch:

I’ve just gotten back from tonight’s celebration at Revolution Rock Bar of the return of Progressive Talk Radio to Boston on WWZN 1510AM. It’s been a long time since we last heard a full day’s lineup of progressive voices over the Boston airwaves, and it’s long overdue. Congratulations to Jeff Santos and Robin, Alan, Nancy, George, and Samantha from “Save Progressive Radio Boston” for seeing this process to fruition. It was great to meet other enthusiastic supporters, and there’s a lot to celebrate.

The revival of Prog Talk in Boston comes not a moment too soon. Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Our people, merely for want of intelligence which they may rely on, are become lethargic and insensible of the state they are in.” I believe that right now Media is the battleground in advance of the 2010 bielection. The prize is domination of the terms of debate as we go forward. We need media outlets like AM1510 to give our Democratic message a level playing field on which the strength of our ideas will surely triumph.

Democratically yours,

Matt Shear


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c/p BlueMassGroup


Starting today at 4pm Jeff Santos (formerly host of “The Jeff Santos Show” on WKOX/WXKS AM) returns to the airwaves in Boston on WWZN 1510 AM for special 2008 Election Coverage.
Jeff will be broadcasting “Race 2008” from 4-5pm, Monday-Friday for the coming week through election day November 4th, Saturday & Sunday 10am-11am, and will broadcast live from the Boston OBAMA party headquarters on Election Night 6pm – midnight.
Today’s special guests include Former Massachusetts Governor (and 1988 Presidential candidate) Michael Dukakis and John Businger, former MA State Representative from Brookline, also an expert on voting issues. Other national and local guests throughout the next week. Hope you will tune in! You can also listen online!

UPDATE 10/31/08
Tomorrow’s (Saturday’s) Show has been changed to 11am -noon. 
Guests include Devin Romanul, young Democrat running for MA State Representative in the First Bristol District (Mansfield, Foxboro, Norton) and MA State Representative Sean Garballey, 23rd Middlesex District (Arlington, & West Medford). 
Sunday broadcast remains 10 – 11am. 
Monday broadcast is expanded to two hours from 4-6pm
Tuesday, Election Eve special broadcast from Copley Obama Party/HQ 6pm – midnight.Jeff will be joined by political consultant Earl Bender.  

A group of us, including Jeff Santos, are still working on returning Progressive Talk Radio to the local airwaves permanently. Seven months ago, some of us were on the radio talking about our efforts.

If you are wondering why we need progressive talk radio, it is to expose things like this video/audio:


Paul Weyrich – “I don’t want everybody to vote” (Goo Goo)

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Much to my surprise, I was interviewed about my media activities to bring back Progressive Talk Radio to Boston by Air America host Peter B Collins on his show broadcast live from the Take Back America conference on March 18th. My segment is aired between Kathleen Turner, Josh Silver and other venerable guests and starts at 33:40. And for my second time on the radio in a week, I and other members of Boston Progressive Talk were invited to be on the Samantha Clemens Show [WMFO 91.5 FM, Medford MA] to discuss our activities to restore a progressive station as well as why we are working on additional media reform issues. Several of us attended some of the recent FCC hearings in this area.  I haven’t been on the radio so much in one week since I was smitten by the radio bug with 2 shows in college in 1974-5 (back when WBRS was 91.7 FM, I co-hosted a jazz & bluegrass show and hosted a Women’s Radio Show)! 

Members of Boston Progressive Talk, L to R Alan Frankel, Marc Sacks, George Barrett & Robin Bergman (rougegorge) on the Samantha Clemens Show 3/22/08 

Members of Boston Progressive Talk, L to R: Alan Frankel, Marc Sacks, George Barrett & Robin Bergman (rougegorge) on the Samantha Clemens Show 3/22/08.

One of the issues that came up is defining the difference between Public Radio and commercial progressive radio. Ironically, I would never have believed ten years ago that I would be arguing in favor of a commercial AM station! The issue is complicated and nuanced. While I loved the non-commercial aspect of the “old” NPR, the current incarnation has the equivalent of advertising, although it is called “underwriting.” The biggest problem is that subsequent Republican administrations (Reagan, Bush I, Bush II) have torn down the firewall between the funding and governmental agency running Public Radio and the content providers and broadcasters.

During this administration, the board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting has been loaded with Bush cronies, pushing their specific political agendas. Certain topics are no longer encouraged and funded, while otherwise there is more than subtle pressure applied to squelch various subjects, stories or opinion.  I find much of the content is no longer neutral, but instead, reflects the biases of the mainstream media. This is not surprising given the corporate emphasis on fundraising in recent years. There’s a current piece on truthout.org, NPR News: National Pentagon Radio? that illustrates this point well. For more NPR debunking, take a look at NPR Check.

Back in June, several of us made a memorable trip to the FCC hearing on Localism in Portland, Maine. For an entertaining writeup of our trek see AlanF’s  Little Miss Sunshine at the FCC Hearing. We both gave testimony – after 10:30 pm! AlanF gave off-the-cuff testimony addressing in particular, the Democratic FCC commissioners, Copps & Adelstein, rather than the original testimony he had written beforehand. The alloted 2 minutes was a very short time, and as the hours went on, worrying that my own original testimony was too long, I rewrote my remarks over again and again splitting them into two parts so that George & I could each deliver half.  My FCC testimony(thanks, again, to AlanF). As we noted at the hearing, and as we discussed over the air with Samantha, we were at a disadvantage, testifying after almost 10 hours listening to professional broadcasters pander to the FCC.  A recent article by Jonathan Obar and Amit Schejter, Inclusion or Illusion:An Analysis of the FCC’s Public Hearings on Media Ownership 2006-2007 at Penn State U corroborates our own reservations about the hearings.

I was unable to attend the most recent FCC Hearing on Net Neutrality in Cambridge, but George, Marc & Nancy from Boston Progressive Talk were able to go. In a move that served as a perfect illustration of the problem, Comcast paid people to fill up the seats at the hearing, keeping much of the public from attending.  Senator Kerry posted They Took Your Seat over at the HuffPo. If the FCC, lead by Kevin Martin, continues down the same path, the future of the net is at risk. We must stay vigilant! Large media corporations would like to carve it up to control it and to extract more money from it, as they already have with TV, Radio, Phone. There are currently bills in Congress as well as lawsuits filed to overturn the latest round of media consolidation and cross-ownership allowances. Let’s hope some of this is successful. Even if it is, we still have a long way to go to turn back the excessive consolidation since the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which has almost destroyed broadcast media as an arm of independent journalism as mandated and protected by our founding fathers!

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