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2004

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Here's what happened in 2004.

JanuaryEdit

FebruaryEdit

  • February - AnShell Media sold to Evan Montvel-Cohen, a former Republican political operative and entrepreneur from Guam and his partner, Rex Sorensen, a broadcaster from Hawaii. The company is renamed Progress Media, with Cohen as chairman, and Mark Walsh as CEO. Jon Sinton remains as President.
  • February 27 - UAW's I.E. America Radio Network signs off the air

MarchEdit

  • March 26 - Inner City Broadcasting's KVTO (1400AM) and KVVN (1430AM) reportedly are looking to affiliate with Air America.[1][2] Allegedly, lack of technology prevents them from ever doing so. In addition, the network decides later not to lease time on any more stations, thus likely killing the deal. Inner City's WLIB in New York is already inked as an affiliate.
  • March 31 - Air America Radio launches online and on WLIB in New York, WNTD in Chicago, KBLA in Los Angeles, KCAA in Riverside/San Bernardino, CA and KPOJ in Portland, OR. WJNO in West Palm Beach continues to carry The Randi Rhodes Show, and a Minnesota group leases time on WMNN (1330AM) in Minneapolis/St. Paul to carry Franken and Schultz. In addition, the network gets a dedicated channel on Sirius, along with a shared channel (with Ed Schultz) on XM.

AprilEdit

  • April - KYNS in San Luis Obispo, WLVP in Portland, ME, KSQR in Sacramento, CA and WKIZ in Key West, FL added to Air America's affiliate lineup.
  • KVTO 1400AM and KVVN 1430AM in the San Francisco Bay Area
  • April 7 - KBZC (1300AM) in Colorado Springs, CO reportedly considering affiliating with Air America.[3] KBZC operations manager Bobby Irwin says he hopes to get Franken and company on the air by next week in the 10A-1P slot. Franken has agreed to do some live shows from Colorado Springs in the future. The station is listed on Air America's site, but nothing ever comes of it. The station later flips to sports.
  • April 13 - WMTW (870AM) in Portland, ME launches liberal talk format as WLVP
  • April 14 - Arthur Liu's Multicultural Broadcasting's WNTD and KBLA both drop Air America programming, claiming nonpayment of lease.[4]
  • April 15 - Air America attorney David Goodfriend claims it had stopped payment on the checks because Multicultural was still selling time to others on KBLA, which it had already leased to Air America.
  • April 15 - Air America files a complaint in New York Supreme Court, charging breach of contract and was briefly granted an injunction to restore the network's programming to the stations. "We are not going to be bullied," Goodfriend said.
  • April 19 - WCHL in Chapel Hill, NC affiliates, picks up Franken and The Majority Report.
  • April 20 - Air America announces the dispute with Liu had been settled.
  • April 30 - Last day on air at WNTD and KBLA.
  • April 28 - CEO Mark Walsh, and executive vice president for programming, Dave Logan, forced out at Air America.[5] Walsh stays around in an advisory role while Logan is gone completely. In the interim, the network is being run by the company's lawyer, David Goodfriend.
  • April 30 - Affiliates listed on Air America's website as "coming soon" include KVVN San Francisco/San Jose, KVTO San Francisco/Berkley, KSQR Sacramento, KBZC Colorado Springs, KYNS San Luis Obispo, CA, KUDO Anchorage, KAOI Honolulu, WHMP Northhampton, MA, WSNH (900AM) Nashua, NH, KXTO (1550AM) Reno, NV and WMQM (1600AM) Memphis and Dish Network, some of which inevitably never pick up the Air America programming. The site also lists stations that don't even exist, such as KBAC (610AM) Boulder, CO, KOOT (101.5FM) Santa Fe, NM, KPEE (93.7FM) Santa Cruz, CA (later changed on the site to KTEE).

MayEdit

  • May 1 - With the purchase of Minneapolis/St. Paul's WMNN by religious broadcaster Starboard Communications, Janet Robert moves her programming to the daytime-only signals of WMIN (740AM) in the east metro (Hudson, WI) and WSMM (1530AM) in the west metro. The liberal talk format expands to the sunrise to sunset hours.
  • May 3 - KUDO in Anchorage, AK flips to progressive talk.[6]
  • May 5 - Current owners of Air America Radio, Evan Montvel-Cohen and Rex Sorenson, are found by the other investors to be in default of contract, and both are ousted. Sheldon and Anita Drobny return to reorganize the company. Sinton and the network's executive producer, Carl Ginsburg, a lawyer and experienced newsman, are asked to operate the company.
  • May - Progress Media's Board of Directors purchase the assets of that company, creating a new company, Piquant LLC. A change which accompanied the reorganization was a decision to stop trying to buy radio stations and lease air time, and to allow affiliates to carry programming outside of the network's offerings.
  • May 13 - Air America closes its Chicago and Los Angeles sales offices. The new plan for the two markets is to find affiliates there, rather than leasing more station, making sales offices there unnecessary.[7]
  • May 14 - Doug Kreeger takes over as acting CEO.
  • May 20 - Early investors including the Drobnys, Florida plaintiffs lawyer Mike Papantonio and Rob Glaser, chairman of RealNetworks Inc., have committed to investing new capital.[8]
  • May 24 - Franken beats Limbaugh![9] The first Arbitron ratings trends have been released,[10] showing New York affiliate WLIB with a 3.4 share to WABC's 3.1 in the 25-54 demographic. Among 18-to-34-year-olds, WLIB won sevenfold with a 2.9 share to WABC's 0.4. WNTD went from a 0.1 share in February to a 2.0 share in April. Online, there were 6.5 million distinct streams, average listening time 51 minutes. In-house research at KPOJ in Portland show that the station's listenership has quintupled since flipping to progressive talk. A Clear Channel programming VP is quoted saying that the response in Portland has been so enthusiastic it's "scary" and that 'even if it (AAR) fails, it's been proven that there's a major audience for liberal talk radio'.
  • May 30 - The Air America website lists WCHL, WKIZ, WLIB, WTWK, WMTW, KUDO, KAOI, WMNN, KPOJ, KCAA, KSQR, KYNS and WJNO as current affiliates. The site also lists KTEE (93.7FM) in Santa Cruz as "on the air," though the station does not exist. Still listed as "coming soon" include KBZC, KOOT, KBAC, WMQM, KXTO, WHMP, WSNH and Dish Network.

JuneEdit

  • June 3 - Forbes Magazine publishes an article about Air America and their heavy use of the internet, a.k.a. audio streaming.[11]
  • June 10 - Aloha! Air America lands on three Hawaiian stations - KUMU (1500AM) in Honolulu, KAOI (1110AM) on Maui and KQNG (570AM) on Kauai.[12]
  • June 23 - Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 released, and quickly becomes the highest-grossing documentary in film history.

JulyEdit

  • July 2 - Combined ratings for its first two months on WMNN in Minneapolis averaged an overall 2.0 rating. More so, the May extrapolation for Al Franken's time slot is a 3.0, indicating that people weren't checking out the show out of curiosity and moving on, but sticking around as more listeners were picking up the show. Numbers were also strong for Ed Schultz.
  • July 2 - At KPOJ, April vs. May numbers that show further audience growth from initially strong numbers. Starting from a station average of 0.4, Al Franken's show jumped to 1.7 in April and 3.5 in May while Randi Rhodes' show got a 2.0 in April and climbed to 3.1 in May. These numbers reflect the 25-54 demo that are pretty favored by advertisers.
  • July 3 - A Massachusetts trimulcast, WHMP, WHNP and WHMQ, pick up Al Franken and Unfiltered.
  • July 7 - Sirius moves Air America to Ch. 144.
  • July 12 - WRFX in Miami drops FOX Sports[13] and picks up progressive talk format, becoming WINZ.[14] Randi Rhodes claims on her show that a station in San Diego will soon come on board, in addition to the previously promised Sacramento affiliate.
  • July 19 - A local progressive talk show, Radio Free Silver, is cancelled by KRFT in Silver City, NM after 20 to 25 of the station’s advertisers threatened to pull their spots from all KNFT programming if the show continued to be aired, which could have cost the station's owner $10,000 a month in lost advertising revenue.[15]
  • July 20 - Arbitron Spring book released, showing Franken on WLIB beating WOR's Bill O'Reilly, but Limbaugh beats both.[16] In the 2-3P hour, Limbaugh gets a 3.1 share, Franken 2.6 and O'Reilly 1.1 in the 25-54 demographic, while with all age groups, Limbaugh gets 5.1, O'Reilly 2.3 and Franken 2.0. Of course, many of those overall numbers come from people over the age of 54. The Drudge Report claims that in full middays, WABC gets a 4.8 share to WLIB's 1.7 ages 12+. Drudge also claims that month-to-month, WLIB has gone from 2.2 for its April debut, 1.7 in May and 1.2 in June. Host Sam Seder claims that The Majority Report is #1 on New York talk radio[17] in the 24-54 demographic.[18] Randi Rhodes had a strong debut against Sean Hannity.[19] "We're beside ourselves," says Air America president Jon Sinton. "It would be difficult to be more pleased."[20]
  • July 20 - Rumors beging to surface about a package deal between Air America and a major radio group owner (likely Clear Channel) that will put liberal talk programming on a variety of stations, including one in San Diego.[21]
  • July 23 - Jon Sinton confirms that a station in San Diego will affiliate with Air America, possibly in August. Radio and Records reports that the station will be KPOP (1360AM).
  • July 27 - KNRC (1150AM), a small independent talk station] in Denver that airs a variety of voices,[22] goes silent.[23]
  • July 29 - Portland Spring ratings are released,[24] and KPOJ has a stellar book.[25] In the 25-54 demo, Al Franken and Ed Schultz are #1 in their time slot, Randi Rhodes is #1 in her time slot, What Else is News? and The Majority Report are #2 in their time slot. Over all, KPOJ is #3 in the ratings, surging from a 0.2 to a 6.4. Limbaugh gets pounded.[26] Overall, KPOJ jumps from 0.4 to 3.7 in its first book with progressive talk.[27]

AugustEdit

  • August 1 - EcoTalk with Betsy Rosenberg launches as a Sunday morning show.
  • August 2 - Mike Malloy joins Air America, airing 10P-1A ET. Marty Kaplan's So What Else Is News? is moved to weekends.
  • August 3 - KTHO in South Lake Tahoe picks up Air America programming.[28] Turns out, they're only putting on Al Franken. In overnights.
  • August 5 The full 'top-line' numbers for Portland
  • August 6 - Clear Channel's KTLK (1340 AM) in Santa Barbara added to the fold.
  • August 22 - A new Danny Goldberg signing, The Revolution Starts ... Now with musician Steve Earle debuts on Air America. Earle records for record label formerly owned by Goldberg.
  • August 23 - Clear Channel's KPOP in San Diego drops adult standards and becomes liberal talk[29] as KLSD, with local talker Stacy Taylor moving over from KOGO for the morning slot.[30]
  • August 23 - Clear Channel's WHNE in Ann Arbor, MI becomes WLBY, flipping from oldies to liberal talk.[31]
  • August 23 - Air America hits WWAA in Atlanta
  • August 30 - Clear Channel's KKZN in Denver flips from sports to liberal talk.[32]
  • August 30 - Yet another Clear Channel station, KABQ in Albuquerque, flips from sports to progressive talk. They obviously like the format.[33] We think.
  • August 30 - WHAT (1300AM) in Philadelphia adds Al Franken and Randi Rhodes to its mostly African-American-oriented talk roster.[34]
  • August 31 - WCOL in Columbus puts up their new progressive talk website in anticipation of their flip the following week.[35]

SeptemberEdit

  • September - WWKK (750AM) in Petoskey, MI adds Air America programming. Interestingly enough, they keep Michael Savage on the station.
  • September 1 - The Wisconsin State Journal announces that liberal talk is coming to Madison. On the FM dial.[36]
  • September - WWWI in Brainerd, MN picks up Franken and Schultz.
  • September - WQNX (1350AM) in Aberdeen, SC picks up AAR's Morning Sedition. One hour of it, anyways.
  • September 6 - KPOJ is taking listeners away from the conservative talk stations.[37]
  • September 7 - Clear Channel's WTPG in Columbus, OH flips from oldies to progressive talk.
  • September 7 - The format hits the FM dial, on Clear Channel's WXXM in Madison, WI. Not to be outdone, rival WTDY drops Sean Hannity and moves Ed Schultz from nights to afternoons] the same day,[38] while rebranding as "Madison's Progressive Talk" and registering the domain name 921themic.com.
  • September 7 - A brand new late morning offering, The Stephanie Miller Show airs for the first time,[39] launches into syndication on KUDO in Anchorage,the new WTPG in Columbus and WTDY in Madison (on delay from 8-11P).
  • September 13 - Clear Channel's WPEK signs on its new format as "The Revolution" comes to Asheville, NC.[40]
  • September 14 - Rumors begin circulating that WLVP in Portland, ME may drop liberal talk October 1.
  • September 17 - WROC in Rochester, NY drops conservative talk for the liberal variety.[41]
  • September 17 - Following the flurry of progressive talk flips in many markets, programmers at Clear Channel's WLTQ-FM (97.3FM) in Milwaukee have a little fun with a pending format flip,[42] stunting and hinting at a progressive talk flip. Throughout the weekend, they play only songs with the words "air" and "America" in them, along with Al Franken soundbytes. Monday morning, they reveal it was all a ruse, as they launch an 80's-oriented rock format as "97.3 The Brew."
  • September 22 - KXXT in Phoenix drops FOX News talk, picks up progressive talk format.
  • September 28 - San Francisco gets liberal talk, as KQKE, another Clear Channel station, takes the place of adult standards at KABL.
  • September 21 - The Air America website lists XM ch. 167, Sirius ch. 144, WPEK, WWAA, WCHL, WINZ, WKIZ, WHMP, WHAT, WLIB, WTWK, WROC, WMTW, KABQ, KUDO, KAOI, WLBY, WTPG, KKZN, KUMU, KTLK (Santa Barbara), KLSD, KTHO, WMIN, KSMM, KPOJ, KCAA, KSQR, KYNS and WJNO as current affiliates. The site is no longer listing stations they are still in negotiations with, nor are they listing stations that don't exist.

OctoberEdit

  • October 1 - Janet Robert buys KSNB (950AM) in Minneapolis from CBS Radio, moves progressive talk programming from WMIN and KSMM to create a full-time progressive talk signal in the Twin Cities.[43]
  • October 4 - Clear Channel's WXKS and WKOX in Boston flip to progressive talk simulcast.
  • October 4 - Another Clear Channel station, KRKT in Albany, OR, flips and becomes progressive talker KTHH.[44][45]
  • October 7 - KQDS adds Ed Schultz
  • October 12 - LTR blog debuts.[46]
  • October 12 - AAR contracts with Jones MediaAmerica for national advertising sales.[47]
  • October 15 - WHJJ in Providence, RI) adds AAR's Morning Sedition and Al Franken 10A-3P,[48] as well as Randi Rhodes from 6-8P.[49]
  • October 18 - New York ratings book release shows WLIB is ranked #18 25-54 with Franken.[50] WABC with Rush Limbaugh is #15. WOR is #27.
  • October 19 - San Diego ratings show KLSD is #3 AM station in market.[51] Rhodes claims to be #1 in afternoons. More Summer ratings here.
  • October 20 - KLSD's first ratings trends are good, as the station gains a full share of the overall listening audience. Randi Rhodes claims #1 in the key 25-54 "money demo" in San Diego. The weak-signaled WHAT in Philadelphia doubles its listenership from 0.4 to 0.8. KKZN also doubles, from 0.5 to 0.9. WLIB holds steady.
  • October 25 - Seattle's country-formatted KYCW flips to progressive talk as KPTK.[52]
  • October 30 - Sheldon Drobny's Road to Air America released.[53]

NovemberEdit

  • November 1 - WAVZ New Haven flips from FOX Sports Radio to liberal talk.[54]
  • November 10 - KOPT in Eugene drops Spanish for liberal talk.[55][56]
  • November 17 - KTRC returns to liberal talk, picking up AAR.[57]

DecemberEdit

  • December - KPOJ completes power upgrade to 25,000 watts.[58]
  • December 8 - Air America gets a $13 million cash infusion, names Rob Glaser of Real Networks as its new chairman. Acting CEO Doug Kreeger steps down. Franken signs a new two year deal and Randi Rhodes a three year deal.[59]
  • December 8 - Jerry Springer announces plans to launch new 9A-12P progressive talk radio show, which will air on new progressive talker WSAI (to become WCKY) (1530AM) when it launches in January. Springer will do the show from both Chicago (where he tapes his television show) and Cincinnati. He is also looking into syndication.[60]
  • December 13 - KKZN management optimistic about ratings.[61]
  • December 16 - WSCC in Charleston, SC splits from simulcast with conservative talk FM sister station to air liberal talk. Will pick up the WSSP call letters.[62]
  • December 16 - Ed Schultz announces intention to step down from his Fargo, ND morning show News and Views to concentrate on national syndication.[63]
  • December 18 - Springfield, MA gets another (mostly) progressive talker, this time WMAS (1450AM), which will compete with the WHMP trimulcast and carry shows that station isn't airing, such as Stephanie Miller, Ed Schultz, Randi Rhodes, Phil Hendrie and... Neal Boortz.
  • December 28-29 - "Mankind in the Morning." Pro wrestling legend Mick Foley branches out into talk radio, as he co-hosts Morning Sedition with Marc Maron.[64]

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Liberal talk radio network comes to Bay Area", Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal (March 26, 2004). 
  2. "DAILY DIGEST", San Francisco Chronicle (April 2, 2004). 
  3. "Franken's talk show adds twist to local radio", The Gazette (copy) (April 7, 2004). 
  4. "What happened in Chicago 950AM WNTD?", Air America Place (April 14, 2004). 
  5. "Shake-up at Air America", Air America Place (April 28, 2004). 
  6. "Air America Radio Adds Anchorage Affiliate", About.com (May 5, 2004). 
  7. "AAR closes Chicago and Los Angeles offices", Air America Place (May 13, 2004). 
  8. "Article - Liberal Radio Network Air America Raising New Cash", Air America Place (May 20, 2004). 
  9. "Arbitron shocker: Franken beats Limbaugh", Salon.com (June 1, 2004). 
  10. "Al mentions that the numbers are in for WLIB and woo-hoo!", Air America Place (May 24, 2004). 
  11. "6/7/04 New Positive AAR on Forbes website", Air America Place (June 8, 2004). 
  12. "Liberal talk radio takes flight over Hawaii airwaves", Starbulletin.com (June 11, 2004). 
  13. "Miami Station Goes "Liberal Talk"", Air America Place (July 10, 2004). 
  14. "South Florida Sun-Sentinel On AAR, Clear Channel Exec: Spectacular Ratings!", Air America Place (July 13, 2004). 
  15. "Static in Silver City: Liberal Talk Show Forced Off the Air By Local Advertisers at New Mexico Radio Station", Democracy Now! (September 30, 2004). 
  16. "AAR Suicide Watch", Air America Place (July 16, 2004). 
  17. "DRUDGE claims AAR "fading"", Air America Place (July 16, 2004). 
  18. "Air America Arbitron ratings, NYC for Majority Report", Daily Kos (July 18, 2004). 
  19. "NYC Ratings: Fedora Boy Fails to Mention...", Hoffmania! (July 16, 2004). 
  20. "More On Air America's Ratings in NYC, #1 In Talk Among 18-34 Olds After 9 AM", Air America Place (July 21, 2004). 
  21. "Developing Story - GREAT NEWS FOR AAR!, San Diego affiliate soon, perhaps others", Air America Place (July 21, 2004). 
  22. "KNRC 1150 AM riding out rough airwaves of change", Denver Business Journal (February 20, 2004). 
  23. "Could This Denver Station Be Flipping To AAR?", Air America Place (August 1, 2004). 
  24. "ENORMOUS Air America Ratings in Portland", Air America Place (July 29, 2004). 
  25. "ENORMOUS Air America Ratings in Portland", Daily Kos (July 29, 2004). 
  26. "Portland Tribune On AAR, "Limbaugh, pals, get liberally thrashed"", Air America Place (August 3, 2004). 
  27. "DKos - New Info on Portland Numbers.", Air America Place (August 5, 2004). 
  28. "Another new affiliate....", Air America Deathwatch (August 3, 2004). 
  29. "Clear Channel Announcment Re San Diego, Clear Channel Makes It Official", Air America Place (August 20, 2004). 
  30. "Only Two AAR Programs In San Diego, Al Franken and Randi Rhodes", Air America Place (August 19, 2004). 
  31. "Story On New AAR Affiliate WLBY-1290 AM, Radio chain sees growth potential", Air America Place (August 25, 2004). 
  32. "KKZN airs Air America", Denver Business Journal (August 30, 2004). 
  33. ""Progressive Talk" and Clear Channel, Two More Major Markets Coming", Air America Place (August 24, 2004). 
  34. "WHAT(-AM) was that?", Air America Place (August 27, 2004). 
  35. "AAR coming to Bleeding OHIO!!!", Air America Place (August 30, 2004). 
  36. "More Info on Madison Station", Air America Place (September 1, 2004). 
  37. "Air America Whipping More Ass in Oregon", Daily Kos (September 6, 2004). 
  38. "Air America Radio: Madison, Wisconsin!", Daily Kos (August 30, 2004). 
  39. WYD Media. "STEPHANIE MILLER’S POPULAR PROGRESSIVE VOICE RETURNS TO RADIO WITH NATION’S FASTEST GROWING RADIO FORMAT". Press release. Retrieved on July 18, 2008.
  40. "AM radio station turns to the left", citizen-Times.com (September 8, 2004). 
  41. "ROCHESTER, NY KICKS RIGHT WINGNUTS ADDS AAR TODAY!, WROC-AM 950 FLIPS TO LIBERAL AAR &JONES", Air America Place (September 17, 2004). 
  42. "'Light 97' gone; new format Monday", The Business Journal of Milwaukee (September 17, 2004). 
  43. "News and rumor roundup", LTR. Retrieved on October 13, 2004. 
  44. "KRKT turning to talk radio", Gazette Times (October 2, 2004). 
  45. "AAR/liberal talk radio affiliate and rumor updates - 10/1/04", Democratic Underground (October 1, 2004). 
  46. "Greetings!", LTR. Retrieved on October 13, 2004. 
  47. "AAR beefs up it's ad selling power, teams with Jones", LTR. Retrieved on October 13, 2004. 
  48. "WHJJ/Providence picks up Franken, other shows", LTR. Retrieved on October 15, 2004. 
  49. "WHJJ/Providence RI Lineup", LTR. Retrieved on October 15, 2004. 
  50. "WLIB is hot in 25-54 ratings race!", LTR. Retrieved on October 19, 2004. 
  51. "Is KLSD the most-listened to station among adults in San Diego?", LTR. Retrieved on October 30, 2004. 
  52. "Seattle: AAR is coming to KYCW!", LTR. Retrieved on October 22, 2004. 
  53. "New Book: 'Road to Air America'", LTR. Retrieved on October 19, 2004. 
  54. "WAVZ-AM (New Haven, CT) leaves ‘The Zone,’ switches to liberal talk format", LTR. Retrieved on November 1, 2004. 
  55. "Air America comes to Eugene", LTR. Retrieved on November 9, 2004. 
  56. "Great Air America Radio News!", Daily Kos (November 9, 2004). 
  57. "New AAR affiliate: KTRC 1260 AM in Santa Fe, NM", LTR. Retrieved on November 17, 2004. 
  58. "Talk tidbits", LTR. Retrieved on December 9, 2004. 
  59. "AAR signs Franken & Randi, also new chmn & $13 million", Air America Place (December 10, 2004). 
  60. "JERRY! JERRY! JERRY!", LTR. Retrieved on December 9, 2004. 
  61. "Air America Earning Its Wings, Rocky Mountain News Story On AAR Success", Air America Place (December 16, 2004). 
  62. ""Progressive 730" comes to Charleston, Sc", LTR. Retrieved on December 8, 2004. 
  63. "Ed Schultz drops local ND show to focus nationally", LTR. Retrieved on December 16, 2004. 
  64. "Former pro wrestler tries talk radio", LTR. Retrieved on December 28, 2004. 

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