Saturday, October 13, 2007

Another nail in the coffin

According to today's San Diego UT, there will be an official announcement next week that KLSD, San Diego's only progressive talk radio station, will switch to an all sports format in the coming weeks. Rumor was that there had been delays in the flip because they were having trouble hiring talent for a fourth sports station in the area, but apparantly that became a moot point when Chris Ello decided to leave XX Sports and signed a multi year contract with Clear Channel yesterday.

I've heard some say that it doesn't matter that San Diego will have multiple sports radio stations and multiple conservative talk radio stations, and no progressive format, because radio is the format for conservatives, and we have a huge advantage in our use of the internet. There's a kernal of truth there, but I'm a strong advocate of having diversity of opinion on our public airwaves. Yes, we do a great job of communicating on the net, but that doesn't mean we should just give up on access to our airwaves.

With the likely assumption that KLSD is flipping to sports, what's next? It's a wee bit pricey to buy a station. There's been some recent talk (and action) about a low power alternative. Not the ideal solution, but it's a positive development. Locally oriented Internet radio and podcasts? It could happen.

As of now, we can't count on being able to hear LA's Radio Pacifica because the FCC assigned the same spot on the dial to powerful signals from both LA (KPFK 90.7) and Tijuana/San Diego (90.7 XLNC1) so they walk all over one another. XLNC1 has formally requested they be given a new frequency. If that happens, we should be able to get Radio Pacifica in San Diego, which would include Amy Goodman's Democracy Now. In the meantime, we can listen to Radio Pacifica online, and maybe we can find a way to join the Pacifica affiliate network and bring progressive/liberal radio back to the San Diego region.

Obviously, I don't know the answer, but I do know there are possibilities. None of the suggestions above are ideal solutions, but I think it's time to think outside the box. No matter how many protests are held, no matter how many calls made and emails sent, it sounds to me that KLSD is dead. Clear Channel has said they hear us, but that doesn't mean they're listening. It's time to figure out viable alternatives, as our voices are being increasingly shut out from traditional media channels.

(edit)- KLSD has an update on their website that says:

All of your feedback has had a positive impact and you can expect a formal announcement in the next few days about the future of our Progressive Talk format in San Diego!

Curiouser and curiouser. I think the sports talk is a done deal, so what are they getting at w/r/t the positive impact and the future of the format? Hmmmmmm......



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