Somewhere between headlines about the crisis in Pakistan and lack of headlines about demonstrators being beaten by border patrol agents in Calexico, progressive talk radio died in San Diego.
KLSD – the Clear Channel station on AM radio, ended its 3 year reign as San Diego’s only progressive talk radio station on Monday, November 12th. KOGO, the motherstation, replaced the programing with yet another local sports station.
The early morning show by Stacy Taylor has ended. I used to enjoy listening to him and his coherts driving to work. Al Franken used to be on; there would be Randy Rhodes in the mid-afternoon, Ed Schultz, Tom Hartman. It was the only local radio show where liberals would be on all day and night here in our traditionally conservative geographic cul de sac. However, the Stacy Taylor show was the only local programming the station provided.
I met Stacy Taylor a couple of times playing poker with some law school buddies. Very affable, his deep voice and humor make him a perfect match for radio. He seemed to have a fairly liberal bent in his private life. Which is funny, as besides his stint on KLSD, he also did a conservative talk thing on KOGO. But he was his best on the liberal show. I still miss him while I’m on the road.
At any rate, it’s over, and there’s nothing on the horizon that would take its place. Liberal, progressive – however you want to cut it – talk radio is dead in this sorry town. Some other media have taken note of this passing. Carl Luna did on his City Beat blog, “Political Lunacy” from November 16.
The North County Times did as well on Nov. 14th, and speculated on the “suspects” who were responsible for the demise of the station. Several are cited: 1) poor signal; 2) bad bosses – Clear Channel didn’t market the station adequately and didn’t bring in sufficient local advertisers. They quote Stacy Taylor who told them that KLSD didn’t make much money off the advertisements even though its listeners were the wealthiest of any station in San Diego – on a per capita basis. 3) Poor programming – with only 1 local daily show — Taylor’s –, the station managers never determined what local liberal listeners wanted to hear.
Taylor told the Times that the station could have survived if he was doing the programming and if “somebody with guts” within the corporation gave a damn.
A problem no. 4) bad location. Other reasons – Air America, the parent station, is incompetent; there was the failure of the rest of San Diego media to give much air-time or page space to the battle to save KLSD.
We can add other factors in the demise. Low listenership. And not much support from the local left here in town. I don’t think San Diego’s organized progressives and liberals really got behind the station. (It’s still available online.)
STACY TAYLOR WILL (PROBABLY) RETURN TO LOCAL RADIO
Stacy Taylor has told well-placed individuals within local media that he will be returning to local talk radio – this time on KOGO at a 6 pm slot. Starting December 3, the local radio personality will again send his deep voice resonating out over San Diego’s air waves. But will he be the good, kind and Bush-basher Stacy from KLSD days or the conservative Stacy from his earlier KOGO days?
If he is allowed to be himself, the future Stacy Taylor might be able to fill the void. Yet his corporate masters may have other plans.