The Death of Progressive Talk Radio In San Diego Should Be Noted

by on November 25, 2007 · 9 comments

in Media

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 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.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Dennis Engstrom November 25, 2007 at 8:37 pm

“Other reasons – Air America, the parent station, is incompetent”

Huh? Air America syndicates some of the shows that were heard on KLSD. But other shows that were on KLSD are syndicated by other companies. Ed Schultz is syndicated by Jones Radio and Mike Malloy is syndicated by NovaM Radio. Air America was in no way KLSD’s “parent station,” whatever that is supposed to mean.


Genie Phillips November 26, 2007 at 9:00 am

KLSD is gone. All the so called reasons, I think, are b.s., for the most part, and just fall into the propoganda trap that the left is weak and unsupported. The signal was so weak you couldn’t pick it up in Encinitas! The new ‘sports talk’, I understand, has miraculously gotten a strong signal!

As far as unsupported, (considering the strength of the signal), it was astonishing how many people showed up at the early morning rallies in protest of the change. When I went to see Randi Rhodes last year at the Belly Up, the lines were around the block, and sold out.

I listened to the station regularly, and I especially enjoyed the Thom Hartman show. Author, historian, and former SDS activist, he supplied factual information plus concrete proposals to become active. (it was because of him, and Randi too, that I put the number of congress in my cell phone, 202-224-3121) He always ended his program saying, democracy, activism starts with you…tag you’re it.

On Sat, the station aired a Vegan program, FFRF- Freedom From Religon Foundation program, and A Gay rights program.

Stacy Taylor was o.k., but he DID vote for W the first time around, per him. Local stuff was good, but when it came to getting the factual, concrete material regarding national/world politics, I depended on other KLSD programs. Good, he’s coming back to SD radio via KOGO (yuk), but I really yearn for the other programs on KLSD. I listen on line now, but I miss, on my long drive to and from work,the deversion and opportunity to arm myself with information I can use.


Molly November 27, 2007 at 1:20 pm

Genie – how do you know that Stacy Taylor voted for Bush first time around?


OB Joe November 27, 2007 at 11:18 pm

Very disappointing. I’m also disappointed in a bunch of my leftist friends, including activists, who didn’t listen to KLSD. Our local NPR is very weak politically. This is why we need blogs like this and all the other ones, including some you don’t include in your blogroll.


Genie Phillips November 28, 2007 at 6:49 am

I KNOW because I heard him say it with by own two ears! (voted for BUSH the first time)……
After I wrote my first answer I also wanted to add, Ed Schultz had Dennis (can’t get no air-time) Kucinich on for an entire 3 hours of his show.
And I read the the City Beat article and was pissed. That gasbag and was talking out of his backside, and bashing something, and people, he admitted he barely ever heard!


JS November 28, 2007 at 11:49 pm

I, too, miss Air America in San Diego. Yes, Stacy Taylor is a blow hard and first and foremost “a radio personality”. I fully expect him to speak to his target audience when he “resumes” his show on KOGO. I have lived in San Diego for my 42 years and remember his other incarnations. If the money was right, I’m sure Roger Hedgecock would have occupied that chair on KSLD and tried to preach to the choir like Taylor did. It’s all about business and the bottom line. We have abandoned our principles in our worshiping the almighty dollar, which last rime I checked was losing ground to nearly every other currency on the world. Time for a reality check because it is about to bounce.


anthony edison March 7, 2008 at 8:48 am

Where can I listen to something similar? I will miss the show…….Everyone spoke the way it should be. I am very sadened. Anthony Edison


charles December 26, 2008 at 10:33 am

Stacy Taylor will never die! I have followed Spike since he hit the airwaves on his arrival from the Midwest. He started out with his familiar off-key humor and trading quips with guests as the famous Randy “Macho Man” savage of Professional Wrestling fame and single-handedly made household names of Lorraine from Kensington and Raul on a car phone. I followed his latest gig on 1700 for the entertainment he provided me, even though I endured his constant bashing of anything Bush, McCain and Palin. It’s that anger thing that’s tied to anything “progressive”.
There will always be a need and an opening for Stacy and his small but faithful following of nutjobs. I’m sure he’ll surface shortly. Keep tuned.


Christy April 10, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Stacy Taylor was a great listen. Talented and cool. I sure hope to hear him again somewhere soon.


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