Thursday, March 29, 2007

Can you feel it coming in the air tonight

When I heard about Air America Radio starting up, I was thrilled.

After they started, when they announced a Los Angeles affiliate, I was thrilled.

When the L.A. station turned out to be some no-name low-wattage outfit whose signal didn't reach my home in the North San Fernando Valley, I was bummed.

When that station stopped broadcasting, I was bummed.

When they announced a new L.A. affiliate, KTLK, a Clear Channel station, I was thrilled,

When the new schedule was announced, with Randi Rhodes now live, I was thrilled.

When that included moving Ed Schultz (not an Air America program) to night time replay, I was bummed.

And when I saw they had put this guy in the afternoon drive spot, I was disturbed:
Marc Germain’s goal of world domination is not on schedule, proving he is a progressive. (If you want the trains to run on time, listen to Dick Cheney.) However, his plan to inform and entertain with his daily four hour afternoon-drive talk show is ahead of schedule. He wasn’t supposed to get this job for another three years. You may have known him as Mr. KFI or Mr. KABC where he created and hosted top rated shows. His honest, straight-forward manner has won him many fans as well as a series of stalkers resulting in both adulation and restraining orders.

A lover of all things technological, horological and just plain logical, he is the beloved southern California radio icon who is “better than most, not as good as some.”

This guy is a goof, a political lightweight, who does have some faithful listeners here in L.A., but still, I couldn't help wonder why I was listening to him in the afternoon drive time, a heavy ratings and advertisement slot.

But last night, coming home from the studio installation I've been working on, I may have heard the answer on the Ed Schultz show. A caller from L.A. complained that Ed was no longer live, but was on nighttime playback as I mentioned.

Ed responded that it was because he (Ed) wouldn't write a check to KTLK for the privilege of being on the air. Is this true? Has payola moved into talk radio? Pretty disgusting.

I'm going to write a letter to KTLK, and I encourage readers here in Southern California to do the same.