Is it too late for one more Bain story? This one gets odder the more I think about it.
Actually, it's a story about talk radio, a format I have ignored for the past few years. Brad Friedman
has published an interesting story about the end of two progressive radio stations, Portland's KPOJ and Seattle's KPTK. The former, owned by Clear Channel, went to the Fox Sports format, "while leaving their two
"competing" Clear Channel-owned Rightwing stations in the same market intact." KPTK, owned by CBS, is also expected to flip to a sports format -- even though the market already has more sports talk than listeners want.
Portland and Seattle are two of the most liberal cities in the nation. By what logic does Portland need two
right-wing talk stations and no progressive outlets? From a pure business standpoint, that decision makes no sense.
As Daniel Hopsicker likes to say: "If it doesn't make business sense, it has to make some other kind of sense."
Here's the kicker: Clear Channel is owned by none other than Bain Capital. In a few previous posts, we've seen that there has always been something "spooky" about Bain.
Consider this: In San Francisco, Clear Channel owns a prog radio station called Green960, where the Stephanie Miller show -- very popular in that market -- was canned last year. The replacement: Glenn Beck
. This move has not been popular, to say the least. According to Friedman, Beck has received far less impressive ratings, just as one might expect. Selling Glenn Beck to San Franciscans makes about as much sense as giving a cell phone to a mollusk.
Beck pretends to expose conspiracies of all sorts. Looks to me as though he's really the beneficiary
of a conspiracy. As Friedman noted in an earlier story
In many of those cities, the progressive station is usually carried on a weaker signal and broadcasters and their syndicators have pointed out that there is often little, if any, marketing done to promote the progressive stations. Such was the case on San Francisco's Green960 prior to last week's announcement, according to a number of insiders who spoke to The BRAD BLOG off record.
replacing Miller with Beck in that market was done for reasons that have nothing to do with profit and everything to do with propaganda. Anyone who argues otherwise is trying to snooker you.
If it doesn't make business sense, it has to make some other kind of sense.