November 10, 2016

The Madison left-wing talk radio station suddenly switches its format to holiday music.

That's not the kind of reaction to Donald Trump’s victory I'd expect here in my left-wing home town. What the hell??!!!

Jay Rath reports in Isthmus:
In a press release Keith Bratel, iHeartMedia Madison market president, stated, “We’re excited to spread cheer throughout the community with popular holiday music on WXXM. Madison’s Home for the Holidays 92.1 BEST FM is a great way for our listeners to get into the holiday spirit!”...

The Mic aired programming from progressive national commentators including Alan Colmes, Thom Hartmann, Stephanie Miller and Bill Press....

“We don’t need more Christmas music or another oldies station,” says [Matt Rothschild, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, formerly senior editor of The Progressive]. “We do need intelligent political talk, especially at this moment, when our democracy is hanging by a thread.”

57 comments:

DrSquid said...

Which holiday is it?

Kristian Holvoet said...

Hah. If they stuck it out a few weeks, then went Holiday Format on Thanksgiving or Black Friday, I wouldn't think anything amiss at all, maybe just some (probably reasonable) business decision for ratings / advertising. But this reeks of take my ball and go home.

MisterBuddwing said...

An old bit of verse that comes to mind:

"May all my enemies go to hell/ Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel."

Larry J said...

“We do need intelligent political talk, especially at this moment, when our democracy is hanging by a thread.”

You might start by not saying stupid shit like that.

Expat(ish) said...

By weight, spider silk has more tensile strength than steel.

And The Donald looks like a silk guy.

So we are good.

-XC

Sebastian said...

"when our democracy is hanging by a thread" Are we to infer that progs don't accept the results of the election? But, but, wasn't Trump's hint at doing so an inexcusable sin?

robother said...

"Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful....Let it snow, let it snow , let it snow."

Michael McClain said...

Must be Bush's fault.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

This must be Trump's first move as President-Elect to punish liberals. He won't officially move them to concentration camps until after the inauguration.

tim in vermont said...

http://heatst.com/world/exclusive-fbi-granted-fisa-warrant-covering-trump-camps-ties-to-russia/

The above article seems to be the single source for a story, which the New York Times "rubbished," but still, Heat Street was the source for a lot of stuff about Hillary too, that suggests one hopeful line of attack against Trump.

That would be, and I admit this is a triple bank shot with reverse spin and a called pocket to work out as true, but if there was a payment to the Russians for the Podesta emails, that would be something.

Of course we also know from Wikileaks that the Hillary campaign urged sympathetic members of the press to continue to elevate Trump, whom she thought she could easily beat, so I still blame Hillary.

Remember when everybody was saying? Why don't we just stop writing about him? I think even Althouse had such a post. Anyway, Podesta was pulling strings in the background to keep the articles coming.

#TooCleverByHalf

Ron said...

Call it the Die Hard station... "Ho Ho Ho, Now I have a machine gun"

Rob McLean said...

According to Wikipedia:

On November 9, 2016, at 11 a.m., WXXM began stunting with Christmas music under the "Best FM" branding. A new format, rumored to be either alternative rock or all-80's Hits, is expected to debut after the holiday season. Though timed to occur one day after an election for US President, the planned end of the "Mic" format was likely unrelated to the election. Indeed, seeds for the move were planted weeks before, when iHeart Madison management advised Devil's Advocates hosts Mike Crute and Dominic Salvia that they were dropping their show from the lineup (its last airing on WXXM occurred on Monday, November 7).[24] Devil's Advocates will continue as a nationally-syndicated program in 2017, while Mitch Henck's show will continue on his website.

David Begley said...

The revenge of Clear Channel. It has to pay that LBO debt and even in Madison - Madison! - there is not a profitable radio market for leftwing talk.

surfed said...

And now a holiday song from that noted Conservative songwriter Arlo Guthrie - "The Pause of Mr Claus.

"We're gonna sing you this Christmas carol. It's for all you
bastards out there in the audience tonight. It's called "The Pause of Mr. Claus".
Why do you sit there so strange?
Is it because you are beautiful?
You must think you are deranged
Why do police guys beat on peace guys?
You must think Santa Clause weird
He has long hair and a beard
Giving his presents for free
Why do police guys mess with peace guys?
Let's get Santa Clause 'cause;
Santa Clause has a red suit
He's a communist
And a beard, and long hair
Must be a pacifist
What's in the pipe that he's smoking?
Mister Clause sneaks in your home at night.
He must be a dope fiend, to put you up tight
Why do police guys beat on peace guys?"

tim in vermont said...

I also have a lot of knowledge about how digital surveillance actually works, and some aspects do check out. The thing about the "Dark Web" and "Onions" is that they can still be followed, in fact that could almost be considered "honey traps" since the traffic volume is lighter and the likelihood of finding nefarious activity is higher.

MadisonMan said...

Doesn't 94.9 have all Christmas now too? (I've not been listening).

It just doesn't seem to be so close to Thanksgiving right now because it's so warm here.

Anyway, We don’t need more Christmas music or another oldies station,” says [Matt Rothschild, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, formerly senior editor of The Progressive]. “We do need intelligent political talk, especially at this moment, paid for by someone who isn't me when our democracy is hanging by a thread

Fixed the quote.

surfed said...

Addendum: I regale the family every year with that tune on guitar. It's gotten hoary. Probably time to retire it. The family would be thankful and I wouldnt have to watch their eyeballs roll.

Clyde said...

Mic drop, indeed!

tim in vermont said...

paid for by someone who isn't me

That's the very definition of "intelligent!"

320Busdriver said...

"We do need intelligent political talk,"

Well that would preclude Alan Colmes

Wre there protests in Madison last night? I'm guessing so.

Clyde said...

Oh, the President-elect is frightful,
And we weren't very insightful.
We're a red state now you know;
Let it go! Let it go! Let it go!

Riots show no sign of stopping,
And liberal heads are popping,
As they scream, "No! No! No! NO!"
Let it go! Let it go! Let it go!

As the nation moves to the right
The lefties will hide in their dorm,
The safe spaces will hold them tight,
As away from reality they swarm.

The Clinton campaign was dying
From her addiction to lying,
But the truth came out, you know:
Let It Go! Let It Go! Let It Go!


TwilightofLiberty.com said...

One would think that the result of Tuesday's election, the popular vote winner not actually winning the election, would clue people like Matt Rothschild into the fact that we don't actually live in a democracy and, hence, it is not hanging by a thread.

I guess he really does need more intelligent political talk cuz what he's gotten to this point ain't working.

GRW3 said...

If the progs had bought the stuff being advertised, the programming would remain on the air. The concept is simple. Their hardware comes through Amazon Prime, their clothes through Lands End, etc... Surprisingly, the evil capitalists that run the local Madison retail shops probably put their advertising money with the stations whose listeners bought from them.

320Busdriver said...

President Elect Trumps 757 gets a water canon salute at LGA as it departs....pretty cool

traditionalguy said...

It appears that Paglia was right. Trump's ascendency has released a huge energy into society. People are free and are happy, and want to express it. The speed of commerce is doubling. There is no bad news. Soros wasted all that money buying a Helter Skelter mob. No one cares.

It resembles the celebratory mood following the end of the Plagues in Europe. People are wild. The stock market is exploding rather than imploding per the media myth.

Hence we have Merry Christmas in November.

rhhardin said...

Some radio station in some July in Florida went to all Christmas music all the time. I don't know that happened to it.

The rule is ratings. No ratings, switch formats.

Drago said...

Madison, WI?

"Holiday" music?

I had no idea there was sufficient ramadan, Wiccan, Kwanzaa-n and Festivus music available to support such a format.

rhhardin said...

Even a 5kw station is going to run 3600khw per month or about $400, just to run the transmitter. Somebody's got to pay for that.

Gusty Winds said...

Like Obamacare, the station must have been losing money. Probably that simple. NO?

Insult to injury; being replaced by Christmas Music.

I heart radio didn't even soften the blow by at least changing the format to 24 hour winter solstice pagan drumbeats.

madAsHell said...

left wing?
That's becoming a euphemism for shit men won't listen to.
Yes, I dangled a preposition.

Static Ping said...

I do agree that the republic is hanging by a thread. The bureaucracy is still making laws. The Supreme Court is still making laws. We haven't had a budget in, what, a decade? Debt is out of control. Foreign policy is in tatters. This is bleak stuff.

My disagreement is that Trump is part of that problem. He's a reaction to the problem. How he will handle the situation remains to be seen. Our other choice was a grifter who wanted to continue on the same path so, if anything, this is an attempt to turn in the right direction.

Xmas said...

Mad,

I love left wing talk radio. I miss my drives over the Tappan Zee while listening to WBAI ("NPR is a tool of the Right-Wing Media"). It's good to listen to people you don't agree with so you can understand their point of view. I think "Law and Disorder" was my favorite syndicated program at that time. They were trying to justify Lynne Stewart's actions for the Blind Sheikh, passing messages from him to his followers, as being a perfectly legal act.

Drago said...

madAsHell: "Yes, I dangled a preposition."

Watch yourself bub, there are ladies present.

Rick said...

They understand their supporters will discredit leftism if given the opportunity to make their views known, so they eliminate that opportunity.

It seems both an intelligent decision to protect the brand and an admission they know their supporters are nuts.

Drago said...

Static Ping: "My disagreement is that Trump is part of that problem."

What?

Static Ping: "I do agree that the republic is hanging by a thread. The bureaucracy is still making laws. The Supreme Court is still making laws. We haven't had a budget in, what, a decade? Debt is out of control. Foreign policy is in tatters. This is bleak stuff."

Bureaucracy still making laws: Not Trump
Supreme Court still making laws: Not Trump
No budget in a decade: Not Trump
Foreign Policy in tatters: Not Trump

Well, you've certainly convinced me that Trump is key driver of multiple problems alright!

coupe said...

"...when our democracy is hanging by a thread.”

Isn't it funny though, that Progressives don't really want Democracy.

What a Progressive really needs is a Politburo and a 5-Year plan.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

What is best in life?

JB71-AZ said...

Air America's 'Progressive Talk Radio' was a test run on sat radio... and it failed big-time.

They tried getting onto AM stations... and failed big-time. Last I checked (maybe 5, 6 years ago - ah, Wiki says it was 2010 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_America_(radio_network) ) it was down to three stations... then there were none.

It's really pretty simple. If you have no listeners, you're at the bottom of the ratings. If you don't have decent ratings, it's hard to get good-paying advertisers. If you don't have advertising bringing in enough money, you're not going to be keeping the lights on for long.

And it doesn't do any good to put up what you THINK will sell to the masses if the masses aren't buying it. You can't force people to listen.

BJK said...

A new format, rumored to be either alternative rock or all-80's Hits, is expected to debut after the holiday season.

Alt-rock wouldn't even be a new format, so much as a reversion to old formatting; 92.1 was WMAD in the late 90s / early 00's ... it was pretty much the only station I could stand listening to as a student.

(Then again, considering one of its morning show hosts transitioned into conservative talk radio, maybe I was just prescient.)

mikeski said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mikeski said...

Static Ping: "My disagreement is that Trump is part of that problem."
Drago: "What?"


I think you've got Static backwards, Drago. Try reading it this way: "I disagree that Trump is part of the problem. [...]"

Especially when Static's next two sentences were "He's a reaction to the problem. How he will handle the situation remains to be seen." ... I don't see how you can read the first one as "Trump is part of the problem."

jeff said...

Thanks Clyde, could you do us a weekly jingle through Christmas please?

rehajm said...

We do need intelligent political talk, especially at this moment...

Is it too late to teach Matt Rothschild, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, formerly senior editor of The Progressive, about how in a market economy when there's demand for a product people willing to bear economic risk step up and meet that demand?

Saint Croix said...

Losers find Christ.

Christianity is the religion for outcasts, losers, victims, and the poor.

Christ gives us strength, purpose, drive, joy.

We become winners.

We no longer need Christ.

We forget about him.

We become smug assholes. And sooner or later, we lose.

And repeat!

Darrell said...

I can't wait to hear the drum circle version of Silver Bells.

Static Ping said...

Drago, I suppose I could be more clear. I am disagreeing with Mr. Rothschild's implication that Trump is the reason democracy is hanging by a thread. The reason "democracy" (republic, actually) is hanging by a thread has been a poor political class which has been tolerated by a short-sighted American culture. I assert this problem has accelerated over the past decade, especially with Obama acting more like a monarch than a president. There is little to no chance that Trump would have been a serious candidate if Bush had been Eisenhower and Obama had been Truman. Trump is President-Elect because our republic is failing and the political class is untrustworthy.

Trump is a bit of a cipher at the moment. I don't know how he is going to govern. I believe he loves this country and wants to succeed, but the results could be anything from Reagan II to Nixon II (or even Buchanan II). Hillary was promising Obama II which would have been a disaster, so I'll place my bets with the casino owner. Luck be a lady tonight.

Andrew X said...

Replacing progressivism with Christmas tunes.... in Madison.

That's not rubbing salt in the wound, that's rubbing sulfuric acid.

Just_Mike_S said...

I don't know if there'll be snow, but have a cup of cheer.

Triangle Man said...

Is this in competition with, or replacement for WOLX (94.9)? In the past it started as late asThanksgiving, to as early as the beginning of November. "Santa, baby..."

Sigivald said...

"If I wanted intelligent talk, why would I listen to national Progressives?"

Anthony said...

There already is Left-wing radio: NPR, CBS, ABC, NBC, ESPN, etc.

Marc Puckett said...

MisterBuddwing, Hilaire Belloc is so refreshingly free of cant and nonsense. His poem Noel, Noel... is at the Hilaire Belloc Blog, https://goo.gl/lRSm0V.

dwick said...

Interestingly enough, KPOJ 620 AM 'Portland's Progressive Talk' out here in Oregon switched format to sports-talk immediately after Obama's re-election back in 2012...

http://www.oregonlive.com/movies/2012/11/kpoj_620_am_reportedly_droppin.html

I'd tune in every once in awhile - it was becoming obvious the whole 24/7 Bush-bashing thing that fueled Air America had played out after 4 years of Obama.
Despite all the progs caterwauling about Portland not needing yet a 3rd sports-talk radio station (ESPN/FOX/NBC), 5 years later 620 AM is still sports-talk and seems to be doing fine (they carry the NBA Trailblazers games...)

Original Mike said...

I feel bad for Mitch Henck.

eddie willers said...

"May all my enemies go to hell/ Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel."

Reminds me of what Mo Udall (the last funny Democrat) said after a loss:

"The people have spoken....the bastards".

Static Ping said...

It would make sense that a political talk station would change formats after the election. The election campaign is going to provide the largest audience. In addition, the political ads dry up immediately thereafter.

Steven said...

"We do need intelligent political talk"

Well, sure. And the first step to getting that is booting unintelligent political talk off the air. It's a victory!