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Talk Radio Station on the Way??

June 19th, 2009 by admin · 39 Comments

Here’s some good news for WHAS late-night radio listeners — your days of enduring Michael Savage are about to come to an end.

WHAS Operations Director Kelly Carls released a statement today saying that Savage will be replaced Monday, July 6 by Mark Levin, who he described as “mainstream conservative and funny.” Levin has been a guest host for Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, and his book “Liberty and Tyranny” is a best-seller. Not as appealing as Joe Elliott, but an improvement over the obnoxious Savage.

But the change involving Savage isn’t the only talk radio change coming to Louisville. The AM station in New Albany, 1570-AM, is losing both Laura Ingraham and Glenn Beck. Station GM David Smith said the producers of the shows notified him that the shows were moving. He said he hasn’t decided what to program in place of the shows.

Neither Smith nor Carls seem to know where in Louisville the three talk shows are headed, but consider this. In San Antonio, a hip-hop station was flipped to an all-talk format after Christmas, featuring Savage, Ingraham and other conservatives. That’s not the only market in which a music station has switched to a talk format.

The logic is that music stations that are not doing well can make more money by switching to an all-syndicated talk format using these Talk Radio Network hosts. No staffing required, a potential improvement in ratings and a potential boost to local ad sales.

Is there a struggling FM station playing music in the Louisville market? Let’s see.

Last October, WLRS-FM fired its entire on-air staff, including DJ Rocky Knight. The station is owned by Main Line Broadcasting, which operates five local FM stations, all operating various music formats. But at the time of the eight firings last fall, blame was placed on a drop in advertising sales.

Main Line laid off six more staffers, including Leesa Mitchell of Magic 101.3, in January.

So it looks like the secret negotiations causing the ripple effect in local talk will result in a change at LRS.

Tags: Radio · Ratings · WHAS

39 responses so far ↓

  • 1 syvyn11 // Jun 19, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Savage gives conservatives a bad name.

  • 2 Marty // Jun 19, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Thank God! Michael Savage is crazed. I’ve listened to some of his crazy rants and it frightens me. I think Levin may be similar, though. It amazes me that these people get good audiences.

  • 3 richb // Jun 19, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    I got excited for a second and thought Francene was leaving. Or Terry Meiners was going to retire. But then I’d miss his black face impression anytime
    he’s talking about the Westend.

  • 4 Mark H // Jun 19, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    There is always an audience for extreme or partisan views. Look no further than Ann Coulter, the most annoying person in America.

    In my opinion, one of the bad byproducts of the cross-fire style talk formats, is that the media has generated a market for an entire group of hard-wing partisans to counter (aka balance) the same hard-winger on the other side of every topic.

    Couldn’t we have a balanced discussion by having an entire panel of balanced commentators to begin with?

    If you are and young, level-headed unbiased analyst, where are you going to find air time on any of the talking head shows? You seem to have to be an Ann Coulter or an Ed Shultz to get a gig these days.

  • 5 Jack Ratterman // Jun 19, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Great news about Mark Levin getting a station in Louisville expecially like WHAS . Never understood Laura Ingaham’s move from WGTK to 1570 and Glenn Beck is red hot. Should be a big improvement for the fans.

  • 6 Steve Bittenbender // Jun 19, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    It would be nice to have more local talk programming. While I don’t always agree with Ed Springston, I’d rather see him get a shot than somebody simulcasting out of NY, DC, LA or BFE.

    I know it depends on the station, but how much does it cost to buy an hour of programming on a station?

  • 7 bill // Jun 19, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    How about this. Get rid of Terry Meiners, and put on Joe Elliott so we can have an actual local talkshow! Terry Meiners quit being funny the day him and Ron Clay seperated! Or maybe replace Franicis the mule, oops I mean Francene with Joe Elliott.

  • 8 Carter Burger // Jun 19, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    I’d rather listen to a 400 Hz tone than Meiners. I hated it when Gary Burbank retired from WLW, I have nothing to listen to in the afternoons.

    And before you get a head of your self, there is another station to consider. 93.9, WLCL. They were sports before abruptly changing to “classic hits”. I think they are the dark horse candidate for a format change.

  • 9 Brad // Jun 19, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    There are several struggling FM stations in Louisville. Clear Channel has several, with very big signals I might add, that they could flip. Who says they’re not trying to pull a fast one? Also, what about 102.3? That’s a Mainline Broadcasting station too isn’t it? I don’t know a single person that listens to that station. If I want music like that I’ll listen to FPK, much better music and DJ’s.

  • 10 Patrick // Jun 19, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    All the clear channel stations make money all of mainline stations make money except wlrs and mainline now has the coin to flip lrs since they have let go of so many people in the last few months so it will be lrs.And 102.3 and fpk are nothing alike where in the name of heaven and earth did you get that idea.They have very few if any songs shared.Minline also brings in good coin they are not going anywhere.

  • 11 Patrick // Jun 19, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    102.3 brings in good coin for mainline

  • 12 Carter Burger // Jun 19, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Patrick, I’d like to introduce you to the period. The period is the punctuation mark commonly placed at the end of sentences, such as this one. Makes it easier for others to follow you chain to thought and using it prevents you from looking foolish.

  • 13 Bruce Maples // Jun 19, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    – Bring back Joe Elliott. I didn’t always agree with him, but it was LOCAL and mostly fair.
    – If all the right-wing airbags get time on the air, what about some LEFT-WING hosts? Rachel Maddow has a show, as do others. And don’t give me some line about WFPL being left-wing; their reporting is pretty even, IMHO.
    – Get a copy of “The Eliminationists” to see what some of the ultra-right-wing hate talk is churning up. Here’s hoping Savage, Coulter, and the other “line ‘em up and kill ‘em all” eliminationists lose market share and stations. They’ve already lost all credibility.

  • 14 Bruce Maples // Jun 19, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    And one more thing, as long as we’re on radio –

    Could we PLEASE figure out a way to keep ESPN on FM somewhere in this town?

  • 15 Mark Hebert // Jun 19, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    How do we convince WHAS radio management to put Joe Elliott back on the night shift? Bribes? Picketing?

  • 16 Crutnacker // Jun 19, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    Wow, they’re getting rid of the human sewer pit that is Michael Weiner “Savage” (the guy who did NOT invent the Rockstar Energy Drink). I never thought I’d see that.

    Clear Channel stupidly destroyed radio and then blamed it on changing listening patterns among the general public. WHAS was a crown jewel among radio across the country and it got turned into another syndicated outpost of crap for right wing spew.

    Why not program local late night talk again? Is syndicated garbage really more profitable in the long run than local programming?

  • 17 Mark H // Jun 20, 2009 at 12:29 am

    I agree Mr. Hebert. There is nobody more professional than Joe.

    Question for the media folks out there:

    I’m sure that a station determines the listening market by independent research, but how much influence on management does the numbers of callers during the program have?

    I have no idea what Joe’s ratings were, but I would think that a controversial blowhard shock-talk host like a John Ziegler, would get stir up more callers than Joe, who has a wisdom and prospective about him. I wonder if Joe was a victim of his common sense approach?

  • 18 Jason R. // Jun 20, 2009 at 1:47 am

    Patrick.

    102.3?? I never even heard of that station until this post. I listened a few hours tonight…now I know why. What a crappy station. My wife said she knows of it but only listens in the afternoon, apparently the morning DJs suck. I did pick it up pretty well at my house in J-town so it has good reception. I’d love to see it go to talk FM.
    And Hebert, you’re right. Joe is the first person I would put on. He was one of the best on 840.
    Clear Channel has their head up the rear for letting him go.

  • 19 Patrick // Jun 20, 2009 at 2:28 am

    You all should hear 98.9 kiss fm. It is all piped in from the jocks to the music from dave and jimmy in the morning to seacrest then they go to this thing called premium choice clear channel started oh my god i hate kiss fm now!!!

    They are local w carlos for a few hours on sat and sun but other then that its not local!!!

    The fox is only victimn to this on overnights and the weekends.

  • 20 Humble // Jun 20, 2009 at 3:20 am

    It really wouldn’t take a major investment to make a nice splash on FM against a seriously vulnerable competitor. Utilizing a market veteran with good talk chops and solid heritage (Joe Elliot would be a solid candidate) in mornings and just maybe, stay local in afternoons adding another talent with some in-market talk experience (heavy on local content with a more contemporary delivery), then roll with syndication the rest of the day. Throw in network news coupled with a minute or two of local news content and traffic during AM and PM drive (that will do as well as or better than what we’re already getting). Add strong production and you’ve got a shot at growing the talk audience and pulling enough people away from ‘HAS to get some real numbers to sell at attractive rates with a real marketing campaign. It amazes me how radio, regularly solicits ad dollars saying, “you’ve got to spend money to make money”, “if you don’t invite people to the party they won’t know you’re having a party”, but regularly fails to do the same with their own specific product and medium and not just during tough times, like these. Now is the time to grow your brand and market share and at great rates!

  • 21 ex-WHAS listener // Jun 20, 2009 at 8:10 am

    Joe Elliott is sorely missed in this town. I’m sure Clear Channel will not own up to it’s most ignorant and stupid move of eliminating his talk show and give him another shot. And that, my friends, is a crying shame.

  • 22 TaxMan // Jun 20, 2009 at 8:26 am

    Bring back Ziegler, he was local.

  • 23 retired but young // Jun 20, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    please , everybody try to get Joe Elliott back on whas , Mornings would be great .

  • 24 Mark H // Jun 20, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    My understanding was that when Tony took over mornings, the format was to emphasize more hard news and current events. There is absolutely no doubt hearing Joe filling in this week, that he has a superior command of the issues.

    It is painful and occasionally embarrassing to listen to some of Tony’s questions he throws at his on-air guests.

  • 25 bill // Jun 20, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    I absolutely love it (sarcasm intended) when whas tells us about the video of the day! LMAO! What in the hell is up with that! Lets see, Tony Cruise on the RADIO telling us about a video? What compelling radio that is!

  • 26 Gordon // Jun 21, 2009 at 9:29 am

    XM/Sirius Radio-Have had it for 5 years and never looked back.

  • 27 Adam // Jun 22, 2009 at 1:07 am

    I think that a local “Hannity and Colmes” type radio show would be entertaining, informing, and a public service. I emailed Indiana 1570 and proposed the idea for a local show (even if just on Saturday or Sundays) of this type. They are going to have two openings soon on weekday mornings/afternoons and now would be a great time to try this. Someone can take on WHAS and there is no better time. Their signal may not be great, but it is far reaching during the day.

    What does everyone think?

  • 28 Mark // Jun 22, 2009 at 10:36 am

    There are lots of similiarly bland FM music stations, and I usually just listen to WFPK or sometimes WNAS. Just this morning I happened to try 102.3 and got Hey Ya (outkast) Crazy (Gnarls Barkley) and Use Somebody (Kings of Leon) back to back. Not bad for a Monday morning.

  • 29 LV // Jun 22, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Humble’s comment (#20) makes a lot of sense.
    However, as several others have mentioned a good signal is important along with hiring the right talent, if they’re not going ALL out of town with syndicated sludge.

    Joe Elliot, is a no brainer with loyal listeners and long time on WHAS. Someone else who could be good is Sterling, a regular WHAS sub for Francine and used to hear him on WLW too. Might be good together with Joe or opposite Francine or Terry Meiners with Joe in mornings with Mornings. Someone save us from the same old boring. Does anyone know if Morning Joe (MSNBC), still do their radio show after TV in the morning?

  • 30 retired but young // Jun 22, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Tony Cruise is a Buffoon , his constant trying to play off his coworkers for material is boaring ,and they act or sound like ,they don’t like it either . K CARLS please bring back Joe E.

  • 31 JR WhatFace // Jun 23, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    I will never forget the one-two-punch of Milton Metz and Joe Donovan weekday nights from 9pm-5am. That WHAS time slot has never been and will never be that good again. Hell, commercial radio period will never be that good again. As for this Mark Levin: “mainstream conservative and funny”???? That hurts my brain.

  • 32 The Oldham Observer // Jul 1, 2009 at 1:28 am

    Terminate Kelly Carls – Period !

    Bring back Joe Elliott full-time – Period !

    Eliminate “Coast-to-Coast AM” – Period !

    Make Terry Meiners work 48 weeks a year – Period !

    Ideal Monday-Friday WHAS radio lineup:

    5am-9am
    “Joe Elliott & Ken Schulz & Company”
    News and serious topics with Joe, weather and humor with Ken…what a combination ! Lengthen Cindi Sullivan’s segments and keep the news/sports/traffic reports updated and presented by just one news anchor.

    9am-Noon
    “Terry Meiners & Kevin Harned & Company”
    The comedy has worn thin…let Terry discuss local / regional issues with callers, plug the usual comedians, events, fundraisers, etc. Kevin can do the weather and cover any food related topics. And send them out to various events to cover them in the form of remote broadcasts.

    Noon-3pm
    Rush “Airbag” Limbaugh
    But, he makes WHAS $$$…

    3pm-7pm
    “Ron & Mel Fischer & Company”
    A pure pleasure to listen to this married couple…sports updates with Paul Rogers…enough said about this winning team…

    7pm-9pm
    “SportsTalk with Paul Rogers”
    Keeping this show local / regional…U of L, UK, Bellarmine, IU, horses, guest interviews, etc. Real knowledge from Paul’s storied career covering sports…plus, Lachlan or Tony can cover this show when Paul is on the road with U of L, on vacation and Bob Valvano is not available to fill in.

    9pm-12am – Call it…
    “Sports Night” with Lachlan McLean & Tony Cruise…no need for paying a “producer”, which is a wasted expense currently for Cruise, Francene, Meiners and McLean…let them take turns screening calls and make the show about the day’s sports stories, along a more topical and national scale (with the 50,000 watt blowtorch’s reach) with LOTS of call-ins, and a lot LESS of their own ramblings…and ban the following phrase:
    “Having said that…” and anything to do with one’s own personal “gambling” habits !

    12am-5am
    “Francene Listens”
    Give her the bigger audience (close enough to national) she obviously craves…topics split between real local hot-button issues, regional and national issues, politics, pop culture issues, etc. In-depth interview segments and interaction with callers will make this show a hit…

    As for the weekends, don’t even get me started on the lame-ass reruns of syndicated shows…the only pleasures of listening on the weekends are:
    Ron & Mel
    Cindi Sullivan
    Gary Sullivan (no relation to Cindi)
    Jim Strader

    Just my own humble opinion (from someone who’s been an on-air DJ, newsman, talk show host) who has watched Kelly Carls and Clear Channel take WHAS radio to the depths of radio hell…

    Nothing personal against any current on-air staff mind you…just my thoughts on what may possibly bring back some of the lost luster of the once mighty 84WHAS…

    Their slogan…”84 WHAS-Depend On It!” no longer applies…

  • 33 Chad // Jul 5, 2009 at 9:47 am

    WHAS sucks wind like all stations in Louisville. I gave up on them years ago when they fired Joe Donovan. I also miss Gary Burbank from 700 WLW in Cincinnati (which has somehow remained mostly all local despite being owned by CC). I have been a loyal XM listener four about 4 and 1/2 years now as I can’t stand the right wing gas bags spewing their repeated garbage and left wing talk radio doesn’t make money so you won’t hear it on terrestrial radio. For my money I like Rollye James and Alex Jones for talk.

  • 34 Ed Springston // Jul 5, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    This is a shameless plug admittedly but if you miss the days of Joe Elliot check out my new show MyViewMatters radio on WKJK 1080 AM.

    It airs Thursday nights at 7 Pm. Let us know what you think.

    thanks

  • 35 Jim Slide // Jul 6, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    WKJK would increase their listenership if the put Joe Elliot on every night in the 9-12am slot.
    The forum that discusses local events and national news can’t be replaced by nationally syndicated show. Yes, they cost more, but their more valuable to the listening audience too.

  • 36 Glad to be out of Louisville // Jul 10, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    I recently moved and do not regret it one bit. I actually enjoyed Michael Savage because I found him entertaining but, hey, we all have our own opinions. Too much liberal viewpoints (especially on this comment chain) in this city. But that’s everyone’s right. I just don’t want to live in it. 26 years was too much!

  • 37 Ed Springston // Jul 11, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    Well Jim I would not argue that point about Joe. I am a huge fan of his but without his local on air personality we are left with the syndicated morons who the networks decide we should listen to.

    Not necessarily who we want to listen to.

    This is the reason my co host Ed Martin and I started the MyViewMatters radio Show. To give people a local program again. One they can relate to and interact with.

    WE pay for the show out of our pocket not the corporate guys which is why we sell our own ads and they are so cheap. It is also one reason why we are only on one night a week.

    Air time is not cheap.

    We are not in it for profit but for the people of Louisville who crave something real and local again.

    So if you want to get something local check us out.

    If you like us help get the word out.

    If you are a business then advertise and help us stay on the air.

    It really is a community event.

  • 38 MARKA // Jul 26, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    BRING MICHAEL SAVAGE BACK! AS A CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIAN FEMALE I’LL ADMIT MR. SAVAGE WAS A BIT ABRASIVE, EVEN OFFENSIVE, BUT HE TELLS IT LIKE IT IS. MAYBE SOME LISTENERS DON’T WANT TO HEAR THAT OR MAYBE THE TRUTH HURTS, EVEN ME SOMETIMES, BUT IT’S SO IMPORTANT TO HAVE THAT STRONG VOICE BECAUSE PEOPLE LISTEN. IT GETS THEIR ATTENTION. I’M HAVING A VERY DIFFICULT TIME LISTENING TO MR. LEVINE’S SQUEAKY, WHINEY VOICE EVEN THOUGH I DO AGREE WITH MUCH OF WHAT HE SAYS. HE’S NOT AN ATTENTION-GETTER. IT APPEARS THAT THE MEDIA DO HAVE COMPLETE CONTROL OVER THE TRUTH……..BE IT THAT OR NOT!

  • 39 Blair // Aug 4, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    Get Meiners off the air! I can’t stand to listen to him anymore. His comedy bits are old and stale. His one liners are horrible. Joe Elliott filled in for a couple of weeks recently and it was soooo much better radio than with Meiners and his attitude. I listen ONLY for traffic, news and sports. I could do totally without the idiotic ramblings of this moron. What place does any of this have on a news/talk station? Everyone I talk to is getting tired of Meiner’s ‘schtick’ and wants something new and fresh…Meiners can’t provide that.

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