Monday, February 17, 2003

Opinion: Liberal Talk Radio?

It was recently reported in the NY Times that the Democratic Party is planning on investing on the hopes of starting a Liberal talk radio network. The hopes are a series of programs to counteract the conservative talk radio hosts currently dominating America’s AM radio dials.

I’m sitting here scratching my head over this one. The very definition of conservatism is, as cut and paste right here: “3: the tendency to prefer an existing or traditional situation to change.” Naturally, these people would flock to the 50’s technology of amplitude modulation radio.

Creating a Liberal radio network is just butting heads with a 500 pound gorilla. Drudge, Limbaugh, Reagan, and Beck have been playing this game for a while. Their listeners are established, have made up their minds, and are not going to be swayed by some newcomer.

So, what I propose is that these people look to a medium that is better suited for their audience. What I’m suggesting can be just as daunting, probably just as expensive, but in the end, far more effective than throwing money into an AM hole.

I suggest an internet site, a “mega-site” if you will. This site will host commentary, webcasts, and archives pushing the liberal message. Its audience will find the delivery method far more reliable, and far savvier than AM. It’s forward thinking.

Web content sites have been tough to draw a profit on. Just look at the demise of the era to see examples of that. But, if you have a focused, centralized forum for liberal commentators, thinkers, and speakers, combine it with advertising focused for that demographic, and provide the bells and whistles that the consumer wants, I would think it’s hard to fail. Once established, then fight the conservative radio fight.

It’s a plan that works. Matt Drudge started with a simple website. He then branched out to a radio show based on the popularity of that site. AM radio would be rough. It’d be nice to have a “built-in” audience going into it.

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