2014 will mark the beginning of a massive change for liberal talk radio across the country. In New York, WWRL 1600 AM will flip to Spanish-language music and talk, throwing Ed Schultz, Thom Hartmann, Randi Rhodes, and Alan Colmes off the air. In Los Angeles, KTLK 1150 will be dumping Stephanie Miller, Rhodes, Bill Press and David Cruz off the air in favor of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. In San Francisco, KNEW 960 will leave Miller, Hartmann, and Mike Malloy without a radio home in the market.
Thanks to radio consolidation and the secondary status of leftist talk in major markets across the country, the final death knell for liberal talkers could be tolling. Leftist talkers simply don’t have the same radio draw as conservatives; KTLK was ranked #41 in the market in November 2013, with WWRL registering almost no pulse at all. KNEW registered just an 0.4 in the San Francisco market in December 2013, placing it #31 in the market.
The failure of commercial leftist talk means that only government-sponsored NPR remains in many major markets.