There is a little known ritual that occurs in the election years when Democrats prevail: Big "Conservative" Media starts to pull progressive talk radio off the air.
I documented this in my 2009 documentary film, Broadcast Blues: after Democratic candidates made big gains in 2006, Clear Channel and other public airwaves radio licensees pulled several well performing progressive talk radio stations off the air, and replaced them with sports and other programming. It would be easier to understand if the new programs got big ratings bumps, but that didn't happen. The new shows' ratings are typically only half those of Progressive Talkers.
True to form, Clear Channel Communications, which owns about 850 radio stations nationwide, took the Progressive voices off of the public airwaves in Portland, Oregon just days after Democrats won big nationwide. When devoted listeners tuned in to Portland's 620 AM, they expected to hear Thom Hartmann, Mike Malloy and other Progressives waxing exuberant in the wake of this year's election results and looking forward to new possibilities in the new session of Congress under a wildly popular re-elected President. Instead, they heard fans exuberant over some football game or other. FoxSports620 now broadcasts over that 25,000 watt frequency on our public airwaves.
Bye bye lefty talk, hello left-handed quarterbacks.
It isn't like Portland needs another sports radio station; there are already two in that very same market. But the community does need to hear an alternative to the "conservative" talk which is broadcast on eight, count them, eight separate frequencies on Portland's radio dials.
But as of November 9th, as reported here on The BRAD BLOG, Portland joined the ranks of the other 95% of the country which can hear many stations spewing Right Wing propaganda [PDF], but not a single one broadcasting progressive points of view. A few days later, we learned that the CBS-owned Progressive station in Seattle --- also in one of the most progressive cities in the nation --- is scheduled to disappear, most likely on the first of the year. It's KPTK caller letters have already been changed to KFNQ (Fan Q) in preparation for the all sports station it is scheduled to soon become, unless something changes.
Take a look at these maps from Broadcast Blues, graphically representing the number of Rightwing vs. Progressive radio stations as of 2009....