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Thursday, February 19, 2009

The State of Progressive Radio

From http://onsecondthought.net/



On Second Thought Press Release
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Phoenix,
Arizona


It is with great excitement and optimism that I announce
today the formation of a new progressive talk radio network. The On Second
Thought Radio Network will continue to build upon the foundation laid by our
predecessors and will work dilligently to fulfill our fiduciary responsibilities
to all investors and principals involved. Equally important, we will, with the
millions of faithful progressive listeners across the country, uphold our vision
to promote freedom, social justice, economic justice and peace worldwide.

Below, please take time to review the bios of our current lineup. We
will initially be offering a daily 9 hour block of programming with some of the
most entertaining, engaging, experienced and provocative hosts America has to
offer. We look forward to adding more talent and innovative products to our
network in the near future.

One thing we can assure you is that we will
always value the fundamental principle of “We the People” proclaimed by our
Founding Fathers. The On Second Thought Radio Network will work tirelessly to
hear the voices and honor the commitments of our listeners, affiliates,
supporters and advertisers alike. We welcome any and all suggestions as we go
through this transition period. Please feel free to email us at comments@onsecondthought.net
and continue to check out our web site, www.onsecondthought.net where we
will keep you up to date on the latest and greatest that we hope to offer to
you!

Respectfully,

Mike Newcomb, CEO
On Second Thought Radio
Network


Fun, Feisty and FRESH! The Nancy Skinner Show meets America
where we voted in the last election. Nancy is a contemporary of President Obama.
She ran against the future President for his Illinois Senate seat. He endorsed
her Michigan congressional run. Talk about a direct line to The White House!
Nancy hosted a weekday show for 8 years on WLS-AM Chicago. For the past decade
Nancy has been a guest host and expert on: MSNBC, CNN, and FOX News. The
Nancy Skinner Show will air 3PM - 6PM (EST), Monday through Friday.

“It's great to be back on the airwaves after my forays into
politics. Losing to POTUS turns out to be pretty cool and since I am his biggest
fan, it's kinda like being on the "teams of rivals", only on radio. Turns out
that I'm back on the air in a very important time in our country's history and
I'm looking forward to a national conversation with Americans of all stripes.”
- Nancy Skinner

Mike Newcomb, MD is a former gubernatorial candidate
and physician who cares for the elderly and the poor. His brand of “freedom
fighting, liberty loving and truth telling” radio has taken Phoenix, AZ by
storm. After only his first year on the air Mike was selected as the “Best Radio
Talk-Show Host” in Phoenix. Doctor Mike has appeared nationally on MSNBC, C-SPAN
AND FOX News and has written opinion pieces for one of America’s largest
newspapers, The Arizona Republic. The Mike Newcomb Show will air from
6PM - 9PM (EST), Monday through Friday.

“Martin Luther King
once said, ““In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the
silence of our friends.”” With the On Second Thought Radio Network our friends
need not be silent anymore.”
- Mike Newcomb

Continuing on the
network will be America’s original “truth-seeker” Mike Malloy. The Mike
Malloy Show will continue to broadcast live Monday through Friday, from 9PM -
Midnight (EST).

“Hey, Truthseekers, Just a quick note from your
humble and obedient (ha-ha) servant. I am pleased to let you know the Malloy
program continues. Same time, same station, same Web-cast, same satellite
availability. Nothing changes while everything does, as my tai chi instructor
says. Anyway, we're here and we'll continue with the most intense, factual,
hell-raising liberal talk in the nation. Keep it lit.”
- Mike Malloy



All mention of Randi Rhodes has been eliminated from the site.

Meanwhile, the network OST is replacing, NovaM, had filed for liquidation.


Nova M Radio Inc., a competitor to troubled radio network Air America, is filing
for bankruptcy liquidation, according to the company's co-founder, amid mounting
disarray in the small world of liberal talk radio.

Anita and Sheldon
Drobny, a married couple from Chicago, founded Nova M in 2006 and have been
funding the business partly out of their own pockets. Compounding their
troubles: Nova M's highest-profile host, Randi Rhodes, vanished from the
airwaves earlier this month. Mrs. Drobny also said that her husband is currently
hospitalized for problems stemming from the stress of dealing with the network,
which has 34 affiliates.

Nova M hired Ms. Rhodes last year after she
fell out with Air America, which is now run by Pendulum Media LLC. A person
familiar with the matter says that Nova M was supposed to have promised to cover
certain legal costs for Ms. Rhodes, who some herald as the liberal answer to
Rush Limbaugh. But she quit after discovering that her employment contract
didn't offer such indemnification.

A message on Ms. Rhodes's Web site
blames her disappearance on Nova M's failure to correct an unspecified problem
and says she is seeking a new home for her show. Ms. Rhodes's lawyer, Robert
Gaulin, blamed "technical problems." Anita Drobny says she can't discuss the
terms of Ms. Rhodes's contract.

Stations that aired Ms. Rhodes are left
scrambling. KKGN "Green 960" in San Francisco has found a replacement. But
programming director John Scott fumed in a posting on the station's Web site
that while conservative radio is organized, liberal radio is plagued by "drama,
inconsistency, miscommunication, ego and a trail of wreckage."

Ms.
Rhodes has been replaced on station WJNO in West Palm Beach, Fla., by
conservative talk host Sean Hannity.

Ms. Rhodes left Air America last
year after she made inflammatory comments about Geraldine Ferraro and Hillary
Clinton during a stand-up comedy performance. Although Air America has found new
financial backers, it doesn't have the high profile its founders had hoped for.
The Drobnys, who helped get Air America off the ground, are no longer involved
with that company.

Nova M's other host, Mike Malloy, is switching to
another would-be Air America competitor: Phoenix-based start-up On Second
Thought Radio Network LLC. The backer of On Second Thought, Dr. Mike Newcomb,
who was involved with Nova M until last year, describes his new network as "talk
radio for independent minds." He plans to use former Nova M station KNUV in
Phoenix as his company's flagship.

Ms. Drobny says she and her husband
had poured their own money into Nova M, but the business became unsustainable
last fall. As advertising revenue plummeted, so did the Drobnys' personal
portfolio, making it impossible for them to keep supporting the company. Toward
the end, Nova M lost $100,000 a month. The financial stresses eventually
affected her husband's health, she says, leading to the breakdown that landed
him in the hospital.

"There were so many wealthy progressives out there
that could have made [progressive radio] happen," she said, but they didn't want
to help. "It ended up being on Sheldon's shoulders."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123500238535517781.html?mod=googlenews_wsj




No word on the whereabouts of Ms. Rhodes.



Meanwhile, NeoCon stations are starting to be afraid that the loss of NovaM, and the troubles of Air America could intesify the call for the return of the "Fairness Doctrine." As they trumpeted the demise of NovaM, the website at WTMJ/Milwaulkee "warns:" "Fallout: Every time liberal fail in the marketplace, the push for the Fairness Doctrine intensifies." (http://www.620wtmj.com/shows/charliesykes/39748717.html)

Meanwhile, AAR may have suffered another blow as Thom Hartmann moves to Dial Global:

NEW YORK -- February 2, 2009: Dial Global and WYD Management have announced
an agreement under which Dial Global will provide advertising sales and
affiliate representation for The Thom Hartmann Show, beginning March 1. The show
airs from noon-3 p.m. ET and currently airs in Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas,
Detroit, and other markets.

"With the addition of Thom Hartmann, Dial Global solidifies its
position as the premier content provider of the very best progressive Talk
radio," said Dial Global SVP/GM, News/Talk Amy Bolton. "Dial Global now offers
12 hours of proven, winning progressive talk shows. We're delighted to work with
Thom and WYD."

WYD's Ron Hartenbaum said, "It is great to be reunited with so many
friends and former colleagues who are at Dial Global. In a tough economic
environment, we are pleased to be working with such an aggressive team on all
aspects of our business."

http://www.radioink.com/Article.asp?id=1141065&spid=24698


The hat trick would be for Dial Global to sign Randi Rhodes on, plus maybe take on Air America as a division. DG could consolidate all of thier progressive shows under the AAR banner, which still has high recognizably, and either offer AAR as a turn key network, or a ala carte programming menu.

Either way, the death of progressive radio is highly premature. What it needs is not the Fairness Doctrine, but, as I said yesterday, having financially solvent people committed to the format, AND good radio, AND good sales to start PURCHASING stations. When you OWN the stick that is power.

And that is the state of Progressive Radio today.

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