As my good buddy Wyatt has opined today, our local talk radio station WPHT has decided on a forum shakeup. They are dropping national heavyweights Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity in favor of local talkers Dom Giordano and Michael Smerconish. Now like most conservatives in liberal big-city America, I believe talk radio is our front line of resistance. That’s why the liberals are so dead set in pushing their so-called “Fairness Doctrine”. The CENSORSHIP DOCTRINE as I call it is nothing more than a thinly disguised attempt to further silence conservative thought and speech. Ever since their foray into the talk radio medium, “Air America” crashed and burned, and liberals have been whining how unfair the media is. Funny, when they were pushing Obama during the Presidential campaign everything was cool.
So it’s kind of strange that WPHT is dropping a successful lineup. WPHT’s conservative lineup is thriving in a left-wing, liberal democrat, big city. Since Dom Giordano is a non-factor in this market it looks like the real goal here is to push Michael Smerconish and his faux- conservatism or “moderate-ism”. Smerconish wants nothing more than to be a national media player like Beck, Hannity and Limbaugh. Problem is, he’s no conservative, and liberal thought is so widely discredited that there is no market for it outside government. Although he wraps himself in a conservative jacket by adopting causes like the death penalty for cop killers like Mumia Abu-Jamal, Smerconish in his support and defense of the Obama administration clearly indicates that he would much rather be rich and famous than take principled positions on conservative issues. Mr. Moderate is only looking to promote himself much like the RINO Republicans currently being purged from the ranks of the Republican party. Go along to get along. His longtime support of that tool Arlen Specter illustrates my point.
This is America, where free enterprise is a cornerstone of our democracy. So I can only say that the decision by WPHT to carry out this change theoretically should be nothing more than a business move, pure and simple. If that is the case, then so be it. WPHT has made their choice and it’s their radio station, they need to turn a profit, so I guess they know what they are doing. But call me skeptical.
I am a radio consumer like most conservatives and a primary target audience member for talk radio. If the Big Talker thinks this move is in any way going to make me and most conservative listeners tune in more often, than lots of luck, guys. Because as soon as this change takes place I will no longer listen to this station (except for Rush Limbaugh). And the minute Rush is picked up by another station, that will be it for WPHT on my radio. WPHT already pre-empt’s Rush during the summer in favor of the Phillies and I have no appetite to listen to baseball on the radio. So there will be no reason to tune into WPHT after January.
Beck and Hannity will most likely be picked up by another station in this market – you can bet on it. (Most likely 990 AM, I hope). That station will instantly become a competitor for WPHT and will get the support of the loyal conservatives in the area. Mr. Moderate – Smerconish – I predict will flounder about because there is no national market for talk radio “moderates”. Eventually this will prove to be a disaster for WPHT but a golden opportunity for another station to take over their market share and eventually force them into obscurity. I hope. I sent the station an e-mail letting them know my feelings on the issue. Here are some excerpts of their gracious reply:
“So, allow us to explain our thinking and goals. No slight or insult is intended toward Glen Beck who started syndication right here at WPHT, or Sean Hannity whom we consider a friend”.
“The fact is that we had three national shows that lasted nine hours, and while they were different in style and presentation, they largely covered the same national political topics. What they didn’t do was devote a lot of time to local issues that specifically concern residents of the Delaware Valley.”
Fair enough, but broadcasting from the local Pep Boys or Wal-Mart about the big local high school football game is your plan to get MORE people to tune into political radio? I’m not buying it. Were any of these shows LOSING money? Do they think they are going to make MORE money with Chris Stigall (who?) than Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity? Were conservatives clamoring for more local apathetic talk? Somehow I doubt it. Dom Giordano is case in point. This is all about Smerconish and his gigantic ego.
“Before making the decision that you are not going to listen to WPHT ever again, we hope that you’ll give us the opportunity to live up to the promise of greatness that we are striving for every day. We think you’re going to come to enjoy Chris Stigall in mornings. He is a Conservative who uses wit and humor to entertain while sharing his views”.
“…Michael Smerconish will devote more of his time broadcasting specifically to Philadelphians”
Again, Smerconish is going to spend more time broadcasting specifically to Philadelphians… Yawn. He isn’t getting it done in the morning so this is all nonsense. The small talker has decided for whatever reasons to go in another direction. I for one don’t think this makes any sense, but I’m not a radio programmer. In any event I’m voting with my ideas and ears on this one. Just like Wyatt!
Besides am I supposed to believe that Smerconish will suddenly start talking about the corruption and injustice that goes on in this city? Is he going to start talking about the disintegration of the fire department? Or the incompetence of schools superintendent Arlene Ackerman? If so, what’s stopping him from doing so now? I doubt he has any idea what goes on in the PFD, and in reality he could really care less. There is plenty of local material he could already be talking about, but like most media types he wants to get invited to the right parties. That means pandering and groveling.
“Ultimately there will remain ample venues to hear and see Glen Beck and Sean Hannity across the radio dial, Internet and cable television. They are talented broadcasters, but we think you will enjoy the new 1210 WPHT even more”.
Kindest regards,Andy Bloom, Operations Manager, 1210 WPHTEd Palladino, Program Director, 1210 WPHT
That’s all well and good but he’s not LOCAL, remember? I never heard of this guy. Besides I already listen to Bill Bennet on 990 AM after giving up on Mr. Moderate, Smerconish. Let me get this straight – you are replacing a “local moderate” with an out of town conservative in order to get more local listeners? At the same time you are dropping big name national talent… Uh huh.