Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Soglin Decries Talk Radio's Viral Presence

Paul Soglin has been spending time in Milwaukee lately, and finds our ubiquitous talk radio jocks distasteful.


Best advice: bring along your CD's, listen to FM, or on AM radio, there is 1290 WMCS, with thoughtful talk all day long.

The rightist squawkers do go out of their way to rip Milwaukee to stir up the suburban AM radio base - - for a guy like Belling - - he's speaking directly to his core audience: older white males.

You listen to the callers ID's, and it's this guy from Franklin, another from Mukwonago, or Hartford or Oak Creek.

Relatively few callers from Milwaukee, and not many from women.

So, for instance, when Belling was railing not long ago about the alleged dangers at Mayfair Mall, he was pretty much talking to people who were not going to be headed there anyway to the Abercrombie & Fitch store, or Crate and Barrel.

The shows do have an effect in suburban politics - - the conservative Republican Scott Walker's winning campaigns county-wide are good examples - - but they have far less impact in the City of Milwaukee, where they could not get their beloved County Sheriff David Clarke through the 2004 Mayoral primary.

And where GOP candidates for state and national offices - - Bush, Mark Green, Mark Neumann, et al - - still run poorly against Democrats.

I also sense a change in talk radio programming instituted by management in this market, and followed by the hosts who want to keep their jobs

If you listen even more closely than Paul has chosen to do - and I am not recommending it - - you hear more "lifestyle" topics being launched - - sports, movie commentary, and so forth - - and less of the one-dimensional right-wing, pro-Bush/pro-war ranting.

Even for this market, the Format of the Far Right is getting stale

Most other cities have moved to lifestyle talk radio, and past the Limbaugh-clone-only variation.

And I suspect you will see this trend continue, especially at 620-WTMJ, the state's largest AM station, where Dennis Miller, whose pitch is gentler and comedic, and professional, is now in the non-sports' evening slot.


Anonymous said...

Agreed. I sense a movement of wills. Many are tired of all of the hate and the rhetoric. When you continue day after day with nothing but negativity one soon becomes exhausted. Many people are simply tired of it. Soon the masses will be demanding answers in the form of REAL discussion with REAL solutions. Current talk radio only serves to frustrate the listener and obfuscate the problems...not to help in solving them.

Anonymous said...

There is also WGN Radio (AM 720) from Chicago that is a class act with talk, and no screaming nasty stuff one hears too often on right wing talk.

Anonymous said...

If you leftist reprobates don't like Milwaukee talk radio--SHUT IT OFF. There are many more who do like it.

Who gives a crap what Paul Soglin likes? There was a lefty AM talk station in Madison that closed a few months ago. It was so bad that listening to it was a permanent solution to insomnia. The lefty progressives in Madison abandoned that station in droves. Why? Because it was BORING.

You forgot to mention talk radio on WNOV when "Commander" Mike McGee rails against whitey. That should be "nice talk" for you lefty progressives.

Leave rightwing radio alone. The right is right and the left is wrong.

Mark from Germantown

James Rowen said...

Hey - - thanks for sharing.

James Rowen said...

To Mark from Germantown:

I think your comment deserves a little more reaction, especially your last two lines: "Leave rightwing radio alone. The right is right and the left is wrong."

Talk radio has been busy for years stirring things up, and on a daily basis on two major radio stations here in Milwaukee absolutely blasting the left, liberals, Democrats and plenty of other folks in media and politics.

So now along come a few so-called lefty bloggers, without access to AM shows all-day long, and talk show supporters just flip out.

"Leave talk radio alone?"

It exists, in part, to provoke a reaction.

One more thing: To say the right is right and the left is wrong doesn't tell me you are doing a lot of real thinking, especially about the grey areas.

Which is exactly what you will not hear on talk radio.

Brian Calvert said...

So if the listeners on these shows are from the burbs, why is Soglin worried that they are a detriment to Milwaukee? It would seem to me that if nobody from Milwaukee is listening to the right then what is the big deal. Change has to happen from within. When the people of Milwaukee individually want to change then a concensus (sp?) begins. After that anything is possible. I just don't think that what the former Mayor of Madison is talking about is relevant. The only way we get better in Milwaukee is by being better and demanding better from those around us. We all have our problems, Madison is by no means perfect. It's easy to blame people on the radio if all you do is listen to the radio. What about going to the neighborhoods where we have problems and find out what the people there need? Are we so ignorant that we blame the radio for our problems? By that logic I should blame my ISP for allowing to spend too much time reading blogs and searching out new recipes. Or blame television for staying up too late watching the talking heads discuss OJ? People we have the ability to change but in the end everyone has to make that choice.