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The mandate of the Fairness Doctrine was to require that audiences were exposed to a diversity of viewpoints.
It had required the holders of broadcast licenses to "present controversial issues of public importance" and to do so in a manner that was, in the commission's view, "honest, equitable and balanced".
Its repeal provided an opportunity for a kind of partisan political programming with commercial appeal that had not previously existed. The most successful pioneer in the early s' talk radio movement in the US was the politically conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh.
Limbaugh's success demonstrated that there was a nationwide market for passionately delivered conservative polemic on contemporary news, events, and social trends, and changed the face of how the talk radio business was conducted. Unrestrained by the Fairness Doctrinecheering for one's political party, and especially against the other, had become popular entertainment which rapidly changed the way politics nationally was discussed, perceived, and conducted.
The Salem Radio Network syndicates a group of religiously oriented Republican activists, including evangelical Christian Hugh Hewitt and Jewish conservatives Dennis Prager and Michael Medved ; these are mostly distributed in a hour network format among Salem's own stations, and they generally earn ratings much less than their syndicated counterparts. In the summer ofconservative talk show hosts mobilized public opposition to the McCain-Kennedy immigration reform billwhich eventually failed.
During the primaries, Limbaugh in particular had endorsed a plan to do whatever it took to prolong the Democrats' nomination by encouraging political conservatives to cross over to the Democrats and voting for the trailing candidate, a plan he called " Operation Chaos ".
Conservative talk show hosts also lent their unified support for congressional candidate Doug Hoffmana conservative third-party candidate who was running in New York's 23rd congressional district special election,against a liberal Republican Dierdre Scozzafava and a mainstream Democrat Bill Owens. The unified support from the conservative base helped propel Hoffman to frontrunner status and effectively killed Scozzafava's campaign, forcing her to drop out of the race several days before the election.
This effort backfired on the conservative hosts, as the Democratic candidate Owens won in part thanks to Scozzafava's endorsement of Owens. Local hosts, such as Los Angeles's John and Kenhave also proven effective in influencing the political landscape. Worth and DallasTexas have also achieved some success. Many of these hosts also publish books, write newspaper columns, appear on television, and give public lectures Limbaugh, again, was a pioneer of this model of multi-media punditry.
There had been some precursors for talk radio show stars, such as the Los Angeles-area controversialist Joe Pynewho would attack callers on his program in the early s — one of his famous insults was "gargle with razor blades"; the similar Bob Grant in New York City; and Wally George in Southern California.
See also lawyer, Norman Goldmanunder the progressive talk section. Not political but certainly prevalent in talk radio is Leo Laporte who offers consumer advice particularly related to technical computer topics. While politically-oriented talk is still heard on the AM dial mostly the conservative formatit has seen some expanding onto the FM dial. One notable example was WPGB in Pittsburghwhich switched to a talk format in after years of having several different music formats, going so far as to brand itself as "FM News Talk Owned by Clear Channel and stylized as one of Clear Channel's typical conservative-leaning AM talk stations, WPGB's ratings were steadily high since during its time as a talk station, whereas the station's numerous music formats were among the lowest in the Pittsburgh market before switching.
Paranormal radio shows have had a place on radio for several decades; while the format has never been successful on a full-time basis, it has proven popular in overnight graveyard slot. Long John Nebel's program was one of the first to devote itself to the concept before it was further fleshed out by Art Bellwhose Coast to Coast AM went on to have comparable popularity to daytime talk hosts of his era. Bell had a long-running, on-and-off relationship with the show he founded, often leaving the show and returning on an erratic basis, also starting up new shows such as Dreamland, Art Bell's Dark Matter and Midnight in the Desert only to quit them a few weeks into their run; Bell died in Coast to Coast AM continues with George Noory as the permanent lead host, with a rotating host on weekends.
Clyde Lewis and Jason Hawes also host nationally syndicated paranormal shows.
Liberal talk radio[ edit ] Politically liberal talk radio aimed at a national audience also emerged in the mids.
It billed itself as a "progressive alternative" to the conservative talk radio shows. Some prominent examples of liberal talk radio shows either previously or currently in national syndication include: A few earlier syndicated programs were hosted by prominent Democrats who were not experienced broadcasters, such as Jim HightowerJerry BrownMario Cuomo and Alan Dershowitz ; these met with limited success, and Air America has been faced with various legal and financial problems.
Air America was sold to a new owner in Marchhired well-known programmer David Bernstein, and began its "re-birth. On January 21,Air America radio ceased live programming citing a difficulty with the current economic environment, and announced that it would file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy production and liquidate itself.
The network ended operations on January 25, These have primarily come from the conversion of AM facilities, most of which formerly had adult standards formats. Many complaints all radio stations are required by the FCC to maintain, in their public files, copies of all correspondence from the public relating to station operations — for a period of three years from receipt have been received from fans of this musical genre Tony BennettFrank Sinatrabig band music ," etc.
More recently, however, Clear Channel has been dropping liberal formats in favor of their own Fox Sports Radio network. Bymost liberal talk stations had abandoned the format, forcing hosts to find other ways to distribute their programming.
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Liberal opinion radio has long existed on the Pacifica network, though only available in a small number of major cities, and in formats that more often act as a volunteer-run community forum than as a platform for charismatic hosts who would be likely to attract a large audience. The one major host to become popular on the network is Amy Goodmanwhose Democracy Now! Conservative critics have long complained that the long-format news programming on National Public Radio NPR shows a liberal bias, although this is disputed by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting FAIRa progressive media criticism organization, which found that, for example, "representatives of think tanks to the right of center outnumbered those to the left of center by more than four to one: Sports talk[ edit ] Sports talk radio can be found locally and nationally in the US; as offive national full-time sports talk networks exist.
The oldest existing network, dating tois SB Nation Radio although it has only been branded as such since Most of these, however, air on weak, low-budget AM stations; the most successful sports talk stations operate primarily with local programs and supplement their programming with broadcasting of sports eventsusually involving the local teams in the major professional sports leagues.
This adds significant expenses to the station's operations. Local stations may also hire personalities with polarizing opinions about sports topics and athletes to make some kind of national impact that might turn off listeners, and in large markets, sports talk stations may be made up of personalities who pay stations for their show time and their own advertisingdisallowing any natural flow between each program, along with in-station competitions about whose show has the most impact.
Radio is a strong and nimble medium that continues to evolve, to not only meet but exceed the demands and expectations of its listeners and advertising partners. Data is a game-changer for radio. Radio is a multi-platform and integrated medium that has an incredibly loyal audience. Tapping into the available insights and information that radio stations can glean from listener databases, surveys, social media, etc. Advertisers continue to see the benefits of including radio within their marketing plan.
Radio can amplify the impact of other media.
Radio can influence behavior and brand consideration. Radio can drive awareness. Radio drives store traffic. Radio rules the dash. The car is the top location for audio listening and, despite new in-dash entertainment options, broadcast radio listening is still the most dominant in-car audio choice. Data and analytics are great tools but it all begins and ends with a relationship.
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Strength in relationships between customers and clients are the most important things we can work on. The role that the radio seller and buyer has are each very different. Appreciation for the responsibilities and experience each party brings to the table will help build successful partnerships.