Eric Hogue

Allow me to offer a rant tonight in reference to the Sacramento Bee's "Scene Section" today. It is amazing, I'm convinced that the Air America Radio Station in Sacramento either owes the newspaper hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertisement, or the paper is on the take from the inside. I'll just believe that the political ideology is similar and the newspaper is trying to help a fellow liberal broadcasters...for now.

Today the Bee's "Scene" offer a four day lead-up to a feature about Al Franken coming to Sacramento:

Franken will push back live from the Crest Theatre on Wednesday, marking the one-year anniversary of local AM radio station Talk City 1240 (KSAC) with a live broadcast of his three-hour show.

The nascent Air America network was his only outlet, Franken said.

"I'll tell you why. It's all about format. I couldn't get a nationally syndicated show because every station that does syndicated talk does right-wing syndicated talk. They're not going to put me on between Rush (Limbaugh) and (Sean) Hannity. It's not going to happen.

"So, as a result, the only way to do it was to create our own station."

As you read this 'puff piece' of a column, remember that "News Talk 1380 KTKZ" has entertained Hugh Hewitt (three times), Michael Medved (two times), Dennis Prager, and more recently Laura Ingraham in Sacramento. All of these events SOLD OUT in a matter of days, we sold tickets at a rate of $25 or $35 respective of the venue and costs.

Where were the "Scene Section" features surrounding these 'live' radio broadcasts? Does the Sacramento Bee only write about liberal, progressive radio promotions?

The Article then refers to the stations new found growth and ratings...

Franken said the network had "some problems early on, and that was crazy," referring to money problems, staffers not being paid, affiliated stations dropping the network over bounced checks - all presented in the HBO documentary.

After a rocky start, though, things have smoothed out, he said.

"It's going very well. Clear Channel, which is the biggest owner of stations in the country - including KFBK (1530 AM) and Talk 650 (KSTE AM) in Sacramento - they put us on KPOJ in Portland and we quadrupled their ratings."

That success prompted Clear Channel, generally considered right-leaning, to put Air America programming on other so-called second-tier AM stations, generally replacing music programming - but not conservative talk shows.

In Sacramento, radio station KSQR (1240 AM, renamed KSAC on March 1) went from a 0.4 rating for all listeners 12 and older in spring 2004 to a 1.6 rating in fall 2004, according to Radio and Records ratings reports. The station became an official Air America outlet May 3, 2004.

Who wouldn't be growing when you get 'four days' of 250,000 free newspaper ads leading up the event, not forgetting that this station has also received NUMEROUS mentions and publicity from the Bee's ink and website. It would be a story if they were NOT adding to their liberal socialist soldiers.

Think about this, Sacramento has a conservative radio audience, and a liberal radio audience. For the conservative audience, we have "five" stations that offer programming. For the liberal audience there is only "one" station. If you add up the conservative pie audience and compare it to the liberal audience, the obvious is the result...the "five" talk stations are constantly fighting over the audience share. Our pie is bigger, but more competitive. This new station sits in the city, gathers the free publicity from the ONLY major newspaper in the market and claims competitive victory.

One more item here, the GM of the station, Paula Nelson-Redfield, is quoted as saying;

"The fall '04 was our first real book," Nelson-Redfield said, "We're growing, our numbers are going up," she said, citing Arbitron ratings from fall 2004 showing that in Sacramento ZIP codes 95814, 95816 and 95818, her station is No. 1 among listeners 12 and older..."

I checked, this station DOES NOT subscribe to the Arbitron Ratings services. It is ILLEGAL to offer this proprietary information. This data is made available to those stations (ownerships) who pay a rate of nearly $200,000 to subscribe to the Arbitron services.

Typical of a liberal to think this propriety information is FREE - as in radio welfare - to toss out to the public in a newspaper article, hoping to draw advertisers off of data that other stations inside of the competitive radio marketplace have to pay rights fees to quote and publicly recite.

Will the Sacramento Bee run a story on this GM and her station's fines when they are slapped on the hand by Arbitron for 'stealing' proprietary information? Will anyone bring pressure upon the new station to play (compete) by the rules?