Monday, December 10, 2007

As Imus returns, talk radio silences dissenters --

As Imus returns, talk radio silences dissenters -- Former WABC talk show host Ron Kuby on why and and Curtis Sliwa lost their radio show: "We were doomed by the confluence of two forces that are dooming local radio. First, there is globalization. By using syndicated shows and firing local hosts and air staff, the parent corporation saves money. The nation gets a homogenized sound, from Brooklyn to Berkeley. Long the media globalizer - where local shows like Imus and Howard Stern eventually went national - New York has become the globalized. A generation ago, WABC radio was almost entirely local. Today, syndicated programming - including Imus - takes up more than 19 hours a day. Second, programmers increasingly promote ideological consistency by presenting only one side of the political debate. Called 'stationality,' the concept is to offer the same views through different voices all day, making listeners feel safely cocooned in their biases. Debates run the gamut from A to B, featuring discourse along the lines of 'Hillary Clinton, Threat or Menace?' After all, you might become unsettled if the liberal persuades you in the morning and then you have to decide that the conservative in the afternoon is wrong."


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